With the warmer temperatures throughout the country this fall season stinging insects that would usually be hibernating by now are still out and about. It’s important to keep an eye out for them, as severe allergic reactions to insect stings cause 50 deaths a year. There are easy steps you can take to protect yourself against this danger. Be on the lookout when eating outdoors, and make sure to cover your food if you leave it for a moment. Be especially mindful when drinking outside, as sweating beverage containers attract stinging insects that want to crawl inside and take a sip. Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes or deodorants and brightly colored clothing that attract insects. Make sure you seal your garbage can tightly, and avoid walking barefoot in the grass. Watch out for signs of insect when working outside, as plants such as bushes can conceal hornet nests.
If you do get stung, it’s important to recognize the signs of a severe allergic reaction so that you can act as quickly as possible. Warning signs include hives, itching, or swelling in areas other than the site if the sting, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fainting, and swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat. If you experience any of these symptoms get yourself to the hospital immediately.
Have you been stung by an insect this year? Do you know anyone with allergies to insect bites or stings?