Wasp Attack Victim? 20+ Remedies To Alleviate Discomfort

There’s no getting around it, wasp stings hurt! If you’re reading this article, I know you’re anxious to get right to the goods and find some pain relief quickly. I’m confident there’s a solution here.

Before Getting Started:

Check to see if the stinger remained in the skin. It’s uncommon for an angry wasp to leave one behind because it’s capable of stabbing again and again…but check to make sure. You can remove it by gently scraping it out with a plastic credit card.

This is job #1 before doing anything else since it helps protect from infection and prevents more venom releasing.

Wash with soap and water then move on to one of the treatments below.

Kitchen Soothers

Ice: Place a cold pack or ice cube on it and administer pressure for about 20 minutes, this will help reduce pain and swelling that will occur. Take care to protect the skin by first covering ice with a thin washcloth or paper towel.

Pastes: Two different kinds you can make, mix water with either baking soda or table salt. Apply directly to wound and allow to dry. The consistency should be on the thicker side, you don’t want it to run off.

Acid Compress: Soak a small cotton pad with one of three things 1) Apple Cider Vinegar; 2) Vinegar; 3) Lemon Juice. Cover wound and hold with some gentle pressure. The acid content neutralizes the venom. A slice of lemon will also do the trick and provides enough acid as well.

Garlic: Smash a clove of garlic, smother over bite then cover with a bandaid.

Fresh Food Slices: Cut a piece of onion or raw potato or cucumber then apply the fleshy/juicy side directly to wound and hold there until no more discomfort.

Olive Oil: Gently rub into sore spot for relief and to help with healing.

Poultice: Crush 1 clove garlic then mix in 1/2 tsp salt. Smear over wound and wrap with a bandage.

Garden Comforts

Marigolds: Rub the flower head of a marigold over sore (must be a freshly picked marigold and not dried).

Basil: Roughly crush a fresh leaf or two to release the herb’s natural oils and press directly onto bite, hold in place.

Winter Savory: Crush the leaves roughly to release the herb’s oils then administer.

Aloe Vera: Split open a leaf and slather the aloe gel directly to the wound (from How To Heal With Aloe Vera Plants).

Plantain: Chop roughly and mix with a bit of warm water or chew a leaf or two to macerate it.

More Remedies

  • Both topical and oral antihistamines (such as Benadryl or Claritin) can be effective in reducing swelling and itching.
  • Calamine lotion can be administered to help calm things and relieve itching.
  • A paste made with Epsom salts and water can provide relief.
  • Old Timers Cure: Chew tobacco a bit to wet it first then wrap with a strip of cloth to hold in place.
  • Old Timers: Mix dirt with water or saliva to make a mud then apply to wound, is quite soothing.
  • Old Wives Tale: Press a penny on top and hold in place for 10 to 15 minutes until there is no more discomfort.

Tip: Keep the skin clean with soap and water to prevent an infection (wash regularly for several days). You can also sterilize with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.


A normal reaction is to experience pain, burning, itchiness and redness. Soreness will last for a few hours then should disappear. If hands or fingers are getting swollen, remove rings immediately. Protect from bumps and avoid rubbing.

Although wasp stings can really hurt and some puffiness will develop, this is a common reaction. However, some people do have a serious allergy to the venom and in these cases, death can occur.

If the following occurs, seek medical attention:

  • If it stung inside nose or mouth (the swelling will affect breathing).
  • If you were stung several times by many wasps.
  • Wheezing or if breathing becomes difficult or seems to have been affected.
  • It becomes hard to swallow.
  • Tongue begins to grow in size.
  • Dizziness.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Nausea.
  • Speech is slurred or find it difficult to talk.
  • Hives or a rash appears (especially if it’s away from the bite).
  • If it swells alarmingly large.

As with unwanted attention from bees, if the reaction seems severe (especially if breathing is affected), don’t hesitate to call medical emergency services as the victim may be experiencing an allergic reaction that can trigger anaphylactic shock.

