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Fri Sep 21, 2012, 07:39 PM

Yellow Jackets SUCK!

Got stung on the face by one this afternoon. Right next to my nose, just below the eye.

I swell when I get stung, so my husband hustled me down to the walk in clinic. They shot me up with prednisone and benadryl which stopped the swelling, but my entire face still hurts. My TEETH hurt. My ear hurts.

At least my husband sprayed the nest before he took me to the clinic, so that nest is DEAD.

I'm headed to a Benadryl induced nap. Later.

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Yellow Jackets SUCK! (Original post)
csziggy Sep 2012 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Sep 2012 #1
csziggy Sep 2012 #2
Taverner Sep 2012 #3
csziggy Sep 2012 #5
derby378 Sep 2012 #4
csziggy Sep 2012 #6
derby378 Sep 2012 #7
csziggy Sep 2012 #8
Taverner Sep 2012 #41
Dash87 Sep 2012 #11
csziggy Sep 2012 #18
Maine-ah Sep 2012 #14
csziggy Sep 2012 #19
Lionel Mandrake Sep 2012 #29
csziggy Sep 2012 #32
nolabear Sep 2012 #9
csziggy Sep 2012 #20
nolabear Sep 2012 #22
AmyDeLune Sep 2012 #10
beac Sep 2012 #17
csziggy Sep 2012 #23
beac Sep 2012 #31
csziggy Sep 2012 #21
Dash87 Sep 2012 #12
sarge43 Sep 2012 #13
pipi_k Sep 2012 #15
HopeHoops Sep 2012 #16
csziggy Sep 2012 #24
csziggy Sep 2012 #25
HopeHoops Sep 2012 #26
csziggy Sep 2012 #33
HopeHoops Sep 2012 #38
femmocrat Sep 2012 #30
HopeHoops Sep 2012 #37
sendero Sep 2012 #27
GreenPartyVoter Sep 2012 #28
spiderpig Sep 2012 #34
sakabatou Sep 2012 #35
WillParkinson Sep 2012 #36
csziggy Sep 2012 #39
WillParkinson Sep 2012 #44
hedgehog Sep 2012 #40
Kali Sep 2012 #42
csziggy Sep 2012 #43

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 07:41 PM

1. Feel better, my dear csziggy!

Hope you sleep sweetly, and wake up feeling normal........

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 09:09 PM

2. Thanks, CP!

Face is still swollen. I got up because every time I moved it hurt, so I might as well sit up and get some distraction. At least the swelling is down far enough to wear my glasses!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 09:10 PM

3. Those $#@!!! things are $%^&#@!!! evil!!!!

 

Fucking hate those things

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Response to Taverner (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 10:34 PM

5. Yes they are! And these were sneaky

We'd gone through the gate and they didn't come out so we thought we were safe. On the trip back through the gate was when they came out and one got me.

I did prove a point, though. I froze and though the rest of the nest was swarming all around me, I didn't get stung again. Apparently, they can only see you if you move. When my husband came back, he swung the gate away from me which made the wasps follow it and I could move through without getting another sting.

My husband had told me about this. He was once with a group of guys hiking through the woods. One stepped INTO a ground nest of yellow jackets and got stung several times instantly. All the guys but my husband took off running and all of them got more than one sting before they could out run the wasps.

My husband froze until he could no longer hear any wasps swarming, then he walked very S-L-OW-L-Y away from the nest and the track the other men had taken. He was the only one of the group who didn't have a single sting!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 09:23 PM

4. When I was little, I got stung by a wasp at the drive-in

Never cared for wasps since. Years later, a single wasp stung me in both shins, and I watched him do it. That was unpleasant.

Bees, on the other hand, apparently think I'm cool. Sometimes they'll land on my arm, check me out for a second, and then fly away.

