You can reduce your or your child's chances of being stung and
having a subsequent
allergic reaction by preventing or avoiding exposure
to the stinging insects.
Ways to avoid stinging insects
Be cautious when you are outdoors, especially in areas
where stinging insects may be present, such as woods, orchards, flower gardens,
picnic areas, or near trash containers or old buildings.
working around your home, be careful around eaves, attics, window frames, crawl
spaces, and vents, where insects may nest.
When eating outdoors,
don't put your picnic out until you are ready to eat, and repack food as soon
as you are finished serving. If you attend an outdoor event, keep away from the
food serving areas and trash containers.
Avoid scented cosmetics,
deodorants, hair sprays, lotions, aftershave, and floral perfumes, which may
attract stinging insects.
Avoid brightly colored clothing or
fabrics with floral prints when you will be outdoors. Some stinging insects may
be attracted to them. Clothing in a single neutral light color such as white,
beige, or khaki is less attractive to stinging insects.
barefoot or wearing sandals or open-toed shoes when you are outdoors. Wear closed
shoes, socks, and clothes that fully cover your body. Button long sleeves, tuck
long pants inside boots, and wear gloves when you are gardening. Avoid loose clothes
that might entangle a biting or stinging insect. If you are at increased risk
of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), have someone else do yard
Carefully unfold and inspect any clothing that has been left
outdoors before putting it on or taking it indoors.
If a stinging insect appears, avoid sudden or rapid
movements, and don't swat or flail your arms. Move away slowly unless you are
Consider carrying a spray insecticide that works
specifically on the types of insects that you or your child is allergic to.
Read labels carefully—many general-purpose insecticides for home and garden use
are not effective against common stinging insects.
Inspect your home and yard for insect nests or
places where insects may build nests. Consider having the inspection and
removal done by a professional insect exterminator. Keep in mind that stinging
insects are valuable in the environment, and it is generally not effective or
desirable to control them over a wide area.
Keep trash containers
closed, and clean them frequently.
If you have trees or shrubs with
fruit, keep the area around them cleaned up. Do not allow decaying fruit to
accumulated, because it may attract bees and wasps.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.