Firstly … Try to avoid being stung!
• Consider the environment that you are working in. Are you at risk? Are there hornets & wasps around? If so, can you remove yourself from the area to a safer place?
• If not, protect yourself – wear appropriate clothing and avoid using strongly perfumed products.
• Within 5m of an Asian Hornet secondary nest a specialist Asian hornet suit must be worn at all times, with appropriate gloves and footwear.
• In managing a bait station, catching, marking and releasing hornets it is recommended that you wear a beekeeping suit/smock and gloves.
• If handling the attractant “Trappit”, keep clean. Use wipes/water to remove attractant from your skin.
• Be careful how you move – smooth deliberate movements are less likely to illicit aggressive behaviour by insects, than “heavy handed” movements.
• Be careful where you put your hands/feet and be careful not to trap/squash a hornet or wasp.
• Do not work alone. Always have someone else nearby that can be called upon. Look out for each other. Have a charged mobile phone available. If you or someone else is stung ….
• Remove yourself or the victim to safety straightaway. Due to the release of pheromones, often one sting will illicit an aggressive reaction by more hornets/wasps, leading to further stings.
• Observe the victim for any concerning symptoms.
• Normally, a sting will only usually cause a red, swollen lump to develop. This may be painful and itchy, but symptoms can improve within a few hours to a few days.
• Some people have a mild allergic reaction and a larger area around the sting may become swollen and painful.
• Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the sting site. Elevate the sting area if possible. Avoid scratching. Ask your pharmacist about painkillers, anti-itching creams and anti-histamines if symptoms persist.
• Seek advice if:
• You are particularly worried.
• You’ve been stung in the mouth, throat or near the eyes.
• Symptoms of wound infection develop.
• Fever, swollen glands or flu-like symptoms develop.
• Symptoms don’t improve or get worse.
SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION – SERIOUS – CALL 999 OR GET THE VICTIM TO HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY
• Does the victim have a history of anaphylaxis? If so, do they carry any specific medication such as an Epi-Pen or Ana-Pen to take in such circumstances? Follow the instructions on the medication to administer it appropriately. Get the victim to hospital as soon as possible.
• People can develop anaphylaxis at any time, even if they’ve been stung many times before with no particular concerns.
• Symptoms can develop rapidly – within seconds or minutes, but can very occasionally be hours.
• Such symptoms might be:
Difficulty breathing, swollen face and throat, difficulty swallowing.
Dizziness, feeling faint, muddled, perhaps loss of consciousness.
Tingling or burning sensation on the skin, hives on the skin.
Experience an impending sense of doom.
IF the victim exhibits any of the above – CALL 999 OR GET THEM TO HOSPITAL ASAP.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS?
STOP! Assess the situation. Stay 10 metres away and don’t touch, disturb or cause vibrations around a nest. Take a photograph if it is safe to do so. Report any possible hornet or nest sightings by using the Asian Hornet Watch App, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling our Asian Hornet hotline on 07849 102621.