Did You Know: Do they bite or do they sting? They sting, but female yellow jackets are especially aggressive and will sometimes bite victims too.

Please Note: These treatments are from my collection of remedies, none of them are intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. This information is provided for general knowledge purposes only.

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    • Hali

    My grandmother got stung by a WASP THEM STUPID THINGS!!!Now we have done every thing we used the tobacco but DIDNT CHEW IT OR WHAT EVER YOU DO WITH IT?…..now shes useing these tips to help her,she also got out the stinger we took some twezers “SORRY IF I SPELT THAT WRONG”!!!She went to the porch and HOPEFILY FIXED IT SO THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!!!

      • Paige

      Wasps don’t break their stingers off in people. Bees do that.

        • Liz

        Actually, in rare cases it can happen (it happened to myself and I ended up in hospital).

          • Kailey

          Yesterday I was walking out of my door and then i felt a painful sensation on my leg and then I knew it was wasps. Then i felt another burning sensation on my arm. I ran inside and took a Benadryl And took a pain reliever it was hurting for a few hours then stopped. Thats when i realized that my leg and arm where swollen very badly. I put ice on them 3 times each and today i woke up and my arm and hand are warm still swollen and sore. My leg is hot but not that swollen. What should i do??

          • AMP

          Liz so did I!!

      • Julie

      I got stung on my eye lid monday now it’s Wednesday my whole face is swollen I have put ice on it constantly and have put frankensense on it and tea tree I feel like nothing is working I could really use some help I would like the swelling to go down fast I have very sensitive skin and have to be careful because it is on my face thank you

    • carolyn

    I just got stung again, My hand is the size of a foot ball and I am having trouble typoing. I normally put anti stink medicine. Take Ibprophen, and benydryl and then call the doctor for a steroid pack or kit. Be aware all this makes you tired and you had will still hurt for about a week

      • Vera

      I got stung three times on my right hand three days ago. My hand is swollen past my wrist. No pain just itching. Used ice, ibuprofen and Benadryl . Can’t bend hand. How long will this last or what do I need to do? V

    • Karl Rove

    Tried the lemon & Ice treatment 1 hr later I’m back to normal. Not sure what would have happened had I not done it. But, for now this seems to have worked great! Thanks for posting the remedy. Saved me a $70 Copay @ Kaiser!

      • John Krueger

      I now can point to something that Karl Rove and I have in common.

    • ann

    My Friend Billy just got stung in the back of his neck by a wasp, We tried the onions slices and it cool off less than 10 minutes, Thanks for posting the remedy. It’s really do help out alots.

    @ Ann!!!

    • Shirley Clem

    I use to work at a golf course for 16 yrs. and used Meat tenderizer , not the seasoning kind just the white kind . Made a paste with it and put it on the spot that was stung, believe me it works, even are members there, which were Doctors, and Lawyers were very convinced.


    Shirley Clem

      • Karin

      Shirley, I second the meat tenderizer! It works well, it works fast!

        • Janny Persum

        I just got a nasty sting & have always used the tenderizer treatment. Hope it works again! Already feels better.

    • Anita

    Used vinegar on mysting this morning. First tried tobacco but really didn’t feel relief. The ice and vinegar are helping. Thanks for your infi

      • Reena

      I tried vinegar this afternoon after I was stung and as long as I had a cool vinegar soaked cloth on the sting, it felt pretty good but the effect didn’t last. Soda mixed with a little water to make a thick paste then covered with a bandaid helped as long as the bandaid was on. This evening it’s still hurting so I think I’ll try some more soda and water, maybe a little vodka :<)).

    • esmie

    My 2 yr old got stung by a wasp a few minutes ago and tried the lemon and ice he is still crying and not sure if its working.