Mud daubers - wasps that build nests out of mud instead of paper - are a curious case. They're the Quakers of the wasp world; they only sting when they're directly threatened. But oh, how they love to swarm visitors just to remind them that they're around.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 10:38 PM

6. I have never had a problem with honey bees or dirt daubers

But bumble bees are nasty! And while yellow jackets are mean, the big black and red wasps are worse and their sting is more potent.

One day we were hand digging a post hole and that pissed off a ground nest of bumble bees. They came after me and I took off running. I'm not sure if it was more than one but I got several stings on one ankle. My leg was the size of a small tree trunk from the thigh down for several days and I thought the skin was going to split open. I should have gone to the doctor and gotten the same shots I got today!

That kind of swelling is why I was freaked to get a sting on my face next to my nose - if I had not gone in for treatment, my nose and throat could have completely closed.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 10:57 PM

7. Yikes! Don't want to freak you out...

...but it could have been much, much worse.



Yes, that critter is real. It's an Asian giant hornet, the largest known hornet on the planet. It's aggressive, it kills honeybees just for the fun of it, and its sting has been known to kill people. Some folks say that the bullet ant's bite is more painful, but I'd rather not be the one to judge.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:09 PM

8. Yeah, I've seen pictures of those monsters!

I don't want to be anywhere near one of them. The bullet ants are pretty nasty and I bet I'd react to them since fire ants do a job on me, too.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 06:14 PM

41. Those things inhabit my nightmares

 

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Response to csziggy (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 08:02 AM

11. Bumblebees are usually extremely passive

Unless if you disturb / threaten their nest.

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Response to Dash87 (Reply #11)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 03:13 PM

18. I know - but they sure don't like having the ground pounded

Right next to their nest!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 08:24 AM

14. we had some giant blue mud daubers

this summer - I had never seen them before- good lord did it freak me out when it was flying around my kitchen. They don't survive when they come in the house because I can't take the chances as our dog is allergic to bees.

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Response to Maine-ah (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 03:14 PM

19. Stinging insects that get in the house get sprayed

Though that can cause problems since I'm allergic to the spray. A no win situation!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #19)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 05:31 PM

29. The best weapon to use against stinging insects in the house ...

is a canister type vacuum cleaner - especially if you have more than one bee to contend with. If a bee gets within a few inches of the end of the hose, it will be sucked in and die. It will die sooner if you also vacuum up a mothball or some other insecticide.

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Response to Lionel Mandrake (Reply #29)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:23 PM

32. Good tip!

But I'm not sure I am up to chasing insects down with the vacuum. I'm only now getting good at walking much.

Actually, my husband usually chases them out the door so we can keep the poisons out of the house. The wasps are usually attracted to the kitchen window or the big sliding doors that open onto the screened porch and he can shoo them out from there.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 01:43 AM

9. Oh SO sorry. I'm allergic so your post makes my hair stand on end.

Feel better. Unswell.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #9)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 03:16 PM

20. At least I don't go into anaphylactic shock like my sister

She has to carry an Epi-pen at all times. Her hobby is fossil hunting so she's outside a lot, digging in places where yellow jackets make ground nests so she is very at risk.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #20)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 03:25 PM

22. Yeah, I carry one of those. Hmmm...wonder if it's expired...

Those buggers are nasty this time of year!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 01:55 AM

10. Ah, the fall, when yellow jackets get grumpy

knowing that as soon as the first frost hits they'll be bee-cicles and their Queen will be all snuggled up hybernating till spring.

Useful yellow jacket factoids;

Ground dwelling YJ's are more aggressive than above ground dwelling YJ's.

Yellow jackets are attracted to all the fallen/rotten fruit on the ground this time of year (also pet food and human food). Clear it away from high traffic areas to avoid getting stung.

Yellow jackets are excellent garden predators, gobbling up many garden pests.

Above ground dwelling YJ's (german yellow jackets) generally will not re-nest in the same spot the following year. The Queen will establish a new nest somewhere else the following spring. Unless it's really a hazard you can avoid spraying the nest and let the first heavy frost kill the hive.

