Stinging Insects can Cause Real Summer Fears But there are Real Ways to Prevent Them

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

By NPMA Staff

 

The term Cnidophobia may be uncommon but what it describes is not. Cnidophobia is the fear of insect stings. Although a "phobia" may seem to be an overreaction to what some consider nuisance pests, homeowners must recognize the health threats associated with stinging insects. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reports more than half million people are sent to the emergency room every year due to stinging insects, which is why these summer pests must be addressed efficiently and effectively.

" Yellowjackets and hornets are common summer stingers," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "As invaders of backyard barbecues, these pests are attracted to sweets and proteins, and thus people. However, even the slightest movement - such as a swat, can provoke stinging insects. While their venom is no more dangerous than other stinging insects, both pests can become aggressive when disturbed, even accidentally, and tend to sting repeatedly, posing serious threats to adults and children alike."

Although the fear caused by stinging insects can be real, there are also real ways to prevent such stings.

The NPMA offers these specific tips:

  • Wear shoes, especially in grassy areas.
  • Stinging insects are attracted to sweets; do not leave drinks or food in accessible areas.
  • Do not attempt to remove a nest on your own or swing/swat at stinging insects; an aggressive reaction and repeated stinging may occur.
  • Keep windows and doors properly screened.
  • Promptly remove garbage and store it in sealed receptacles.
  • If stung and you have a reaction, seek immediate medical attention as reactions can be severe.