    • amy

    OMG… i just got stung on my forhead after reading everything i can i tired lemon and ice then a hot towel and its doing just great for me i hardly feel the pain thanks people

      • Marsha

      lmao))) love your response amy I needed a good laugh 😉

    • Rex

    I got stung on my nose about two days ago and my whole leftside of my face is really swollen what can I
    Do to reduce the swelling fast?

      • David

      what can I
      Do to reduce the swelling fast?

        • Amelia

        Ice reduces swelling fast! 🙂

    • joann

    just to let you all know growing up we always used mustard right out of the container in the frig and it takes the sting out almost immediately…hope this helps everyone…good luck

    • detheny

    My husband got stung by a warsp in his hand, his hand started to swell and hurting so i tried your rrmedy with the butter knife and removed the stinger then applied vinger on th spot and the sweling and pain went, Thanks for yourhome remedys.

    • Sparky

    I got stung in the hand 2 days ago and it has been swelling ever since. The swelling seems to be contained only to that hand but it is still very itchy and red and quite swollen still. I have tried ice, benedryl, Advil, Onion, Apple cide vinegar and cortysol. Nothing seems to be working. Any other suggestions?

      • Chris Ferguson, MHE

      Keep cooling it down. Lavender essential oil will take away the swelling in the tissues but may leave blisters – water that has accumulated under the skin. This will not leave scarring but will take a few weeks to go away. You also have to keep the hand raised – sounds like gravity is keeping the fluid in the tissues. Massaging the tissue using soothing strokes all the way up the entire length of the arm will help the hand drain.

    • Brenda

    I got stung while I was mowing the lawn. I must have ran over a nest I am using apple cider vinegar, and it is really helping.

    • steven

    i got stung 4 times today all at the same time. once one the back of my right thigh and then three times on my lefy calve, im in so much pain and my thigh is hug and may calve burns so bad and its been almost 5 hours. i need some advice

    • Chris

    Just tried the lemon slice on 6 wasp stings 7 days after being stung because swelling was not going down and to my amazement this really does work! The itching has all but stopped and the swelling and redness is much less now. I wonder if I have to repeat this process or is it a one time thing?

    Thanks for the advice.

    • Suzz

    Got stung yesterday while camping. Didn’t have any baking soda. Woods were dry couldn’t make mud without pine needles in it. Didn’t have any vinager. Did have potato. Remembered my grandma using it on a sliver when I was little. Grated some and put it in guaze and tape on the bite. Now it is just itchy. Swelling stopped almost instantly. Potato looked all gross when I took it off. Now the bite site is just a bit itchy.

    • tonie

    I just got stung again the first time was a couple of days ago, I tried baking soda and made a paste..it work pretty good. Today I made a paste from baking soda and vinegar…and I think it worked better. It even helped the swelling.

      • MICKEY

      Me too on my bum= so sore but the vinagar and soda helped

      Thanks for your help

    • Rusty

    My wife was stung by a wasp. I poured household ammonia over the sting site. Imediate relief, and not swelling. If the sting or spider bite, etc. is acid in nature, then a mild base liquid such as household ammonia will neutralize it. I paint pictures outside and always carry a snall bottle of household ammonia.

    • bill keith

    Been stung many times by both bee’s and wasp’s Years ago an old woman put bleach on my sting and pain was gone at once. Never fails. Rub bleach in for a minute then rinse.

    • Rakhee

    Thanks a million. I was cleaning out weeds and was very painfully stung on my eyebrow and thumb. luckily I got mum in and closed the door so she wasnt. I immediately googled this page and put soda. it helped a lot esp on my brow

    • D Williams

    I heard that you can spray gasoline on the wasp nest to destroy it,is that true or false?

      • Shawn T

      I suggest a can of hornet spray** because you can stand twenty
      feet away.
      Yes, gasoline* ~, kerosine*, spray-paint**, even olive oil*
      will kill them.
      Stuff you pour is pretty much only usable for nests in the
      ground, and IMO the problem with olive oil would be getting
      them to stand still long enough for you to apply a smothering
      coat to them.
      It occurs to me that I haven’t heard of using cooking spray
      on them. It should work.
      *-Haven’t tried it, I’ve heard it works.
      ~-Of course you know that gasoline goes up in flames very
      easily. ;p
      **-used it, it works–Pretty much an instant take down
      with the spray paint: It coats their wings, fills their
      “lungs,” and I expect the fumes make them too dizzy to fly.