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Response to AmyDeLune (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:40 AM

17. See my post in Gardening about how to get rid of a ground wasp nest permanently and

organically with HONEY (only ones that are near the house or otherwise likely to be disturbed by humans or pets, of course):

http://www.democraticunderground.com/11592104

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Response to beac (Reply #17)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 03:30 PM

23. I think around here it armadillos or racoons dig up wasp nests

I know we have something that does. Last year we had some HUGE ground nests between the barns. About the time the people running the barn were going to poison them (their son is very allergic), they came out one morning to find a big hole with the nest remains scattered around - it was about 2 feet deep and across!

The honey probably just makes the nest more attractive and easier for the critters to find.

Too bad they can't get to the nests in the gates!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #23)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 07:02 PM

31. I want to teach the raccoons to fly so they can

destroy the paper wasp nests too.

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Response to AmyDeLune (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 03:24 PM

21. These guys were living in our pipe gate

The style we are buying these days have weep holes at the joints, perfect for wasps to crawl into and make well protected nests in the pipes. We try to check regularly but since I am just now getting so I can walk around much the gates here at the house have not been checked recently.

We'd gone through that gate earlier in the summer, between knee replacements and there were no wasps, so we didn't think they'd be there now. Our usual strategy is to stand back and throw something at the gate to see if the wasps swarm out of one of the holes. Then once they quiet down spray the heck out the hole(s) they come out of!

My next goal for working outside was to start pulling the beggar weeds that have taken over the flower beds but the wasps and honey and bumble bees love the flowers. I may have to wait for the first frost, or if it is as late as last year, until the shorter days finish the blooming season.

I kind of hate to pull the weeds since the honey bees seem to like their flowers better than any of the "good" flowers I would put in their place, even the salvias. But these stinking beggar weeds got so tall they block the view and the seeds have little hooks that grab onto clothes and hair and are a nuisance to get rid of.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 08:05 AM

12. When I was walking with sandals, a mud wasp

Flew in between my toe and the sandal.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 08:09 AM

13. So sorry, csziggy. That's awful.

I have a live and let live rule toward the critters who share the hood with me, but jacks put me in DefCon One mode. Kill 'em all and let Satan sort them out.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:27 AM

15. So do plaid polyester pants...

No, seriously though...I hate those things!

I can appreciate your pain. Was out one fine warm fall day about 12 years ago...actually on my birthday...stopped at a yard sale and bought a book, didn't see the yellowjacket on the underside of it and it stung me on the thumb.

The pain radiated up my entire arm until Mr Pipi stopped at a market and bought some baking soda which I used with a bit of water to make up a paste.

I think the only stings worse than yellowjackets are wasp stings.


I like bumblebees, though

Hope you're feeling better soon.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:36 AM

16. The worst we had were European Hornets - they were inside the vinyl siding.

 

That's the only time I've ever called a pest control company. The things weren't just aggressive, but swarmed. They'd chewed a small hole in the corner of the siding and had a hive large enough that we could hear it humming from our master bathroom. I was afraid the damn things would chew through the drywall and be all over the house. He used some sort of white powder that he said was far more toxic to the hornets than anything you could buy retail.

I'm hyper sensitive to wasp spray as it is because I did battle with multiple brown wasp nests in a metal shed some years back and absorbed way too much of it through my skin (and lungs for that matter). Even the slightest exposure causes some rather unpleasant effects.

Take care of yourself. I'm glad you got medical attention so quickly. Sting allergies are terrible.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #16)


Response to HopeHoops (Reply #16)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 03:36 PM

25. That buzzing would freak me out!

I mostly get my husband to spray the wasps - he doesn't react to the spray or to stings like I do. I'm lucky that I just get a lot of swelling - my sister goes into anaphylactic shock so she carries an Epi-pen at all times. I had one, but by the first time I could have used it, it had expired. When I didn't have insurance the Epi-pen was about the same cost as a visit to the walk-in clinic so I never got a new prescription for the Epi-pen.

