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Japanese hornet bite, what to do?

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Japanese hornet bite, what to do? 2012/12/27 22:07
I have heard of this creepy Japanese hornet which is to watch out for. I have no idea if I have any allergy to hornet bites but since they are way bigger than those "regular" hornets I suppose a bite or two could be close to lethal?

In case I or my travel partner would get bitten not knowing if we would react and get into anaphylactic shock at the spot. What should me or my travelling partner do? I mean if we are in the middle of a forest on a hiking road or something which is not very crowded.

I suppose we should try to call someone but since we are not very fluent Japanese speakers it feels it would be a bit of a problem to explain before the time runs out. Does the emergency service speak English? And the emergency room personel? Or perhaps it depends on where I am?

Would regular antihistamine pills help or would that be too late? Even if I put them in at once when I get bitten?

Since I have heard of a relative who was nearly killed by a hornet over here I will talk to the doctor about this in case I could be affected the same way. In that case I would probably need to bring one of those adrenaline shot pens or what they are called. Would that be any problem when travelling into Japan, considering the customs and the very strictly regulated procedures of medicine?

Thanks :)

by Gifu Joe (guest)  

Re: Japanese hornet bite, what to do? 2012/12/28 13:13
I have no idea if I have any allergy to hornet bites but since they are way bigger than those "regular" hornets I suppose a bite or two could be close to lethal?

A single sting will hurt a lot, but won't be lethal to normal healthy adults. Its a different story if you are allergic to bees. It would also be dangerous to receive several stings, but it is pretty unlikely that this would happen to you. In is pretty unlikely that you will encounter a hornet, and even less likely that you will be bitten by one (let alone multiple hornets). Just like with most animals, leave them alone and they'll leave you alone.

In case I or my travel partner would get bitten not knowing if we would react and get into anaphylactic shock at the spot. What should me or my travelling partner do?

Immediately seek medical help. If you have a known bee allergy then you should carry appropriate emergency medication. If you aren't allergic to bees (or don't know if you are) then I wouldn't worry too much as you probably aren't allergic.

I mean if we are in the middle of a forest on a hiking road or something which is not very crowded.

Medical emergencies are a normal danger when hiking. If you have one you should immediately seek medical help. It that means carrying your partner down a mountain then that's what you have to do. It helps to have a cell phone on you, but be aware that it is not a substitute for proper planning. Cell phones often lose service in remote areas.

Does the emergency service speak English? And the emergency room personel? Or perhaps it depends on where I am?

It depends on where you are but they generally don't speak english.

Would regular antihistamine pills help or would that be too late? Even if I put them in at once when I get bitten?

They'll might little depending on how allergic you are, but really if you don't know if you are allergic then you don't need to worry if you are.

Since I have heard of a relative who was nearly killed by a hornet over here I will talk to the doctor about this in case I could be affected the same way. In that case I would probably need to bring one of those adrenaline shot pens or what they are called.

At the very least, talking to a doctor may assuage you of your fears about bee allergies.

Would that be any problem when travelling into Japan, considering the customs and the very strictly regulated procedures of medicine?

You may need to carry a copy of your prescription and might have to declare it at customs (and fill out the necessary paperwork).

by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese hornet bite, what to do? 2012/12/29 02:11
Call Japan Help Line toll free.
http://www.jhelp.com/en/jhlp.html
Bees are called Hachi and Japanese hornet is called Oo-suzume-bachi オオスズメバチ.
Chances of being stung is nil, if you stay away from them.
by amazinga (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese hornet bite, what to do? 2012/12/29 22:55
I've been in Japan for over 35 years, and have been climbing mountains and walking in the woods. I've never been stung by a bee (Hachi) although I have seen them quite often in Spring and Summer. I remember seeing Vespidae (Suzumebachi) once or twice near me and was surprised by how big they were but I didn't do anything to annoy them and naturally they didn't do anything to me.

When on a hike, don't leave soft drink cans and food out in the open. Don't wear perfume as they can attract or excite the Vespidae. Avoid wearing black / white clothes.

If you see them, or a nest, don't make a noise and keep away. If you hear them making clattering noises, it's their last warning. If you are unfortunately stung, try to push out the poison out of the muscle and skin. You should not attempt to suck the poison out by mouth. Wash thoroughly the stung part by water, cool it down, and see a doctor. Antihistamine creams and pills can work.
(According to the Japanese wikipedia).

You surely need to immediately see a doctor when you are stung by the big ones.
"Suzumebachi ni sasareta" (I've been stung by a Vespidae).

by No problem (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese hornet bite, what to do? 2012/12/29 22:58
Thanks for your replies guys.

Sorry if I sound anxious but I got a little frightened when I heard about the relative almost being killed.

I will of course stay away from them. I suppose there are no "psycho bees" that will pop out of nowhere and attack. Over here it happens bees and hornets fly past me when I sit in the garden at summer. I just try to be calm and not move until they have passed. My travel partner however could be quite hysterical if she meets any insect, including bees and hornets. So I hope she will be alright.

They say it is better to wear something that not is dark in color and avoid perfumes.

by Gifu Joe (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese hornet bite, what to do? 2012/12/30 10:27
I used to be afraid of wasps--they are far more nastier than bees that usually stay away from people--after my brother and I found a wasp nest on a roof and disturbed them (we were young.10-12 may be)

We got a lot of"stings" ...and it took mom ages to remove all the stingers on 2 screaming boys.

We didn't "die". It was painful but no more than falling from a bike at full speed on a gravel trail while wearing shorts..something we did regularly, or trying to retrieve a ball from a Gorse bush (the thin branches are covered in thorns that are 1–4 centimetres (0.39–1.6 in)long)

You are fretting a LOT for nothing...
I used to see wasps daily for years and was only stung once and that was my mistake. One wasp sting would have been nothing, I got the whole nest chasing me across a field while stinging me and survived to tell the tale.

Eventually I learned to stay still when a wasp came around me, usually when we were eating fruits and drinking sugary juices outside.
The wasp would land on my hand,bare arm or on the forehead, and it took a lot of self-control at first.
Now I see them once a while and when they come close I say hello to them..they dance around me and go away

by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese hornet bite, what to do? 2012/12/30 19:21
I seem to have confused myself about the difference of wasps and hornets. I have not seen hornets over here, well at least they are quite small, almost like wasp. But the wasps are quite annoying flying up in your face like watching you from up close (hungry little fellow maybe), and then disappearing. I dont like when they fly into the house. My mother in law like to capture them in a glass or use an electric net to try to kill them off. But that's quite risky if you ask me. Its not usually her they fly to after that if you see my point :)
by Gifu Joe (guest) rate this post as useful

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