2-12. TREAT A BEE, HORNET, YELLOW JACKET, OR WASP STING
a. Remove Stinger, If Present. If a stinger is present at the sting site (bee
sting only), gently scrape the skin with a knife blade, fingernail, or thin metal object to
remove the stinger from the skin. Removing the stinger prevents additional venom from
being injected into the casualty since the venom sac remains attached to the stinger.
b. Cleanse Wound. Cleanse the sting area with an antiseptic solution from
your aid bag. If an antiseptic solution is not available, cleanse the area with soap and
c. Apply Cold Treatment. Apply ice, an ice bag, or chemical cold packs to the
sting area, if available, to relieve pain, help control swelling, and reduce the spread of
the venom. A 10 percent ammonia solution can be applied instead of ice or cold packs.
d. Evacuate Casualty, If Needed. Evacuate the casualty to a medical
treatment facility if severe reactions are present. Monitor the casualty's vital signs and
treat the casualty for anaphylactic shock if it develops.
2-13. IDENTIFY FIRE ANT STINGS
Fire ants are usually found in the Gulf Coast states, particularly in Louisiana and
Texas. The fire ant was accidentally brought into the US by cargo ships from
South America. The fire ant can sting repeatedly. A person may sustain several stings
from a single fire ant within a short period of time.
a. Physical Characteristics of Fire Ants. Fire ants (figure 2-5) are small and
usually brownish in color. They live in large mounds. The "fire" refers to the burning
sensation their sting causes.
Figure 2-5. Fire ant.