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Medical Hornet sting

  1. Jul 2, 2008 #1

    NoTime

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    I was out in the bushes this weekend.
    Monday I managed to get stung hard by a hornet.
    Much worse than the usual flyby stinging since I was managing to squash it at the time.

    Don't recall seeing these before.
    It had a yellow jacket color pattern, but skinny with a straight rather than curved abdomen, somewhat whiter yellow and about an inch long.

    I didn't think that much about it at the time other than the immediate pain.
    Now my hand is swollen halfway up my forearm.
    Yea, I have a call in to my Doc to see if he wants to see me.

    Anyway I've never had a reaction anything like this to previous stings.
    So my questions are
    Is there something different about this variant of hornet, assuming it can be identified from my description?
    How often do people develop a allergy to stings, so that future stings are a serious concern?
     
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  3. Jul 2, 2008 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Before assuming there is something different about the insect, have a look at what is different about the sting.

    You said you were squishing it at the time. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that you squoze the hornet's entire complement of poison into your arm.

    When you talk to your doctor, make sure you mention that.
     
  4. Jul 2, 2008 #3

    mgb_phys

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    According to wiki - looks like you were lucky

    "A Hornet's sting is painful to humans, .... Some deliver just a typical insect sting, while others are among the most venomous known insects"

    "Hornets,...can mobilize the entire nest to sting in defense: this is highly dangerous to humans. It is not advisable to kill a hornet anywhere near a nest, as the distress signal can trigger the entire nest to attack"
     
  5. Jul 2, 2008 #4

    Astronuc

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    Do you happen to have the insect that stung you.

    There are two species of wasps known as 'yellow jackets'. When I lived in Texas, 'Yellow Jacket' was a wasp which made paper nests in bushes. In NY, 'Yellow Jacket' is a wasp that lives in underground nests or rotted wood, but I've found paper nests, which may or may not be yellowjackets.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowjacket

    http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC2510.htm


    I've applied meat tenderizer near the site of a sting, and I take Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) if it is a severe sting. Also putting ice on the site where the venom is slows its spread.

    Most of the time, I leave the stings alone since I usually don't react too strongly.
     
  6. Jul 3, 2008 #5

    NoTime

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    That's kinda what I was thinking, that I just got a real heavy dose.

    Normally I don't get much of a reaction from stings.
    I went to the Doc because of the severity of the swelling and the fact that it was getting worse.
    Apparently I managed to squoze more than venom out of the thing.

    I now have a lovely lymphatic infection.
    Meds seem to be helping since the swelling has gone down a bit now.

    I'm supposed to go back to the Doc if it doesn't clear entirely over the course of the meds.
    Frankly, I'm going back for a second opinion, even if I do think it's done.
    Back when I was 20 or so I got a lymphatic infection.
    After a few rounds of pills, I ended up in a hospital bed for several weeks while they pumped red hot lava into my veins several times a day. :grumpy:

    In the meantime I'm not supposed to be using the hand for anything for a couple of days, including typing. :cry:
     
  7. Jul 3, 2008 #6

    NoTime

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    No, It managed to fly away.
    I couldn't even get revenge :grumpy:

    While it more closely resembled the ground dwelling version, I've never seen one that looked quite like this.

    Several years ago I saw some that looked just like the soda drinking paper nest building kind.
    Except they were as big as my little finger (about 3 inches or 8 cm long) :surprised
    I managed to kill one but never got around to chasing someone down who might know what they were.
    Fortunately, I managed to avoid the business end of those.
     
  8. Jul 3, 2008 #7

    DaveC426913

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    Man, as Bug Squasher, you are so fired.
     
  9. Jul 3, 2008 #8

    cicada killing wasps are pretty big..
     
  10. Jul 3, 2008 #9

    NoTime

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    I've seen some of those or at least it was killing a cicada at the time.
    Black, red brown and white stripes.
    Doused one at my house dead on with the foam hornet spray.
    It shook its wings and flew off. :rolleyes:

    Almost, but not quite as big these yellow jacket monsters I saw.
     
  11. Jul 3, 2008 #10

    Moonbear

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    Ouch! Hope the meds help and you recover quickly. At least you have verified it's not an allergic reaction. The chances of that increase with repeated stings. Of course, not all bee/wasp/hornet venom is exactly the same, nor is whatever might be found on their little stingers, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to have a more severe reaction to one particular species than another. But, sounds like you've found out it's an infection causing the trouble, not the venom itself.
     
  12. Jul 3, 2008 #11

    NoTime

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    Thanks.

    Infection does seem to be very much the case.
    Not something that immediately comes to mind with a sting.
    The meds have reduced the swelling considerably so far.
     
  13. Jul 3, 2008 #12

    Evo

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    I think we need to start a PF infirmary.

    Hope you get better soon, and without complications!
     
  14. Jul 3, 2008 #13

    NoTime

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    I might think you must be catching, but I would have to have known you since birth :biggrin:
    It never ceases to amaze me that I'm still alive :confused:

    Speedy recovery to you as well, and to all the other PF members on the infirm list.
     
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