5 ways to avoid getting stung this summer - HMS National, Inc.

5 ways to avoid getting stung this summer

June 10, 2014

If you've ever been stung by a bee, wasp or yellow jacket, you know that it can be quite painful, as the throbbing can sometime take awhile before it finally subsides. But for millions of Americans, insect stings can be potentially life-threatening due to allergies to the poison they carry.

According to statistics from Boston Children's Hospital, approximately 2 million people in the U.S. are allergic to bee stings. Among children, 3 percent of them experience an allergic reaction, the most serious being anaphylactic shock.

Fortunately, there are treatments that people can receive to substantially reduce the risk of a severe reaction, and they were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine and performed by experts from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. But perhaps the best defense is to avoid stings entirely - or at the very least reduce the risk. These tips from the AAAAI can help protect you from stinging insects this summer.

1. Cover up in grassy areas. One of the nicest things about the warm weather is being able to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, like shorts, tank tops and flip-flops. This is fine to do on the beach or paved surfaces, but you should avoid wearing them on grassy surfaces. AAAAI noted that honey bees love to hunt for the nectar of white clovers, which are found on lawns and fields virtually everywhere.

2. Sweep, don't swat. Your first reaction may be to kill the stinging insect that lands on you. This can aggravate the bee or wasp, making it all but certain they'll sting if you miss. Instead, shoo it away gently with your hand, or just let it be, AAAAI advised. It will fly off eventually.

3. Cover all foods and drinks. Stinging insects crave sweetness, and few things are more tempting than the kind of beverages that are enjoyed in the summer, like lemonade or iced tea. If you're enjoying a beverage outside, ensure that it's covered so insects aren't attracted to it.

4. Empty full garbage cans. The same goes for garbage if you have one that's outside. Not only should they be emptied regularly, but they should have tight-fitting lids so that they can't be reached by insects.

5. Wear neutral colors. Black isn't recommended in the summer because it attracts heat. But you don't want to wear anything bright either because that's a draw for stinging insects. Wearing neutral serves as a happy medium, such as gray, muted white or beige.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.