Insect Stings and Bites

Outdoor workers are at risk of being stung by flying insects (bees, wasps, and hornets) and bitten by non-venemous and venomous spiders. While most stings cause only mild discomfort, some may result in severe allergic reactions that require immediate medical care and may cause death.

If an employee is stung by a stinging insect:

  • Remove the stinger using gauze wiped over the area or by scraping a fingernail over the area. 
  • Never squeeze the stinger or use tweezers.
  • Wash the site with soap and water.
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling.
  • Seek medical attention and report work-related injuries to Employee Health at University Health Services.

Sting and bite prevention:

  • Avoid colognes, perfumes, perfumed soaps, and strongly-scented shampoos and deodorants. 
  • Wear clothing to cover as much of the body as possible.
  • Remain calm and still if a single stinging insect is flying around. (Swatting may cause it to sting.
  • If attacked by several stinging insects, run to get away.
  • Workers with a history of severe allergic reactions to insect bites or stings should carry an epinephrine autoinjector and wear medical ID jewelry stating their allergy.