The swelling is down to about where it was five minutes after the sting so it's getting better. I am still taking benadryl on a regular basis, though since the swelling gets worse if I let it run out.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #25)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 04:04 PM

26. My wife's a teacher. She has to keep an Epi-pen available at all times.

 

And yeah, the buzzing behind the wall was the only reason I called pest control. Normally I just knock the nests down (no poisons), but I couldn't get to this nest. I thought about caulking the opening, but that might have been an incentive for them to chew through the drywall. That would be bad.

I try very hard not to destroy any living creature, but sometimes you have to put family first. Besides, they aren't indigenous to the country anymore than rabbits are in Australia. They hitch-hiked here on ships from Europe and they're nasty fuckers.

As for the benadryl, get the drug store brand "Night Time Sleep Aid" - same stuff, but much cheaper. Don't even think of driving on that shit.

Also, epsom salt baths help with the swelling, not that you can keep your face in it or anything, but if you get stung again elsewhere, try it. Magnesium sulphate (commonly called "epsom salts" - NOT related to so-called "bath salts") is an amazing, naturally occurring, and ancient cure for body aches in general, but it also works on mosquito, bee, spider, and other types of skin invasions or irritations, and muscle aches in general. Beware - it also makes you float. Did you know that you can't drown in the Dead Sea? It's so salty that you float. They actually make a "Benadryl" cream, but don't use it while taking the internal form or you'll overdose. I prefer the topical. Again, get the drug store "generic" brand. Same shit, different name, lower price.

The only drugs I have in the house that are NOT generic are the ones that are still under patent and can't be obtained in that manner. Otherwise, I go with the generics. Chemically they are identical, but the price is much less in all cases. And start growing pennyroyal. Mosquitoes, bees, ants, and most flies can't stand the stuff. My wife makes an infusion with olive oil to spread on, but even rubbing the raw crushed leaves over your body will deter most of them. Oh, it's also invasive, so plant it as a ground cover somewhere appropriate and grab off large chunks as needed - it will grow back. The invasive nature also suppresses weeds.

And yes, a fucking mosquito bit me on the elbow this afternoon and I didn't have any pennyroyal on. Stupid me. Hydrocortizone works pretty well for that. It was an Asian Tiger Mosquito. They rarely carry West Nile, but they do have a nasty bite. Unlike the gray mosquitoes that DO carry West Nile, their bites only itch for two or three days.

And, WHILE we're on the subject of mosquitoes, I can't help but posting my favorite commercial of all times...





On Edit: No actual mosquitoes were harmed in the filming of this commercial.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #26)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:42 PM

33. We actually got "Wal-dryl" the Walgreens version of benadryl

It's just easier to say "benadryl" since everyone knows what that is and even medical personnel often don't know the generic name.

I ran into that while in the hospital. I use piroxicam as an anti-inflammatory. The hospital pharmacy only used brand names and when I would ask for piroxicam, the nurses did not know what I meant. The brand name is Feldene, but I'd been getting the generic for so long I'd forgotten that name.

A good mixture to apply to insect stings and ant bites is benadryl cream mixed with baking soda and meat tenderizer (if you can find the kind with no salt). Mix into a grainy paste and apply it to the area. The benadryl is obvious, the meat tenderizer breaks down the proteins in the toxins and the baking soda relieves the itching. That's all I used to have to keep around to treat stings & bites, until my allergies increased and I started swelling from wasp and bee stings.

I'll have to check into the pennyroyal and see if it will grow well in my conditions. I need a good ground cover that will crowd out the weeds in the beds right around the house and since the terraced beds on the east and south side are pretty isolated they'd be a decent location for it.

