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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    • Karen Cowley

    I haven’t seen this remedy yet. I got stung a few years ago on my little finger. At first I put ice on it which relieved it until it melted and then the pain was back. My son remembered reading somewhere that toothpaste would help. So I put some on and the relief was immediate. No pain. I put it on my finger and added a bandaid. You have to use the regular toothpaste though, not the gel type. I carry a small tube of toothpaste in my purse now just for such emergencies.

    • raghav rana

    actually I am an Indian ,I dont know whether that was a wasp. It was big and of red colour like wasp ,it bit me on foot and I applied aloe vera . is it okay to apply olive oil as I don’t know whether it was a wasp.while i applied aloe vera,the pain was gone but afer sometime it started paining again.

    • james Raymond

    Bee stings,wasp,hornet,can kill. I know I have allergy for 68 years, NOW! Honey bees sting once,then loose their stinger, all other bees,wasps,hornets can sting multiple times, do your home work, especially with children,they do not realize their air way is closing up.suffocation, many people do not realize they can at anytime in life. Can become allergic,

      • Eva

      Oh wow, that is great too know, I really need to pay attn to my son who is only 3 and was just stung about 5 minutes ago!!! Thank you for the advice!!

    • mary Darlington

    I got stung by a wasp yesterday. Grabbed the Hot Sauce out of the refrigerator and rubbed it on. Within 10 seconds the pain was gone and never to return. I still have a very slight red spot on my arm today but no pain.

    • Amber

    My 2 yr old just got stung by a giant wasp. Yellow mustard stopped the sting immediately. Now applying tea bag and lastly baking soda n water paste covered with a bandaid. He hasn’t said a peep since the mustard.

    • Brandon Coker

    well about 10min before i got off i got in to a fight with a red wasp and yes i lost she got away she happen to get in computer tower cover when i happen to grab her close my plam all the way with out notice and bam middle finger felt like fire and stright pain i used un-aprin and vinger still swelled but very dull pain

    • Kat

    I got stung twice by a wasp on my eyelid four days ago and it swelled up from the brow down to my cheek. please help, I have been taking benadryl. and it is not working.

    • Jane Hooks

    I got stung on my face (up by my cheekbone). It has been swollen bad,very red, and had a fever in it, now six days later all the swelling around the sting has gone and the swelling has gone to my jawbone. It’s very red and still has a fever in it. What can I do?

    • Nae

    I was swimming in my pool and felt this hair pulling burning, it really felt like my hair was being ripped out my the root! I didn’t know what was going on, I never saw the wasp, but have seen them in pool trying to get out of the water. Guess I was the way out. I took a Benadryl because of swelling, but nothing for the pain or anything on the sting/stings. Now I know what to do! Thanks for this site. GRRRRR wasp.

    • sue a foley

    I was just stung by a wasp and my husband cut me an onion in half and I.kept rubbing it on the sting for about 10 minutes and the pain went away with a little swelling.

    • Cass

    My two year old got stung by on his finger which any other insect bite swells very badly so we where very worried we wet some tobacco and place it on the sting for 10a mins then washed it gave in medicine benadryl and tylenol and it worked great no swellin or pain now

    • Jenn

    I got stung on my forearm by a wasp today and put ice on it immediately. It helped with the swelling for a while but it is still hard around the bite, swollen and red. It also still hurts all over my arm. What else should I do??

    • Karen H

    My nephew got stung a few times on arm, shoulder, and face (just below the eye). This was yesterday and today his face/eye looks like he was punched repeatedly! So swollen, bruised, and red. Seems to be getting bigger with time not smaller. What should we do? Is this normal?

    • Eva

    My 3 year old was just stung on his wrist, not sure by what, but it was 1 dot and it instantly started swelling around the dot and turned bright red, I soaked 2 cotton pads with apple cider vinegar and prepared an ice bag put on top of the cotton pads, and it seems to be taking the swelling down and it’s only been 4 minutes, but his wrist is still bright red : (

    • kee

    My son was stung in the lip yesterday morning and it swelled up just like I figured it would. But throughout the day the swelling went down but when he got up this morning it was swelled again. Is this normal???? Please help.

    • lydia

    uhh I just got stung while cleaning patio. I took some Benadryl and rubbed baking soda on my forehead. hopefully this works.

    • Matt Wulfert

    I just got stung by a wasp behind me ear.. used the ice then the viniger soaked in a paper towell. Also took two Ibuprofen tablets… Seems like everything helped but the ear is still swelling. Last time I was stung on the finger and my finger and hand swelled extremely large… Went to the urgent care and wasted a lot of money. They didn’t do much of anything. The ice, viniger and Ibuprofen are a much better deal…

    • Josie

    I got stung by wasps and quickly took a cold shower to sooth the burning seensation of the 7 wasp stings. I also took clariton as a precaustion. The swelling disappeared after awhile and the pain was bearable considering that it had felt like hot coals had landed on my arms and shoulders where the wasps had stung me.

