INSECT STINGS AND BITES.—The stings of bees, wasps, and hornets cause redness and swelling of the skin, which usually recede in a few days. Occasionally, when one eats fruit carelessly, the insects may reach the mouth or throat, where their stings often cause great pain. In exceptional cases swelling of these parts has caused death by suffocation. Individuals who are very susceptible to the poison of bees, as well as persons who are attacked and stung by a whole swarm, may manifest severe general symptoms, such as fainting, chills, nettlerash, vomiting, and diarrhcea. Treatment consists in touching the swollen parts with diluted spirits of sal ammo niac or in the applicaton of bicarbonate of soda. Bee-stings sometimes remain in the wound. When this is the case, they should be removed with a needle, care being taken to avoid breaking the poison-gland, which often adheres to the upper part of the sting. If the mouth is slimy, the sucking of
small pieces of ice will give relief.
Diluted spirits of sal ammoniac and baking-soda are efficacious also in cases of bites by tarantulas, scorpions, mosquitoes, etc. Protection against the nightly invasion of mosquitoes is afforded only by fine wire- or gauze netting. Lead-water is a good application in cases of ant-bites.
Bees, wasps, and hornets sting only when they are irritated. Striking at them does not drive them away, but, on the contrary, renders them furious. It should, therefore, be avoided ; and children should he especially cautioned against interfering with the nests of these insects. The best protection in case of an attack by a swarm of bees is to keep absolutely quiet.