Insect Stings And Bites

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Bees

Bees are yellow and black striped insects that make honey. There are many types of bee but 2 of the best known types are bumble bees and honey bees. Bumble bees have large furry bodies and many do not have stings at all. Honey bees are slimmer and smaller and fly more quickly. Both honey bees and bumble bees spend most of their time collecting pollen from flowers and as they die after they sting, they will only attack if they feel threatened.

If a bee is bothering you don't wave your arms or run around, stand still and once it realises you aren’t a flower it should buzz off!

Wasps

Wasps are also black and yellow stripy bodies but they are smoother and slimmer than bees. They love sweet things such as jam, fizzy drinks and ice lollies and are often found buzzing around the food at BBQs or picnics. Wasps can be bad tempered and unlike honey bees they can sting more than once so are more likely to attack.

Wasps build nests in old tree stumps and old buildings out of a thin grey papery material. Bees tend to build their nests in the tops of trees or in man-made hives where Bee-keepers can collect the honey. You should never ever approach a wasp or bees or poke it with a stick as the insects will swarm and attack you.

Many kids are stung by accidently treading on a wasp or bee in the garden. This is why you should always wear shoes when playing outside.

What To Do If You Get Stung

If you get stung by a wasp or bee you may feel a sharp pain, and a red bump surrounded by white skin will develop around the site of the sting. It will probably feel hot and itchy.

Although a sting is not dangerous to most people, you must always tell an adult immediately if you are stung. This is because if you are allergic to bee or wasp stings you will need urgent treatment from a Doctor. There are many symptoms of an allergic reaction. You might feel sick or dizzy. Your throat might feel tight and you'll have difficulty breathing or you could develop hives which are raised, itchy lumps on your skin. Luckily allergic reactions are quite rare.

Mosquitos

Mosquitos are tiny biting insects that like to drink blood and if that's not bad enough, their saliva makes their bites extremely itchy.

If you get bitten by a mosquito you'll find a small, hard red lump on your skin. You should try not to scratch it as you may make it bleed and get infected. Wash the bite with soap and water and ask an adult for some soothing cream to help calm the itchiness.

The best way to avoid being bitten by mosquitos is to cover up your arms and legs if outside on summer evenings, especially if you are near water such as a pond where mosquitos like to lay their eggs. You can also ask an adult to help you apply an insect repellent so you won't smell as tasty to hungry mosquitos!


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