Summer “Bites” – Part 3

Bees, Wasps, and Ants Oh MY!

Now that the lake “season” is in full swing and everyone is setting up camp, you and your pets are guaranteed to encounter some pesky insects. Bees, wasps, and ants all carry venom of various kinds that can range from uncomfortable to fatal when injected into people or your pets.

Your typical honey and bumble bees are noted for their low level of aggression (aggression is triggered by carbon dioxide when you breathe out and they target dark colors) and general ease to be around. Bees will sting if provoked, but they leave their stinger in their target and cannot sting again. The venom on the stinger diffuses into the target within about twenty seconds and can result in anything from a simple, itchy red spot, to liver and kidney damage, to a fully anaphylactic reaction that can lead to death.

Wasps are classically more aggressive and are triggered more easily to be aggressive. Wasps do not leave their stingers in their targets, but instead, inject their venom with multiple stings. Their venom is similar to bees.

Ants are sometimes the most invasive and most forgotten of the pesky pests we deal with. Ants actually bite and then sting their targets when provoked and can inject venom up to twenty times in one bite. Ant bites usually result in a red spot within three minutes and full blister like pocket within twenty-four hours. On rare occasions, people and animals can have severe reactions to ant bites that can be fatal.

Overall, bee, wasp and ant bites are typically just slightly painful, itchy and irritating, but some people and animals have more severe dangerous reactions. If your pet is stung or bit try to calm them down, keep them quiet and seek veterinary advice, particularly if your pet was stung or a bit on the face or neck.

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