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Wait, Can a Wasp Sting More Than Once?

A wasp sits on top of a glass bottle.
Maren Winter/Shutterstock.com

Nobody really wants to talk about wasps, but it’s an important topic to cover, especially during the warmer months when these warriors are out and about.

We’ve all heard stories of painful encounters with these buzzing insects, and many have experienced their sting firsthand. But can a wasp sting more than once? Unfortunately, horrifically… yes, they can.

Unlike bees, which have barbed stingers that get lodged in the skin after a single sting, wasps have smooth stingers. This means that a wasp can sting multiple times without losing its stinger. When threatened or provoked, a wasp will use its stinger to defend itself, potentially delivering multiple stings.

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If you find yourself on the receiving end of a wasp sting—first off, I’m sincerely sorry. That’s likely to be a painful, itchy bump. However, as long as you’re not allergic, most wasp stings can be safely treated at home.

Start by cleaning the area. Wash it with a gentle soap mixed with water, which will reduce the risk of any infection. Then, apply a cold pack to help reduce the swelling. You can use over-the-counter pain relievers and antihistamines can alleviate pain, swelling, and itching. Keep the wound covered as it heals.

Keep a careful eye on the sting for any signs of an allergic reaction and consult with your medical professional if you have any serious concerns. Stay vigilant out there and don’t mess around with wasps!

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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