My last prescription drug that had not had a generic finally succumbed - a generic for Singulair is now out! Instead of paying a $50-60 copay I only have to pay $5! I got my doctor to switch me from Diovan which does not have a generic to Losartan which is a generic - that saves me another $30-40 a month. I buy my Zyrtec generic at Costco - it costs $15-20 for 360 tablets, saving enough to pay for the Costco membership. Alleve/naproxen is whatever the store brand is when I need it.

Great Tabasco commercial. Too bad I can't eat or touch the stuff - I get blisters. All the way through. I've had to give up any thing that is on the Scoville Scale.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #33)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 10:10 AM

38. Yeah, I get funny looks when I say "ibuprofen". As for Tabasco commercials...

 

This one is my all-time favorite...



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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #16)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 05:37 PM

30. I have had those buggers for two years in my classroom!

I would have like 20 or 30 on the windows. Really freaked the kids out. The admins. called an exterminator, but they came back. This year they finally caulked up some of the cracks before calling the exterminator. The buggers still came back. One landed right on my glasses! Another one was tangled in a girl's long hair. We had to abandon the classroom.

I hope the cold weather finally sends them packing.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #30)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 09:58 AM

37. They'll be back. If the queen is safe, the colony will survive. Nasty fuckers - no known predators

 

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 04:57 PM

27. I missed the first day..

... of the first grade (my first day in school, we didn't have kindergarten back then) after having the bad luck of having my thrown rock actually hit a huge yellow-jacket nest full on.

A swarm of them chased me and bit me mostly on the upper face. My eyes swole virtually shut.

Of course I learned a valuable lesson, I don't throw rocks at wasps nests any more.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 05:24 PM

28. Ouch! I am sorry that happened to you, and hope you feel better soon!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:46 PM

34. They are mean little buggers

There's a walking path that circles our house. People exercise their dogs (:loveya continually. But the yellow jackets love dog poo and built a huge underground nest nearby. We were getting bombarded when we'd open the front door or get into the car.

We got some sort of flame-thrower device that we were advised to use after sunset when the beasts were hunkered down and asleep. It worked.

I like to think of myself as a peaceable, live-and-let-live person - but those little bastards are vicious.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 01:26 AM

35. You might want to invest in one of these

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 02:25 AM

36. Hank Pym disagrees...



(Marvel's Yellow Jacket from the comics)

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Response to WillParkinson (Reply #36)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 12:42 PM

39. My high school's team name is the Yellow Jackets

Bartow High School, formerly Summerlin Institute (back when I graduated).

Still doesn't make me like the insects!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #39)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 02:06 AM

44. Well...

I'm sorry they (yes, going for the lowest common denominator in this one) 'bug' you.

(For the record, I'm not overly fond of bees, either. I tend to take the 'if you stay away from me, I won't scream like a little girl' approach.)

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 06:07 PM

40. I swear they bite, too! Regardless, since they walk around on some pretty nasty stuff,

their stings need to be treated with antiseptic and antihistamine!

It's just about impossible to eat outdoors around here on a warm September Day!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 07:11 PM

42. I don't think we have those out here

paper wasps and mud daubers, and some other less "stingy" wasps. Paper wasps sting and it is bad enought to make you pretty mad, but they don't swell and it goes away in an hour or so. Now, bees make me swell like a dead pig in the hot sun, but wasps arent too bad.

I swear harvester ants are just about the worst for regular occurrences of insect pain to me.

hope it has gone down by now. do you get itchy next? I do.

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Response to Kali (Reply #42)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 10:10 PM

43. Kali, I think yellow jackets are mostly a SE insect

I don't get itchy from the stings, just swell a LOT. This is the first time I've gone in for a steroid shot. Before the stings were places where the swelling was painful but would not affect being able to breathe., so I just loaded up on benadryl until the swelling went down.

The steroid shot was great - the swelling started to go down quickly and the benadryl helped keep it under control yesterday, so I slept a lot. Today I haven't had to take anything and the sting site it just a little puffy, no itching.

Fire ants are the most annoying for me - I get nasty pustules that itch and seep and don't fully heal for a month or two.

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