ground hornets
June 30, 2014 6:31 AM   Subscribe

I have just been stung by a bunch of ground hornets. What do I do about the stings and how do I get rid of the nest? I'm not allergic as far as I know, but they burn like fire!
posted by mightshould to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
Which type of Hornet are they? Do you have pictures? What is your location? This may help with nest eradication answers.

As for the sting, Benadryl or some form of antihistamine should help with the stings.
posted by Twain Device at 6:34 AM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't have pics because I ran like hell and I don't know which type they are. I'm in southeastern North Carolina.

Thanks for requesting clarifications. I just took an allergy pill.
posted by mightshould at 6:39 AM on June 30, 2014

I'd go to the doctor, but I carry an epi-pen, multiple stings though...I'd still see if you can get in to your regular doc, or failing that, Doc-In-The-Box/Minute Clinic.

Call a pro to eradicate. Call NOW!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:41 AM on June 30, 2014

Call a pro to eradicate. Call NOW!

Hornets are not to be trifled with. That ground nest can be enormous, and hornets are psychotic buggers. Call a
posted by Thorzdad at 6:44 AM on June 30, 2014

Put a cold, damp cloth on the stings. Keep taking that benadryl.

I wouldn't worry about going to a doctor unless you feel worse tonight than you do right now. Obviously if you start having any trouble breathing, go to the doctor immediately.

I have been stung by many things, including stumbling into a yellow jacket nest when I was a kid. You're gonna be uncomfortable, but probably ok.
posted by phunniemee at 6:48 AM on June 30, 2014

Antihistamines and ice packs for the stings, professional for eradication.
posted by Specklet at 6:49 AM on June 30, 2014

Try a paste of baking soda and water to neutralize the formic acid. Rub it in good.

Also nthing a professional exterminator. If they're gathered in enough force to do that to you, any attempt to take them out will require the protection of a bee suit, and specialized equipment and chemicals. You probably don't have that stuff on hand, and it'll cost at least as much to prep yourself to DIY it as it would to pay for the exterminator's visit. And, you might mess it up and not kill them all. Most exterminators will guarantee their work - which means a return visit for the same nest wouldn't cost you anything.
posted by Citrus at 6:57 AM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

For pain relief - put some baking powder in a bowl then mix in some water and mush it around with your fingers until you get it to a mud-like or lotiony consistency, then spread it over the stings. I don't know if it works as well on hornet stings, but it has worked great for me with jellowjacket stings.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:58 AM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Calamine lotion on you and 100% cotton sheets on your bed should help with your burning skin.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:01 AM on June 30, 2014

A paste of meat tenderizer and water will work to break down the enzymes in the venom, from what I understand. My dad worked in farming, and carried meat tenderizer with him when he was out in the fields for this very reason. I always wondered how true it was - but a friend of mine was just stung by a wasp and his doc recommended meat tenderizer. Anecdotal, I am not a doctor, etc etc.
posted by routergirl at 7:32 AM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's 10 hours after the fact looks like but I've used the baking soda thing plenty of times. I've heard that you can also take a onion, cut it in half, and put it on the bites. Supposedly this works magic.

Also for future reference, walking away slowly with arms down seems to help avoid getting stung more. If you run or flail your arms they will follow.
posted by natteringnabob at 7:48 AM on June 30, 2014

I absolutely hate applying pastes, lotions, creams, or gels to insect bites; the act of rubbing them in negates any anti-itch property they have, and I end up in a viscious cycle of constantly reapplying and reirritating the bites.

Go to the drug store, walk down the allergy aisle. They make analgesic, histamine blocking anti-itch sprays now - Benedryl is the name brand, the CVS knockoff worked fine for me. They should be next to the hydrocortisone, calamine, etc, but they work so much better. They're cooling, soothing, numbing, and they actually stop the histamine response in your skin.

How do I know? I sat down in fire ants last week.

posted by Juliet Banana at 7:58 AM on June 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Baking soda paste is my go-to. If you don't have any (or use it up) any toothpaste with baking soda in it with serve too (and you'll smell minty fresh!).

Depending on the nest size, a professional is a good idea. Otherwise, if you're going at this on your own, at dusk/early evening set up a spot light pointing at the nest, stand nowhere near the light and spray chemical death into the entrance of the nest. There are sprays that have about a 20' range and contain pyrethrum (or synthetic versions of the same) that are very effective.

Some people will recommend pouring gasoline into the nest - this is a very bad idea since the petroleum will contaminate the soil for years.

Some people have success sealing the nests up with a glass bowl over the exit and starving them out. Problem is, you have to be vigilant and there are frequently multiple exits to nests.

Get the nest taken out sooner rather than later. Towards the fall, yellow jackets get even more aggressive than their usual sunny demeanor.
posted by plinth at 11:02 AM on June 30, 2014

Update: I haven't had a bad reaction to the stings and first applied the meat tenderizer. Next, I've tried the baking soda. Still stings/burns but some of the swelling has decreased. My ankles are NOT happy.

I'm looking into eradication methods now. I cannot discern the location is of the nest entrance. I'm liking the idea of instant chemical attack. These things are 20x worse than the fire ants. (Except maybe Juliet Banana's fire ants in the nether regions.)
posted by mightshould at 12:28 PM on June 30, 2014

If there's no chance of pets or kids running into the nest, just leave them alone. They are beneficial predators.
posted by 445supermag at 12:39 PM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older not technically depressed but is this as good as...   |   Self-improvement and forgetting Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.