What to Do if Sweat Bees Sting?
Sweat bees are small insects which have been known to cause itching, burning or irritation. They are very common in the summer months but they can occur at any time of year. Their bites usually appear on your arms and legs. You may experience itchy welts all over your body after a few hours of exposure. The itching will go away within a day or two but the pain may last for several days. Some people develop a rash on their skin after being stung. A rash is caused when tiny blood vessels become inflamed and burst causing redness, swelling and blistering.
The best way to treat sweat bees is with insecticidal soap (IBSM) such as Lysol® Insect Killer or Permethrin® Spray. These products kill the bugs without harming humans or pets. Other ways to deal with them include using insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin.
These products work well against other types of mosquitoes too. If you live in a tropical climate, you might consider wearing long sleeves and pants during the hottest part of the day so that the bugs don’t have access to your skin.
If you’re concerned about sweating bees, then it’s always good to consult a doctor since there are many possible causes for sweating bees. If you think a reaction is severe, seek medical attention immediately.
What does a sweat bee sting look like?
A sweat bees stinger is very small and may even go unnoticed by the human eye. Typically, a person stung by a sweat bee will experience a burning or itching sensation at the site of the sting within one to five minutes. This will then develop into redness followed by a hard, painful swelling within ten to twenty minutes. Sweat bees are attracted to dark colors so wearing light-colored clothing may help deter them from landing on you.
What does sweat bee venom look like?
Sweat bee venom is a clear, colorless fluid containing a mixture of chemicals. It can be used in small quantities for medical and pharmaceutical purposes including the production of drugs for treating heart conditions (irregular heartbeat) and hypertension (high blood pressure). The venom can also be used as an insecticide.
How to get rid of sweat bees?
There are various ways to get rid of sweat bees. One of the most effective strategies is to prevent them entering your property in the first place. Sweat bees are attracted to light so keeping porch lights off during the evening will help deter them from entering. Other ways to prevent entry include keeping windows and doors closed and installing screens on windows and doors. Sweat bees also dislike smoke and incense so burning these during the evening may help keep them away.
If you have already been stung by a sweat bee, there are various ways to get rid of them. One of the most common ways is to apply a paste made from water and laundry detergent to the affected area. This works by dehydrating and suffocating the insect.
Other ways to get rid of sweat bees include:
Wearing light-colored, loose clothing
Applying insect repellent containing DEET or “picaridin” to the skin
Burning incense or a candle inside the building
Spraying an aerosol insecticide such as “Raid” into the air (make sure to follow the directions closely)
Sweat bees can cause itchy welts. In some cases, they may even go unnoticed and the person stung may not experience any ill-effects at all. Nevertheless, if you notice any symptoms or feel unwell after being stung by a sweat bee, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Sources & references used in this article:
Social and ecological contexts of trophallaxis in facultatively social sweat bees, Megalopta genalis and M. ecuadoria (Hymenoptera, Halictidae) by WT Wcislo, VH Gonzalez – Insectes Sociaux, 2006 – Springer
The evolution of nocturnal behaviour in sweat bees, Megalopta genalis and M. ecuadoria (Hymenoptera: Halictidae): an escape from competitors and enemies? by WT Wcislo, L Arneson, K Roesch… – Biological Journal of …, 2004 – academic.oup.com
Honey Bees, Bumble Bees, Carpenter Bees and Sweat Bees by RE Wright, P Mulder, HC Reed – 2016 – shareok.org
15’Behavioral environments of sweat bees (Halictinae) in relation to variability in social organization by JH Fabre – The evolution of social behaviour in insects and …, 1997 – books.google.com
Assured fitness returns favor sociality in a mass-provisioning sweat bee, Megalopta genalis (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) by AR Smith, WT Wcislo, S O’donnell – Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 2003 – Springer