Wasps and Sting Prevention

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Field trips are taken here to be organised formal activities run by, for example, an educational institution. The advice given here will assist organisers in protecting field trip participants. Also field trip education should contribute to skills development and a focus on wasp sting prevention is both good role modelling and protective behaviour for later life.

Leader responsibilities

Nature enthusiasts at workNature enthusiasts at work
  • Field trip preparation and briefing of participants
  • Knowledge of signs and symptoms of systemic allergy (anaphylaxis)
  • Knowledge of threat from wasp stings in oro-pharyngeal area
  • Allergic participants should not walk alone
  • Carry phone
  • Teach, and role model, appropriate social behaviour such as not flapping arms, not panicking, walking away

Prior to field trip

Preparing for field tripPreparing for field trip
  • Ask about allergy to insects (specifically stings)
  • Discuss protective behaviour during field trip
  • Advice about packed lunch i.e. how to avoid wasps being attracted before, during, and after eating and drinking (use of juice boxes or bottles with lids, tight lids or bags for food and food remains), checking before each mouthful
  • Advice about wearing shoes and socks (not sandals) and long sleeves with trousers
  • Advice about shaking things before storage e.g. clothes placed on ground
  • Discuss avoidance of mimicry of flower scent or colour in clothes or skin products. Advise avoidance of shiny or bright colours including buckles & jewellery, floral patterns and black. Preferred colours are white, green and khaki
  • Consider insect repellent containing DEET
  • Request to be informed immediately about stings
  • Suggest participants may wish to carry antihistamine for self administration

Activity related to field trip

  • Teach simple means for distinguishing between wasps, hoverflies and bees
  • Be aware of wasp nests in previously undisturbed shrubbery and log piles
  • Teach biological approach to dealing with insects that might sting e.g. wasp will move to the light (e.g. vehicle window), away from attractive food smells and towards wasp under attack or crushed