    • Holly

    I was stung multiple times on my head. I put a penny on the stings immediately, which helped a bit. Then i applied the baking powder paste, took ibuprofen, and applied ice packs. All of which helped for a short time, but I was still having a lot of pain 3 1/2 hours later. So I tried the lemon slice. I looked a fool, but it helped immensely!!! Thank you so much for this!!!

    • Elizabeth

    I was wasp-stung earlier, and I AM allergic. I did my epinephrine injection and waited for the ambulance (I’m in a rural area), but the pain was very bad. To distract myself I Googled your site while waiting, and saw your suggestion for apple cider vinegar. It worked beautifully. I’m still sore, and will be for a while, but the pain is far less and quite manageable. Many thanks for your help.

    • jodib

    Just an FYI for those reading these remedies, they work much better if you can do them immediately. My daughter was stung twice on the back, I applied a cold washcloth, swabbed it with vinegar, then covered it with a potato. The swelling, redness, and pain were gone within half an hour. My son on the other hand, he waited until the next day to tell me he was stung. His arm was red, swollen quite a bit, and hot to the touch. I repeated the procedure, and it cooled his arm down, but it is still red and swollen.

    • Alan

    what do you do if stung by a wasp in the finger and there is pain and swelling for 3 days now. what do we do?

    • Frank

    I got stung by a wasp a couple minutes ago & I sliced a jalapeño pepper and placed it on the bite. The pain went away quickly and it didn’t swell up at all. 🙂

    • pattio

    Got stung inside the lower lip by a jellow jacket. Two days later it is a hard bump with a white centre. Stings a little still. Feels like a fat lip or inside cold sore.

    • Melissa

    My husband was just stung by a wasp. The minute we applied a cotton ball with some apple cider vinegar, his pain disappeare . great remedy!

    • Patricia

    I was stung by a wasp over a month ago….it still aches in the area (upper thigh). There are no marks and pressure on it makes no difference. It hurts (aches) more each day. It’s like a deep ache…..why?

    • Johnny

    I got stung yesterday on hand about two or three times I tried ice but the swelling has not gone down it’s going down my arm what should I do

    • zana

    My mum in law got stung. She used ice and vinegar . Seems to work. Thx 4 the help

    • Britt

    My boyfriend got stung on the middle of his finger by the biggest bee I’ve ever seen and it left the stinger in his hand. (It was a big stinger) he pulled the stinger out but it is swollen at the nuckels and is itchy. Any advice??

      • Dagen Mandac

      He was stung by a large bumble bee try tooth paste,apple cider,a small amount of deodorant,HONEY and reapply as it relives,ice pack or ice ,or mustard.

    • anmol

    I was stung yesterday. I didnt do any remedy. Just rubbed bangle over it. Now i have pain. And the skin around the mark is red. What should i do now?

    • anmol

    Do the above remedies work after 24hrs of being stung

    • Kayla

    Copper pennies, 1940’s-1950’s, took the initial horrible pain away from the multiple wasp stings on my finger. Vinegar helped a little, lemon worked better, and just now tried mustard for the bit of residual pain and it really is working. I guess I’ll put a gauze bandage on it. I have some super cortisone cream I will try later. Thanks for the site!!

    • Shafin

    My brother was biten by an orange coloured wasp/bee (idk). He was bitten on the lips (upper). What to do?

    • Scott

    Mint toothpaste always does the trick

    • Matt

    When I was a kid, I played with bees, bumble bees, wasps and hornets. Now and then they would sting me but it never seemed to bother me much and I just figured I was immune to their stings. My siblings and other neighborhood kids thought it was pretty cool and would often ask me to catch a few.
    When I was 32 years old, I hit a ground hornet nest with a weed-wacker without realizing it. I got stung once, twice, swatted a bit, then started getting stung over and over. I ran from the nest but they were all over me. I tore my shirt off and it literally kept flying along the ground with all the hornets on it. I was stung about 30-50 times on my back, neck, arms, and legs. I did nothing for them and don’t remember anything more than what you would expect from mosquito bites.
    Now I’m 43. Two days ago I was stung on the inside of my finger by a wasp that hurt 100x more than any sting I’ve ever had. My hand immediately started to have a reaction. My wife put some essential oils on it (lavender, lemon grass, citronella, melaleuca, and rosemary). Within one hour, you could see where the venom had traveled up my hand into my arm by the red streaks and my hand swelled and itched like crazy. I tried vinegar, ice, ibuprofen, astringents…..none of it worked and two days later it’s still painful and swollen. (My wife said maybe I was becoming normal…..but my kids say they don’t think so; still strange.).
    Yesterday, I was attacked again and got stung in my other hand, wrist, and arm, as well as on the original hand two more times but closer to my wrist. Everyone around (at the horse stables) suggested Benadryl, ice, etc. I said no, I wanted to see what would happen if I just left them alone and didn’t touch them.
    Today I am happy to report that everything is normal and not a bit of swelling or pain or itching except for the first sting that I screwed around with.
    I think it’s a little bit like stinging nettle. If you just don’t touch it, and don’t freak out, your body takes care of it pretty well. I wonder how much of the serious reactions people get are psychosomatic….perhaps fear causes as much harm as the sting.
    Anyway, my cure is- just grin and bear it for a few hours, don’t touch it or scratch it no matter how tempting, but if you really need to do something, apply some cold clay-mud (if you live in an area where the soil has clay) and let it dry out. Then rinse it off and the venom should be in the clay. Baking soda paste would be my next suggestion, but DON’T rub or scratch the area.
    Note: none of the above helps with grizzly bears. To avoid being bitten by a bear, always have a friend with that runs slower than you; preferably an annoying old college friend that you’ve been trying to ditch for the past few decades.