        • spychic

        or you can humanely rid most wasps, bees, and yellow jackets with smoke. exterminators will do this for a fee, or you can just get some charcoal embers near the site and allow to smoke out all residents. if allowed to smoke for long enough,
        they will not return either.

          • treeslugger

          Get rid of them humanely…?

        • Terri

        I’ve done this but at night when they aren’t active. Covered the hole with a large rock. Worked. Cleared out the nest.

        I’ve started using eucalyptus soil mixed in a carrier oil such as olive. Use it as a spray to treat and prevent bug bites and stings. Works very well so far.

      • Candace Guarino

      Yes, D.Williams this is true.It burns them away.

      • Laura

      However you choose to deal with an active nest don’t at NIGHT and spare yourself being swarmed by the active and alert inhabitants that you would encounter during daylight hours. Instead it is much easier to deal with the sleeping hive without as much risk.

    • Winlea

    I got stung yesterday evening. I found this posted on Pinterest, so I tried the ice pack 1st. It hurt after taking off, but when I would put it back on it felt good no pain. But pain would come back again, did this 3 times. So I moved on to the vinager, that helped momentarily. But pain came back after 5 min. Or less. So then I made the baking soda paste , that seemed to work a little better. Applied it 3 different times before going to bed & took 1 ibuprofen. Woke up with no pain or swelling. Thank you for this list! I was desperate last night for relief 🙂

    • Shawn T

    “(the acid content neutralizes the venom).”
    That was useful.
    Thank you

    I soaked a paper towel with vinegar and after a
    bit of reading I added some citric acid powder to
    the paper towel, and rubbed it into the sting.
    I thank you again.

    A bad thing to wish on somebody: May hornets build
    a nest in your mailbox.

    • cody

    thanks a lot of help i tryed the mrigold and worked a little so i trying olive oil and help instantly!!!!

    • connie says

    My husband was stung by a wasp. I had heard a penny, if placed on the sting, would help. I told him. He did it, and it did help.

    • Rina chapados


      • Kathy

      If there is green, it is most likely infection!

    • Kristi

    I was stung on my finger on Saturday, I could not see or feel a stinger but my finger is still swolen, strangly it is swollen at the bottom of my finger and I got stung at the top. Is this normal? How long will this last? It really iches and I had put ice and a antiseptic stick immedialy after but it’s now been three days.

      • Lisa

      I was stung on the roof of my mouth. The lemon helped. Thanks

      • Michelle

      I got stung three days ago and finality i can bend my fingers. But boy does this itch! I was stung near my wrist and my entire hand is swollen even the fingers. I can see the outline of the venom. This was one ticked off wasp.

    • Vicky

    I’ve not been stung yet this year but the wasps are plentiful around our porch this year so I’m thankful for the post and will keep the “cures” in mind, just in case. Thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas.

    • Susan

    My mom was stung between her toes by a wasp tonight. She’s tried alcohol and ice. I just told her to put an apple cider vinegar compress to it, but she says it’s more like nerve pain, so I’m not sure if this is going to work. Anyone have any experience with that?

      • Bobby

      I tried alcohol too but no luck. Coors light must not be strong enough. Switching to tequila so the ice can be used.

