accessibility & help

British Red Cross advice on first aid for wasp stings

4 September 2013

For further information contact:
Henry Makiwa 020 7877 7479 / 
On call mobile: 0771 0391703

Already the scourge of a summer picnic or barbecue, experts are now warning of a new threat from ‘jobless, drunk’ wasps. Environmental authorities say billions of the insects are currently at their most ‘aggressive and dangerous’ as they have finished supplying their queens with nectar.

The British Red Cross is advising sun-worshippers to keep a credit card handy in case of insect bites this summer; as the long cold winter and a late spring has triggered record numbers of wasps in UK parks and gardens.

“It’s hilarious that, now worker wasps have finished their life's work, all they are doing now is feasting on fermented fruit and getting ‘drunk’. The danger for humans of course is that they may get a bit bold and attack us while we are out having a barbeque in the garden, sun bathing in the park or innocently going our merry way,” said Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid.

“When an insect sting is visible on the skin, a credit card can be used to scrape it away. Using the edge of the credit card, drag it across the skin. This will remove the sting. Using a credit card or your fingernail is preferable to using a pair of tweezers.  Some stings contain a sac of poison and if it is grasped with tweezers you may inject the sac of poison into the skin,” he added.

With temperatures forecast to soar across the country in the coming days, the British Red Cross is issuing first aid tips to keep people safe as the mercury rises.

Joe added, “Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been over-exposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Simple steps such as avoiding exposure to the hottest time of the day, drinking plenty of fluids and even simply wearing a hat on hot days can all make a real difference.”


Notes to editors
• For interviews, photography, case studies or more information, please contact Henry Makiwa on 02078777479 or 07877499038
• For more easy to follow first aid advice visit or download the free Red Cross first aid app

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
Follow us on Twitter:



Related Tags: