Published: 27/06/2012 07:00 - Updated: 27/06/2012 12:23

Stings, Bites and How to Treat Them

So I know Britain has notriously rubbish weather, but there are still a lot of bees and wasps around, in fact, every year, there seems to be more and more; they seem to get bigger and bigger!

Scary. So let's face it, it wouldn't be too much of a surprise if you got stung would it? But what can you do about it and is it avoidable?

If you're stung, it ends up leaving a little bubble on your skin, a little like a pus-filled blister with its stinger in the wound. This is called a venomous sac. You should remove it as soon as you can by scraping it out with something with a hard edge like a bank card. Don't try to squeeze it out or use tweezers or you might make the venom spread and cause yourself more discomfort. Not fun!

After you've removed it, to treat it, wash the area with soap and water, put a cold flannel on the area, raise the part of your body that was stung to avoid swelling and try not to scratch the area in case of infection. You can also take pain killers or put an ice pack on the area if it's still painful or swollen.

There are a few things you can do to avoid yourself getting stung or bitten. First of all, don't disturb their nest if you happen to see one. If you find a nest in your garden, it is easier to remove it in the winter months when a lot of insects will be in hibernation, note that not all of them do and it may be worth calling pest control. (http://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/pest)

Using an insect repellent will help deter the critters. Not ideal in the warmer weather, but the less skin on display, the less likely you are to be stung, so wearing long sleeves can help. Avoiding areas with lots of flowers and wood and such which are likely to have a lot of insects or bees especially will of course, reduce the likleyhood of you being stung. Lastly, if you encounter bees or wasps, move away slowly and try not to panic, don't swat at them or swing your arms about.

If you get a lot of insects come into your home, you could make a trap out of a 500ml bottle. Here is a very quick how-to, but you can find many more ideas on the internet.

Chop the neck of the bottle off.

Fill the bottom bit with jam and water, add a bit of washing up liquid too to speed up the process if you wish.

Put the chopped off bottle neck upside-down inside the bottom half.

Insects will fly in, attracted by the sweet substance in the bottle, they will struggle to fly out with the neck there and are likely to stay stuck in there and drown in the water!

I hope these tips and advice help you. If you experience swelling elsewhere on your body, or develop a rash or any other unusual symptoms, contact your GP immediately, if you experience swelling in your neck or breathing problems, call 999 immediately, you're likely to be having an allergic reaction. Remember please use emergency services responsibly.

Written by Elizabeth Fleming of BeneBelle (http://benebelle.com)

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