Stings: Bee, Wasp and Scorpion



Most insect stings, for someone who is not allergic, need no more than first aid given at home.

1 Remove any stingers immediately.

2 Applying ice to the site for 20 minutes once every hour as needed may provide some mild relief. Wrap the ice in a towel or keep a cloth between the ice and skin to keep from freezing the skin.

3 Taking an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or a nonsedating one such as loratadine (Claritin) will help with itching and swelling.

4 Take ibuprofen (Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain relief as needed.

5 Wash the sting site with soap and water. Placing hydrocortisone cream on the sting can help relieve redness, itching, and swelling.

6 If it’s been more than 10 years since your last tetanus booster, get a booster within the next few days.

If someone has a severe allergic reaction such as low blood pressure, swelling blocking air getting into the lungs, or other serious problems breathing, they have a true life-threatening emergency. (See Allergic Reaction (Anaphylaxis))

Source: HSA



Although about 2,000 species of scorpions exist, only about 25-40 species can deliver enough venom to cause serious or lethal damage to humans. In most scorpion stings of adults, treatment is simply supportive and can be done at home.

scorpionSevere symptoms include:

Widespread numbness
Difficulty swallowing
A thick tongue
Blurred vision
Roving eye movements
Difficulty breathing


These symptoms constitute a medical emergency.

1 Call 9-1-1 to activate EMS.

2 Continuously apply ice to the sting area.

3 If there is no danger to other people, carefully collecting a dead or injured scorpion into a sealed container to show to the physician may be helpful.


Source: HSA

Disclaimer: The Emergency Guide is provided as a reference only.  Every effort has been taken to acquire and publish accurate information provided by medical authorities.  In case of emergency, always call or have someone CALL 9-1-1.