    • elisabeth

    I have a different reaction depending on the culprit. Last time I got stung by a yellow jacket and had heart palpatations. This time stung by a wasp, swelling almost immediate, pain high do due to allergy. Tried tobacco with little relief. Applied baking soda paste and site felt relief but swelling continued to twice the size of my other hand. Applied ice, took Benadryl(anticipating allergic reaction) and 800mg of ibuprofen almost immediately. Still hurt and swollen but no respiratory difficulty or heart palpatations. Keep in mind everyone is different, but I think anticipating an allergic reaction saved a trip to the ER.

    • Tim

    A wasp found its way into my shirts and stung me six times. I can’t bend my elbow because of the immense swelling . it burns and itches when touched by anything. It’s been about a day. What should I do.

    • jess

    So i got stung by a red wasp 3 times 3 days ago. It was huge swollen inxluding my ankle and calf oh and bottom of my foot. Now not so bad swelling is gone. But my calf hurts soooooo much. Even to walk, is that normal

    • Anna

    Got stung by a hornet a week ago. Worst pain ever!!! I haven’t felt the same since. Been getting very tired very fast since. My arm is still swollen and my muscles hurt almost to the point of not wanting to move my arm. Is this normal to feel bad a week after with no sign of relief????

    • sherri

    I have never been stung by a wasp until today! Immediately my finger was throbbing. I sprayed dermoplast on it. Didn’t touch the pain. I immediately googled home treatment and found these tips. I tried the vinegar, it worked like a charm, thanks for sharing.

    • Pinks

    I got stung by wasp on my cheek a month back.. I rubbed it with iron to reduce it’s effect (since people say it does) and took medication..
    The itching and swelling has gone completely but I am left with a mark on my cheek 🙁
    Can anyone please advise what I should do to remove that mark ? Any home remedies or ointment ??

    • Ben

    I got stung by a wasp yesterday and it hurts and itches tried lemon juice on cotton peice but it didnt work any other suggestions

    • Carol

    I got a wasp sting on my finger and immediately used Meleuca Oil. It took the pain level down to manageable. The next day my finger was swelled up and HOT and hurt like the dickens. I found that using Ocean Potion Aloe Vera burn gel with Lidocaine and Melaleuca Oil did the trick (after trying a bunch of things that didn’t work).

    • cheryl

    I got stung by a ground hornet I got shooting pains redness and swelling on my knee now started being itchy. Can it make my calf swell up to or make you loose your balance sometimes my pain has subsided glad about that part of this ordeal.

    • Tami

    Got stung on shin in July, this past week, stung two times on hand.. hands like a football as well, two days later stung twice on my foot. By the time I got stung on the foot which was two days after the hand I had the remedies down to a tee.
    I’dmm wash with soap and water.. ice directly after.. take the Benadryl and pain reliever.
    For first hour… so the hand and shin had swelling but by the time the foot stings came around I had no swelling cause I was on the treatment ASAP.
    One thing that works well two that gave idmm relief to me?? Baking soda paste. Instant relief in the pin and itch. And believe it or not… had itches in the middle of the night… toothpaste.. nice little coating of toothpaste and the itch went away. I was bitten by paper wasp. Just be prepared to have lingering effects up to a week. The swelling will go down and everything but I was for sure running a slight fever and the venom from these things pack a punch. The sting on my hand went into my whole arm and even into my armpit! It was even sore… it’s amazes me that something so little can do that much damage so I can see someone with allergic reactions dying… my hand is just getting back to normal and my foot is now itching and while I type I have the baking soda paste on it with a bandage.

    Found both nests and at night went and spread those things and they drop instantly. Must be some serious stuff…

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