Preventing And Treating Yellowjacket Stings

Yellowjackets, also known as Paravespula, Dolichovespula and Vespula, are a wasp species that has the iconic yellow and black striped body along with the long, dark wings. They are often confused with honey bees, but the two species are quite different. For one, yellowjackets can sting multiple times, and each sting leads to pain, inflammation and redness in the area.

The symptoms of a yellowjacket sting

Besides the common symptoms listed above, you may also experience symptoms that will require immediate medical attention. These latter symptoms include wheezing and coughing, problems swallowing and breathing, tightness in the throat, hives, dizziness, lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, vomiting and diarrhea. When these symptoms start to show up, it may be an indication of an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening.

Treatment options

There are several ways in which you can reduce the severity of the symptoms of a yellowjacket sting. You can use a cold pack or ice on the location of the swing to reduce inflammation and pain. Leave the cold pack on the sting location for 20 minutes in order to achieve the best results. If you have some baking soda nearby, you can mix it with water and create a paste that will neutralize the acidity of the wasp’s venom. Vinegar can also be used by itself to reduce the itching of the bite.

If you or someone you know is allergic to wasp stings, you have two options at your disposal: antihistamines and Epi-Pens. Antihistamines such as Benadryl can protect both non-allergic and allergic people from a reaction, and Epi-Pens should be a part of your first aid kit in case you or someone you know is allergic.


The best way to prevent a yellowjacket sting is to understand what will draw them to you in the first place. Yellowjackets enjoy a diet that consists of meat and sugar, and they will usually find these in abundance either in your garbage can or when you are out on a picnic. Make sure that your trash is sealed when you take it outside, and that you keep your food covered when dining outdoors. When hiking, keep an eye out for swarms of yellowjackets. A large presence of these wasps indicates that there is a nest nearby and you want to avoid the area. Finally, if you swat at a yellowjacket, it is much more likely to sting you. When you have one buzzing nearby, simply remain calm and it will eventually leave you alone.

If you have a large yellowjacket population on your property, there may be a nest nearby. Contact us today and we will help you get rid of it.