How to Relieve Stings From Bald-Faced Hornets

By Lanh Ma
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Bald-faced hornets are sturdy-looking wasps with notable white markings on their black heads. They build their nests high in trees, but their attraction to sweet foods and soft drinks often brings them into contact with humans. While people with allergies to insect venom require emergency treatment immediately after a sting, most people recover easily from a bald-faced hornet attack.

Assess your symptoms. If you develop hives or experience pain in the joints, trouble breathing or nausea after a sting from a bald-faced hornet, go to an emergency room immediately. These are signs of an allergic reaction, which needs immediate treatment. Pain, swelling around the area and mild itchiness, however, are normal and can be treated at home.

Wash the area thoroughly with antibacterial soap. Unlike bees, hornets don't leave a stinger behind, so you won't have one to remove.

Pat the area dry with a towel. Avoid rubbing it dry, as rubbing produces irritation.

Place a handful of ice in the towel and twist the loose edges together to make an ice pack.

Lay the ice pack against the sting for 15 minutes and then leave it off for 15 minutes. Repeat this ice treatment until the pain goes down.

Take a dose of over-the-counter pain medication if the sting is very sore.

Watch the area over the next two to three days. If the sting does not recover or seems to be getting worse, go to a doctor.