We have spent all winter indoors, watching and longing for that summer world depicted in every laundry detergent commercial: an open field of green grass and wildflowers, a blue sky dominated by a shining sun and peppered by white clouds, butterflies fluttering about aimlessly, and a carefree soul running barefoot through it in slow motion.
Before you tear off your socks and shoes and set out for the nearest patch of grass, keep in mind that nature has created defenses for itself against predators and invaders, and sometimes we innocent bystanders are caught in the fray. One widespread natural defense that has become a scourge of humankind’s existence is the bee or wasp sting.
Bees and wasps, as most people know, have tiny, needle-like protrusions commonly known as stingers. These stingers are actually sharp organs attached to a venom gland and can inject this venom into the insect’s victim. Though most people will experience little more than mild irritation and swelling as a result of this venom, some will react more harshly to stings from certain species; this is known as anaphylaxis, a serious and quick-acting allergic reaction such as rashes, swelling, trouble breathing, vomiting, and other potentially dangerous symptoms.
Don’t worry, this does not mean that you cannot spend time outside. Whether you experience serious reactions or are simply fed up with the nuisance of insect stings, there are precautions you can take to help prevent this.
Man and beast have co-existed for thousands of years, so of course it is possible to do the same with insects. The professionals at Grand Rapids Allergy love outdoor summer fun, and their expertise will help you get out and enjoy it, too.