      • melissa

      Yes, this is exactly what happened to me. I stepped on a wasp in my bathroom through the night. What a rude awakening being stung between the toes when I was half asleep at 4 am. Now its almost 12 hours later and still no relief. I’ve tried the remedy’s and nothing is helping! I feel like its definitely nerve pain. My entire foot hurts with shooting stabbing pains that go right up my leg. Don’t know what’s going on. I’ve been stung several times in the past. Even once by a swarm and never had it hurt any where near this bad. I’m thinking it must be the location, if there is a nerve between the toes. Really hoping it starts to feel better soon 🙁

        • Curtis

        The site is likely part of the reason; very tender. Each subsequent sting over time gets worse, as the body can’t metabolize the venom, and it is a cumulative effect. Maybe consider having an epi pen if you were to get stung multiple times, can swell airways. I just got 2 wasp zaps to the bridge of the nose. Gonna try everything listed here, just gotta try to keep it out of my eyes. Thanks all!

    • Janet

    One of my children has bad reactions to wasp and bee stings. The area swells up and gets very red very quickly. We were told by a friend to try coating the area with Vick’s vapor rub (or the generic equivalent of) and it works like a charm every time. Takes the sting and swelling down quickly. Of course, don’t get it in your eyes or in your mouth.

    • B.J. Moore

    Many of these suggestions are great, but the only one proven – household ammonia. Put it on the sting with a cotton-ball or drizzle it on top… repeating as the wound gets hot/painful again. It will keep getting hot until the toxin is finished releasing. It is usually a good idea to take a “Tylenol” type product/pain reliever every four hours as needed.
    A wasp or hornet (same family) does not leave a stinger and can sting repeatedly, and usually do. Vicious wee buggers.
    A bees’ stinger will come off and must be removed to stop the toxin release. To remove – use a knife blade, (edge of a credit card etc.) and wipe upward to pull it out; pressing against it, will push it into the wound further.

    Common sense tells us if nothing works to relieve your pain…go to a walk-in clinic, Physician or hospital. Don’t waste time looking on-line if your in a crisis!

    • Summer

    Tried the baking soda and it worked!!!

    • Erin

    I have been stung 18 times by wasps in the past 3 days. The big hot red patches are spreading and in one spot the veins are standing out. I didn’t do any of the remedies, because I thought they were just for pain, but do some actually draw out the toxins?

    • rusty shackelford

    i got me some bee sting on my neck mane i tell you what that thang huuuurt like i dont know what. put me some of that frozen water on that dang ole thang sure nuff, she was better. bye

    • Janine

    This works brilliantly … as soon as you can, take Benadryl, then liberally rub where you got stung with DEODORANT … must be the WHITE kind. Takes the pain away almost immediately. Reapply if necessary. Also works is the zinc ointment used on babies for diaper rash. It is the zinc in both these remedies that takes the “sting” out of the “sting”!

    • michelle


    • Margo

    Bee stings and wasp stings are made of different ‘ingredients’. To neutralize them, Remember
    “B” for bee stings= Baking soda (bee stings are acidic and need a base to neutralize it
    “V” (half of a W) for wasp stings- Vinegar (wasp stings are base and need acidic to neutralize

      • Jay

      Interesting Margo, Thanks

      • HELENA

      thanks for that great way to remember what to put on what sting 🙂

    • Cristiana

    I use a mixture of 1 leave from 7 different plantas, it doesn’t matter which plants, just smash them and apply rubbing them were you have been stung,every thing stops just like a miracle, it’s just grate.
    I hope it works for every body.

    • Sherry

    When I was a kid, I stepped in a ground hornets nest, and was stung 21 times, Doctor told my mom if she hadn’t of put raw onion on my stings, I may have died from this amount of venom. I was also told I may have an allergic reaction if I get stung again lol…. I would have thought they would think I was family and move on! It has been over 30 years now and today was that day to be stung grrr…. so here I sit after drawing the stinger out with a half of a raw onion, awaiting to see if I am allergic. To try to calm the pain (since everytime I remove the onion it hurts again) I am trying the baking soda and vinegar paste and it seems to be helping, still a little pain but manageable.
    Just a note though, please go see a doctor if you have been stung numerous times. Thanks for this posting :0)

    • mary

    Was out on my patio sweeping and moved a chair and there was a wasp nest where I touched the chair they attacked and went for my face. Got at least eight bites. One above lip fingers wrist back and leg,,the pain was so bad I screamed. Took two tylenol and a cool shower.swelling is down but still feel some pain.can’t see the bites anymore but feel the pain.

