San Joaquin Pest Control
Tambi Camacho and son,
Stings and Bites

We share our world with a variety of creatures, and for most people, bug bites are just a nuisance.  But for children, a bee sting or a spider bite can swell into a serious issue.  This week, we take a look at dealing with bee stings and bug bites.

Fresno mom, Tambi Camacho found that some little boarders had settled in her home without paying rent!  “I noticed them about a week ago they were just flying in pretty quick I saw them buzzing by the window a lot.”  A colony of bees was nesting in a wall on the exterior of the house.  Tambi kept her family inside the house and away from the bees for safety.  “We’ve pretty much avoided them because I didn’t know if he was allergic with him being so little.  We just avoided going outside.  It was safer.”

Tambi called San Joaquin Pest Control to remove the nest.  During the inspection, another serious issue was discovered.  Exterminator, Chuck Humphrey, found black widows.  “You see some spider web ah there’s a few spiders underneath there.  Well, when we sprayed it, there were 6 black widows underneath this one table.”

Black widow spiders generally live in trash, closets, attics, woodpiles, garages and other dark places.  According to the California Poison Control System, black widows are found throughout the state, especially in the warmer regions such as the Central Valley.

We spoke with Dr. Richard DeMera of the DeMera Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center about the difference between bites and stings.  Dr. DeMera explains, “A bite would be more from an ant where they are actually biting into the skin.  A sting is where they are inserting a stinger into the skin.”

He points out, a bite from a black widow or brown recluse spider is complexly different. “ It’s almost on the same level as a rattlesnake bite.  Those are all different than an allergic reaction from a bee sting.  It’s not going to be an acute reaction where they can go into anaphylactic shock and die within minutes, but it could be more or a longer serious reaction where they can end up having liver failure and problems like that.”

When it comes to bee stings, Dr. DeMera says reactions can vary.The most common would be a local reaction.  “The first reaction is most common and that’s just a local reaction that’s where if you get stung you might get a little redness or itchiness at the site by far that’s the most common reaction.”

The second most common would be a large local reaction.  “That’s where if you get stung on your hand you can swell up all the way to your shoulder it could look red and hot.  That’s not an allergic reaction.”

Then, there’s the most serious reaction.  “The third reaction is the most serious and that is the least reaction and that’s what we call systemic or allergic reaction.  You can also have swelling but you can get hives all over your body you can get eye swelling, lip swelling, throat swelling, tongue swelling.  You can develop an asthma attack you can get nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.”

If your child, or even an adult, has no history of being stung by a bee, Dr. DeMera suggests you get the stinger out and then you watch and see what happens.  If it’s just a little redness and soreness at the site, you’re fine.

Dr. DeMera says it’s best to remove the stinger quickly.  “So, if a stinger goes into you, it will pulse venom and continue to pulse venom, until you get the stinger.”  Do not use tweezers.  They will distribute more venom into the affected area.  “Just using a nail, a credit card edge, but quickly getting the stinger out is the first thing that you do.”

If you are allergic and you get stung, Dr. DeMera says it’s important to get medical treatment right away.  Those who are allergic most likely will have a self injection Epi-Pen kit.  “Sometimes people want to wait and watch and see how serious reaction they are.  You can’t predict.  Use it right away.  And then go ahead use the Epi-Pen.  Use the Benadryl.  Call 911 or get them to the emergency room.  But don’t wait.”

Dr. DeMera shared a great tip if you’re allergic to bees.  “Don’t aggravate them.  If you just remain calm, if there’s bees around they’ll probably leave you alone.  And wherever that child goes that Epi-Pen should go with him.”



Copyright 2009 Valley Public Television. All Rights Reserved.