Boy scared of flying insect

The groundhog saw his shadow and now we’re dreaming of warm spring days, birds chirping, flowers blooming, bees buzzing… Well not all of us are dreaming of buzzing bees!

5-7.5% of Americans are hypersensitive to insect stings1, meaning they’re at risk of anaphylactic shock if they’re stung by a flying insect like a wasp or bee.

For beekeepers the risk of a systematic allergic reactions increases up to 32%.1

In fact, at least 90-100 deaths occur each year in the United States due to insect sting anaphylaxis2 accounting for 20% of anaphylaxis fatalities.1

Here are some tips to help you combat wasps before springtime hits.

  • Destroy Outdoor Nests

Most wasps in a colony die after the first or second frost and only females who will become queens in the spring survive. Since wasp hives are not active in the winter it’s s a great time to dispose of them. If you find a wasp nest outside, scrape it thoroughly from whatever surface it’s attached to. Then spray the area with pesticides to discourage wasps from returning. Painting or staining unfinished wood can also help deter infestation at the same site.

If you have a known severe allergy to bees or wasps, always consult a professional pest control company before removing nests.

  • Eliminate Interior Access

Now is a great time to look for tiny openings in your home, garage, shed, or other outbuildings. Seal gaps with spray foam or caulk to prevent spring infestation.

If you’ve had a severe reaction Venom Immunotherapy (VIT) may be an option to treat your bee and wasp allergies. Click here to Find a VIT Provider in your area.

References

  1. Ludman, Boyle. (2015). Stinging insect allergy: current perspectives on venom immunotherapy. Journal of Asthma and Allergy, 2015(8), 75-86. doi: 10.2147/JAA.S62288

  2. American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. (February 2018) Types of Allergies: Insect Stings. Retrieved from https://acaai.org/allergies/types/insect-sting-allergy.