    • Rhonda

    I was stung yesterday by a wasp/or yellowjacket. Not sure which one. I went back today to destroy the grey round nest and WHAM.. One got me on the let. I was stung on the back of my right shoulder yesterday and today my leg. The pain is bad but it is not that bad. I put vinegar on the sting on my leg today and It is not hurting. My leg is kinda stiff (calf area) and I am wanting to go to sleep. Is this normal. Again, not much pain, but I am worried because this makes the second sting…in two days. Any comments welcome , please and thank you.

    • Morgan Jones

    The wasp or Bee sting has a protein base to it. I use anything that breaks down the protein base. Adolph’s meat tenderizer is one of the best, Why? It has papaya powder in it. Papaya naturally breaks down the protein in meats, it will do it on a wasp sting.

    • Andrew

    Got stung on palm of hand by red wasp. Put butter on it right away and pain went away as in the snap of the fingers. So, yes butter does work!

    • tommy

    About three weeks ago I was stung by a red wasp in the back of my neck. I was running a tractor and backed into a branch on a tree that had red wasps.
    The sting was bad and hurt for several days. But almost three weeks later there is still a bump in the place where I was stng. Do red wasps ever leave the stinger in the victims body.

      • Michele

      I have the same deal — I was stung by a yellow jacket though, two and a half weeks ago and the bump is still there. I’m wondering the same thing, is the stinger in there still or what? I basically did nothing right after I got stung, didn’t do any scraping of the stinger at the site or anything like that mostly because I didn’t see any stinger in there and I figured that was B.S. anyways (but I get in that mode of thinking–it’s all BS–when I’m in extreme pain) So…how long before I seek medical treatment for this, that’s the question or do I just keep trying to ignore it?

    • Fahd

    I got stung during a hunting trip it felt very painful in start bt went better! No swelling occured! But i feel pain when i touch it! It stung me so bad tht a drop of blood came out

    • Kim

    I use a penny to take the pain away for a bee sting. It does work, at least for me. I have an apple tree and every year….sting!

    • Beth

    Daughter stepped on something while we were hiking in woods some sort of wasp with yellow bands. Got her thumb joint started screaming grabbed her and my son ran down the mountain she was still being stung got them off her and into house finally and made a paste of white and apple cider vinegar and baking soda. my son had one in his pants and yep got stung on the bum while coating the stings of my daughter. Gave them both benedryl and then put ice on top of paste they didn’t like that. After about 40 minutes tears ended. I put lemon slices on them it burned at first but then felt better. Sons is all but gone because I got him so fast. Daughter has redness and mild swelling now and itching thumb is the worst but thankfully no breathing difficulties. She’s resting, tried to find my bleach but my dear hubby must have used and Lord knows where it is%\ ! Hope he’s enjoying himself on the golf course!

    • princess

    Will someone here go wasp hunting, get some stings on the body and try all of these remedies. I’d like to know if they all work…. Lol

    • Mary

    Walking my dog at noon, I was stung twice; on the lip and on the lip, inside my mouth. The stings were extremely painful, and swelled immediately. I applied ice, since I was at a Christmas Chorus at the park and there was ice available. By the time I walked home, about 5 minutes, juggling the ice, I had a VERY FAT LIP! I took two Benedryl and kept applying the ice on and off , all afternoon. A few minutes ago (it’s now 5 o’clock somewhere), I remembered reading about using vinegar and lemon juice on body bites! I poured a glass of wine with ice, took a sip and sucked my lip into my mouth! It was the best pain relief so far! You might want to give that a try for wasp stings! It tastes lots better than vinegar, and it’s cold and somewhat acidic!

    • wesley

    I was stung on the inside of my lip while drinking a soda, any ideas?

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