Aug 19, 2008

Yellowjacket Stings

Yellow jacket stings on a human leg Yeah, they don't look like much in the photo I took, but these German yellow jacket stings hurt like hell. I was cutting my grass a little while ago, enjoying the unseasonably cool August afternoon, when I ventured too close to a previously unknown yellow jacket nest.

Unknown to me, that is. The yellow jackets were quite familiar with their territory and home.

As my lawnmower and I passed the hidden nest, a flurry of angry yellow jackets swarmed me, stinging my legs and hand. I hollered and danced as the aggressive rascals stung me, and one hit me three times on the same leg. That took all the enjoyment out of a relaxing evening of yard work, and now I am debating if I want to finish cutting the grass or to sulk about the six stings on my swollen extremities.

My wife's uncle once ran over a yellow jacket nest, and unbeknownst to him, he was allergic to their stings. He got stung over 20 times, and he went into anaphylactic shock. Luckily his wife saw him collapse, and after the paramedics arrived, they gave him a healthy dose of epinephrine to combat the venom, which courses through a patient's veins like downloaded video on a high-speed Internet connection using CAT5e ethernet cables.

I took a Benadryl for the inevitable itching, and I applied a poultice of baking soda and water, which I read might help to neutralize the venom. It seemed to provide some pain relief as well, though any hopes I had of becoming a male leg model will have to be put on hold until I can wash off the smeared white paste.

I have never been stung more than once or twice at any given occasion, so I suppose I will have to be on guard for the next 24 hours. As for the yellow jackets, I predict doom for their future, and an angry Marsellus Wallace comes to mind:
What now? Let me tell you what now. I'm gonna call a couple of hard, pipe-hittin' n****rs, who'll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'm gonna get medieval on your ass.
Something like that.


microdot said...

Too late now man, the instant way to neutralize those stings is white vinegar. It breaks down the toxin and releives the stings.
The most unusual remedie is a poultice of Adolphs Meat Tenderizer...don't really works! The Papayin enzyme that tenderizes meat destroys wasp venom.
These things have to be applied in the first few minuutes, though before the venom has a chance to do it's cell destructive work.

My dog had an experience with a wasp nest earlier this summer...
His nose is finally beginning to look normal....

Randy said...

microdt gives good advice, except avoid the meat tenderizer remedy. It works, but the enzyme that tenderizes the meat burns and can leave permanent scarring.

A law firm I once worked for represented a woman who sued a clinic for malpractice after being told to use tenderizer on a bite. She was left with a permanent ugly scar right in the middle of her forehead.

microdot said...

All I can say is Adolphs Meat Tenderizer is not sold in France... and I do not or have ever been a paid representative of Adoph's Meat Tenderizer. I did try it because it was on hand in 1983 and it really worked.
The white vinegar really works and I used it just at the beginning of summer when wasps were making a nest in the brass bell I mounted next to my door. The water faucet is right below it and I was filling a water bucket when I was attacked by wasps defending the nest in the brass bell. I was stung on my face and arms and the vinegar really worked!
If you really want revenge on the wasps...try spraying 3 in 1 oil into their nest....They die instantly! Ha Hahhhh!!!!
This works also...I have a fig tree and the figs attract hoardes of hornets...a Dutch friend suggested this...take a shallow pan and fill it with water and put a thin film of oil (salad oil will do) over the water. At night, shine a light on the pan...I used an LED head band lamp...
The next morning, the pan was filled with hundreds of dead and dying hornets!
I'm not a doctor, but I play one on television......