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How to Avoid Bee or Wasp Stings

Three Parts:Taking care with what you wearTimingAvoiding actions that encouraging stings

Sure you want to attract attention, but of the right kind. To avoid the attention of stinging insects you might find on an outdoor place, you'll need to think like an insect and tone down anything that causes you to appear like a potential source of pollen, food or threat.

Part 1
Taking care with what you wear

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    Wear light-coloured clothing. Bright floral colours attract bees and wasps.
    • Wear red. Insects cannot see red but are attracted to white and yellow.[1]
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    Avoid perfumed soap and shampoo. Also avoid wearing perfume, cologne or aftershave. If you smell like a flower, the bee or wasp might think you are one.
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    Make sure your clothes and body are clean. The smell of sweat seems to aggravate bees and make them more aggressive. It doesn't do much for humans either.

Part 2
Timing

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    Bees are most active during the warmest hours of the day. Wasps are attracted to food, so don't leave food or sweet drinks out.

Part 3
Avoiding actions that encouraging stings

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    Swinging or swatting at an insect may cause it to sting. Stay calm and move with gentle gestures.
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    Do not run. Calmly walk away without making a fuss or waving your hands about. Commotion will attract the insect, especially if it is a wasp.
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    Keep an eye on your food and drink. Wasps are attracted to food and sweet drinks. Bees will quite happily land on a sugary cake or cookie at your picnic.
    • Keep outdoor food inside containers before eating and after eating; less yummy odors to attract the insects.
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    Do not burn scented candles or incense when eating or spending time outdoors. The scent will attract the insects.
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    Leave wasp nests and bee hives well alone. If someone knocks on your door, you are likely to want to see who. If that person starts punching, tearing or kicking your house, you're likely to get angry. Wasps and bees are no different and they'll defend their home. Keep well away!
    • Wasp nests often look like papery constructions.
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    Do not squash or crush wasps. The odor that is released will attract all of its buddies to defend (or avenge) and that is something nobody wants to bring down on themselves.

Tips

  • Both wasps and bees are important pollinators; live in harmony with them by not enticing them to your picnic, toning down your attractiveness to them and not antagonizing them.
  • If you think you are being attacked, then run through vegetation.
  • Wasps can sting multiple times; honey bees just once, then they die. However other types of bees can sting multiple times.
  • Hang up a brown paper bag in your outdoor eating area. It might fool wasps or bees into thinking there is already a nest in place, causing them to avoid trespassing.[1] You can also purchase fake nests. There is no guarantee this will work perfectly; it's just one thing to try along with the more reliable things outlined above.
  • Do not aggravate them. Generally, they will only attack if they feel like they are under threat. Only female bees and wasps can sting, males have no stinger, however the females are the ones usually seen. Also, honey bees can only sting once - wasps and other bees, multiple times.
  • Put aluminum foil on open soda cans, so that the bees do no fly in and then sting your mouth when you try to drink from the soda can.

Warnings

  • If you are allergic to wasps and/or bees (it is not uncommon to be allergic to both if you're allergic to one), and you are stung, get medical help immediately. This is especially important if you cannot breathe or you feel dizzy.[1]

Article Info

Categories: Stings Bites and Burns | Animal and Insect Safety