Stinging Insects Perk Up As Summer Winds DownNPMA Staff
Thursday, August 8, 2013
National Pest Management Association Urges Caution When Dealing
With These Dangerous Pests
FAIRFAX, Va. – As summer slowly begins to wind down, stinging insects are
entering into their most active time of year as they forage for
food that will sustain them during the winter. The National Pest
Management Association (NPMA) reminds those spending time outdoors
that stinging insects, such as bees, wasps and hornets, remain a
threat even as the days get shorter.
While some stinging insects are beneficial in that they
pollinate plants and eat other harmful insects, they also send more
than half a million people to the emergency
room every year. For the majority of Americans, stings cause
localized swelling and pain. However, 3 percent of the population
experiences severe allergic reactions such as rashes, hives and
shortness of breath.
“When spending time outdoors in the late summer and even into
fall, it’s essential to avoid stinging insects,” said Missy
Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Stinging
insects can be a source of great anxiety for fear that they might
sting, however bees and yellowjackets rarely do so unless provoked.
People should do their best to keep calm and avoid panicking and
swatting and instead, gently blow on it from a distance so it does
not feel threatened.”
When stings do occur, doctors recommend taking quick action to
alleviate symptoms. “Remove the stinger immediately and then clean
the sting site with soap and cold water and apply ice,” said Dr.
Jorge Parada, medical advisor for the NPMA. “Consider taking a pain
reliever or antihistamine, or applying hydrocortisone ointment to
help calm the reaction. And, if you or a family member is allergic,
learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all
If you suspect an infestation or notice a hive or nest on your
property, do not attempt to move it on your own. Contact a pest
professional to safely remove the threat.
NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's
commitment to the protection of public health, food and