When faced with the stings of killer bees, the first thing to determine is how large the swarm was. If you were stung between 10 and 15 times and have no alarming reactions, you may not need to seek immediate medical attention. Pain, localized swelling, and itching can be a common reaction.
However, if you are stung by killer bees for the first time, close observation is critical to rule out an allergy. Dial 911 immediately if you have any sign of swelling aside from the stings themselves (like lip swelling), nausea, extreme itching, rashes, shock, unconsciousness, or difficulty breathing.
If you’ve been diagnosed as allergic, follow your medical instructions. If you are without your medications, call 911 immediately. The venom from killer bees, also called Africanized bees, is no more toxic or deadly than a honeybee sting. The number of stings is what contributes to the deadly danger these bees can cause.
Reduce Your Risk
Avoiding killer bees is the best way to keep your risk of an encounter low. In Phoenix, the bees are more active from March through October. Especially in the spring and after a summer rain when the colonies split and move.
You may find colonies in trees and bushes, sheds, or outside-mounted circuit breaker boxes. Inspect around your home periodically, looking for signs of a hive or clusters of bees. Remove piles of landscaping debris or wood piles. Killer bees can also start hives inside attics that they reach through cracks in the eaves. If you suspect a colony on your property, contact Budget Brothers Termite & Pest immediately to investigate and eliminate the hive.
Avoid Provoking Killer Bees
- Avoid floral perfumes, laundry soap, and hair products. The bees may mistake you for a citrus tree or flowering plant and fly toward you.
- Wear light colors when you’re outdoors, especially when hiking or doing yard work. Dark colors attract killer bees.
- Keep your children and pets indoors when you need to use loud yard equipment like leaf blowers or lawn mowers. Sudden, loud noises can startle killer bees and prompt an attack.
If you see a cluster of bees or swarming behavior, seek shelter immediately. If you’re in a public area, report it to an employee.
What to Do in an Attack
If avoiding the killer bees doesn’t work, there are several things you can do if you see a swarm.
- Run away from the killer bees as fast as you can.
- If there’s a headwind, go into it to slow the bees down.
- Get into an enclosed shelter as quickly as possible.
- Cover your head with your arms, hands, or clothing. Carbon monoxide attracts killer bees, so they attack your face when you exhale.
- Do not flail your arms at the bees. Spend your energy getting away from them.
- Do not jump into a swimming pool. The bees may wait for you to come up for air.
Avoiding an encounter with killer bees is the best way to stay safe in the desert environment. If you find a hive nearby or in your home, call Brother Brothers for help.