I'm taking a powder today, guys. Yesterday, I got stung by yellow jackets. The pain isn't as intense as yesterday, but I still feel bad.
Since I'd never been stung by yellow jackets before, I thought I'd share some of the information I learned.
Yellow jackets look very similar to honey bees. But they are far more vicious. I've spent many days gardening, surrounded by honey bees and have never been attacked.
Yellow jackets are territorial and will attack without provocation. Unlike bees, they do not lose their stinger and can sting you several times.
I was dragging brush to a burn pile when I walked near their nest inside a bunch of old logs. I thought at first ants had nailed me, but the pain kept growing---and spreading.
The whole time I walked very fast, back to the house that was several hundred yards away. (No running, since the terrain was too rugged.) Before I reached the back yard, I had torn off my t-shirt and found a yellow jacket tangled inside. As my final act of retribution, I smashed him.
I'm pretty sure he gave me the finger anyway.
Treatment: I've been stung by both black bumblebees and wasps but the pain and swelling subsided the same day. Not so with yellow jackets.
Yellow jackets and most wasps have alkaline venom requiring something acidic to cut the pain. Vinegar, lemons or limes will do the trick.
Bees have acidic venom which requires a base. Make a mud of baking soda and water and plaster the affected area.
Several sites I checked mixed the two up, so I stuck to the information from clinical sites that broke down each insect's biochemistry. Dry data, but this site is the most readable.
I took Benedryl but other than make me sleepy, did not help with the pain or swelling. I imagine I just have to live with it until it wears off.
It probably wouldn't have been so bad if there weren't three stings. I'm okay. Just in a bit of pain.
I could use some company in my misery. Anyone ever get stung by wasps or other insidious creature?