Whilst pouring half cup of petrol, which cost me almost a thousand pounds, into my car on Monday, I was stung by a wasp which was hiding on the petrol pump nozzle. If I get stung many times I get rather wheezy, but a single sting from a sleepy wasp simply caused me to embark on a protracted bout of loud and compound swearing. There are quite of lot of sleepy bees and wasps around at the moment, so keep your eyes peeled.
It is always a good idea to keep a bite and sting remedy to hand in the house and, if you have family members who react badly, keep a packet of antihistamines in the medicine cabinet just in case.
However, as I was at a service station in the middle of Corby (God help me – I swear I heard the distant twang of a banjo), I ran to the cafe and demanded vinegar. The helpful and sympathetic assistant poured vinegar onto a napkin and wrapped it round my finger. The relief was surprisingly quick.
If you can’t remember whether stings should be treated with acid or alkali, this works for me.
Bees = Bicarbonate
Vasps = Vinegar
REMEMBER: Some people are highly allergic to stings. If you see any of the following signs, see a doctor immediately:
* swollen face or hands
* nausea or vomiting
* shock or loss of consciousness
Wasp and Hornet Stings –Vinegar
Wasp and Hornet venoms are powerful alkalines. Use an acid such as vinegar to neutralize them. It can be applied via a piece of cloth or bandaging. Make sure to keep the sting(s) soaked for at least 30 minutes. Some vinegar will absorb thorough the skin, and it should greatly help eliminate the discomfort.
Bee Stings – Bicarbonate of Soda
In the case of bee stings, baking soda will help to neutralize their acidic venoms. Make a paste by mixing a tablespoon of bicarb with water. Leave this paste on the sting site(s) for at least 30 minutes. Some of the dissolved baking soda will leech through the skin to help to neutralize the venom.
ESSENTIAL OILS: – Lavender and Chamomile
Add two drops of lavender to a tablespoon of cool boiled water and clean the site using cotton wool.
Then put four drops of chamomile onto a piece of cold, damp cloth and apply as a compress to further reduce the inflammation.
In the event of an attack by giant killer bees, have a word with the Director and suggest he changes the plot to something fluffy. Killer bees are So Seventies.