Danger in Unexpected Places – Wasps!

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Early this morning Apt Prepper Son went to throw out the trash.  There is a designated trash dumpster a few paces away from our unit.   I saw him throw the bag on to the bin; as he walked back he winced in pain and clutched his arm.  When he returned he said he felt a sharp stab of pain under his forearm close to his elbow as he threw the bag.

He had gotten stung by something.  Apt Prepper Son is quite allergic and has asthma so I was worried.  I quickly applied Cortaid on the sting.  I then gave him an antihistamine to minimize any allergic reaction.  We watched the bite grow into a hive and told him to let me know if he was feeling out of breath, or if his tongue felt swollen.  None of that happened, thank God.

wasp sting
Wasp Sting

I went to investigate what might have stung him.  We’ve seen some pretty huge insects in Texas and it could have been any number of bugs.  I saw spider webs running across the trash area, but this was not a spider bite, those usually have two bite marks.  I stood by the bins quietly then I saw them:  three huge wasps had made their nest right under the corner of the trash bin.

Wasp on Trash Bin
Wasp on Trash Bin

I did some research online and found his bite mark looked exactly like a wasp bite.  Checked a First Aid manual for facts and instructions to take care of wasp bites in addition to applying Cortaid and taking an antihistamine:

  • Wasp stings can be painful but if the reaction is limited to the bite area, it is likely non life threatening.  However, if the reaction spreads to the rest of the body, then it can be dangerous.  If the reaction only appears in the bite area, such as the red dot in the photo above, apply ice for 10 minutes on, and 10 minutes off and back again to reduce swelling.  We used a mini ice pack:
Ice pack on wasp sting
Ice Pack on Wasp Sting
  • Watch for signs of severe allergic reactions such as swelling of the mouth or tongue, wheezing, trouble breathing, chest pain, nausea or vomiting widespread hives.  If these symptoms appear, seek medical attention immediately.  For people who are allergic, wasp stings can severely lower blood pressure which can be fatal.

Fortunately the steps we took- antihistamine, Cortaid and ice worked and the swelling went down after a couple of hours.

wasp sting relief

The arm is still sore, but feeling better.   I am thankful we had all the First Aid supplies we needed to take care of it.  Apt Prepper Son got a lot of sympathy followed by a lecture on being aware of his surroundings at all times.

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  1. Poor guy. Glad he is okay and it was nothing too serious. I would have never thought of that being by a dumpster. Good info. Thanks. Hope his arm feels better.

  2. I too am allergic to a lot of things and have been stung by a wasp. It happened at a bakery where the doors had been left open because of the heat. And all that sweet deliciousness had attracted flying visitors.

    I’m glad you had allergy meds on hand. I didn’t that one time, and the swelling spread from my little finger up my arm by the time I found a fellow allergy sufferer who had anithistamines on her, and I was about 2 days getting over it.

    I now always carry antihistamines and other meds with me in my EDC.

  3. I’m glad he is ok. I hate wasps, but the things I really fear are yellow jackets. Those come at you in swarms, and they usually live in unexpected places. My daughter is allergic to insect venom and has to carry around an injector, so I am always concerned about her having a similar experience to that your son encountered.

  4. I’d like to add a suggestion to keep an eye on your son’s arm… I was stung by a wasp a number of years ago, recovered from it, and a few days later the spot became itchy, I scratched it, and the whole process started up again, swelling and inflamation requiring more antihistamine and ice and took days to go back to normal. I had never heard of having a “repeat delayed reaction” ; my doctor told me that my reaction could nowmean more danger if I was stung again, and that I should carry an Epi-pen with me from then on. Your son’s situation may very well be different, but I just wanted to share my story in case it helps someone else…

  5. I was stung by a wasp a number of years ago who wanted my coffee. I refused to give up the coffee, it got mad and I got stung. I too itched and had a hive and it hurt like a sonofabiscuit. Regrettably, I scratched it in my sleep and the arm was sore for days. Immediate action is the key, as you mentioned. Wait even a couple of hours and prepare to be uncomfortable and sore.

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