How do I treat a wasp, hornet, or yellowjacket sting?


Approach a wasp, hornet, or yellowjacket problem with care. If you get stung, leave the area and wash with soap and water as soon as you can. Applying a cold compress can also help reduce swelling. Although we are bug experts, we aren’t doctors, so if your symptoms are worse than mild pain and swelling, ask a medical professional for treatment options.

Know Your Enemy

Paper wasps often don’t sting unless their nests are disturbed, but when they do, they can be very aggressive. On the other hand, yellowjackets and hornets can sting without being provoked at all, especially in the late summer and early fall.

Don’t Get Stung, Get Smart

Tips to Avoid Stings

  1. Keep food covered if eating outside.
  2. Seal trash cans tightly.
  3. If a foraging wasp is bothering you, don’t swat at it. Just move away slowly.
  4. Keep garbage cans away from eating areas.
Not One and Done

Honeybees (beneficial bugs necessary for pollination) normally die after stinging, but wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets often survive and can sting again. It’s important to leave the area immediately to avoid being stung more than once. Once a yellowjacket stings its victim, it releases an “attack pheromone” that excites nearby yellowjackets to attack as well.

Kill the Nest

You can also avoid being stung by destroying the nest as soon as you spot it. Inspect your home and yard regularly for nests, and if you find one, use Raid® Wasp & Hornet Bug Killer. It allows you to attack from a distance, killing the entire nest. It kills wasps and hornets on contact and is electronically non-conducting up to 41,000 volts. Treating a nest early and immediately may reduce your chance of being stung in the future.

6 Tips for Treating Nests

  1. Treat at dusk or dawn when the insects are less likely to be active.
  2. Wear gloves and long sleeves to avoid being stung.
  3. Spray Raid® Wasp and Hornet Bug Killer to kill the entire nest. Be sure to read the full label here before use.
  4. When spraying, make sure you stand away from the nest and not directly underneath.
  5. Spray when the air is calm.
  6. Never attempt to treat nests alone. Use the buddy system or ask someone else to treat it if you’re allergic to stings.
Shut ‘Em Out

To keep wasps, hornets, or yellowjackets out of the house, be sure that it’s sealed properly. Keep doors and windows closed, screens in tip top shape, and caulk any cracks leading into your home. They’re most likely to enter during the spring, when the queen is looking for a place to nest, or the late summer and early fall when they’re looking for sugary foods.

Avoid Surprise Stings

Be sure to cover up your drinks while outside. Wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets are attracted to the sugary goodness found in some beverages and often crawl inside to get a taste.

Defend your Home

The Raid® Defence System uses a combination of product options and tips that work together to better battle bugs in your home. Each System is customized, so you can ATTACK and CONTROL bugs with ease.