Stinging Insects Can Take Bite Out of Summer Fun

READING, Pa., Aug. 25, 2014 – The summer season is a time filled with outdoor activities, like pool parties, picnics and amusement park visits. It’s also a time when stinging insects join the fun. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands of people are stung by insects each year and as many as 90-100 people in the United States die as result of allergic reactions.  The Rentokil family of pest control companies, (Ehrlich Pest Control, Western Exterminator, and Presto-X Pest Control), wants to educate the public on treatment procedures, and provide prevention tips to help avoid these pests, which become more prevalent, as we enjoy the end of summer.

“Yellow jackets (also known as wasps) and bees are the most common stinging insects. In addition to painful stings, these pests can also cause severe allergic reactions,” said Nancy Troyano, PhD, entomologist for Rentokil. It is important to be aware of proper treatment procedures, to recognize the symptoms of an allergic reaction and to understand prevention methods.”

A bee can only sting once, leaving its stinger lodged inside the skin along with a venomous sac that will continue to pump poison for over a minute. Wasps and hornets can sting multiple times, leaving a small puncture hole with each sting.

If stung by a bee:

  • Remove the stinger as quickly as possible (venom sac will continue to pump poison).
  • Because time is of the essence, brush or scrape the stinger away (rather than spending the time searching for a credit card or tweezers).

If stung by a bee and/or a wasp:

  • Wash the wound with soap and water.
  • You can reduce swelling by soaking in cold water or by covering the sting with a cold compress such as ice in a cloth, but never hold ice directly on the skin.

Additionally, if you notice chest pains, swelling around the throat that could constrict breathing, wheezing or headaches within the first 30 minutes of a sting, call an ambulance immediately.

“To minimize the risk of being stung by these insects, do not swat, wave your arms or panic around the insect. Wear light-colored clothing, cover food and beverage containers and avoid wearing perfume or scented shampoo, as some scents will attract these stinging insects. If you find there is a high number of wasps or bees in your home or garden, seek professional services. It is likely there is a nest nearby that should be eradicated,” said Troyano.

About Rentokil North America
Rentokil North America is part of Rentokil Initial plc, one of the world’s largest and most diverse business service companies, operating in more than 50 countries worldwide. Ehrlich Pest Control (, Western Exterminator (, and Presto-X Pest Control ( are all part of the Rentokil family of pest control companies in North America. They provide commercial and residential pest control, bioremediation, bird control, vegetation management, deer repellent services, wild-animal trapping and termite control from more than 200 local offices in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.