Belfast Telegraph

Woman tells of agony following attack by swarm of wasps while walking her dogs

Glynis Stewart and Alfie her dog at the spot in Six Mile Water where she was attacked by wasps
Glynis Stewart and Alfie her dog at the spot in Six Mile Water where she was attacked by wasps
Claire Williamson

By Claire Williamson

It was a normal evening walk - which turned into a nightmare.

Glynis Stewart (45) and her husband William from Antrim were walking their dogs as usual at the Six Mile Race Trail last Wednesday when she disturbed a wasps' nest on grassland.

Their dogs Alfie and Ernie had taken a slightly different route and as Glynis and William followed them, she suddenly found wasps swarming around her.

Glynis was left in agony after suffering more than 20 stings all over her body.

Luckily, some nearby fishermen had repellent spray and were able to intervene.

She told the Belfast Telegraph: "It must have been buried within the grass and I stood on the nest.

"They came up from the ground.

"I screamed because they had started to sting and my husband came over and was trying to cover me with his T-shirt.

"They were all in my hair and everything, it was horrendous, it was just awful.

"There were so many of them we just ran, and when we ran they all came up after us.

"We were lucky because there were a couple of fishermen there and they had a repellent spray which they sprayed all over me, and they all dropped off me, and thank God, because it could have been worse.

"I counted about 22 stings, there were about 19 on my body and I'm sure I have two or three on my head as well."

Glynis said the horrendous pain continued long after her ordeal.

The couple were advised to go to an emergency department to get checked out because of the number of stings.

"It was horrendous, it really was," added Glynis.

"When I first came home I was a bit in shock.

"I was just really, really shaken. I'm not allergic, thank goodness. But I was shaken and crying. It was agony, it was just so, so sore. Once I had calmed myself down a bit the pain was horrendous.

"We put towels over my legs.

"I wasn't sure what to do, I took an antihistamine and rang the doctor.

"They said to go to A&E because of the volume of stings.

"So I lay in bed for an hour and went to A&E. Because I wasn't allergic, they said to take pain relief over the next 24 hours. It was awful, even the next day I was taking painkillers all day, I couldn't move."

Glynis said she never imagined stumbling on a wasps' nest.

"As soon as I set my foot on it, the batch of them all just lifted, and they say don't waft your arms around but that's just impossible."

Now, Glynis is on edge permanently as she is constantly worried if anything comes near her.

"When I came home, I was just totally paranoid that they were still in my hair or on me.

"Even if my hair touched me I was thinking: 'Oh my God it's one of them'. And every time I closed my eyes, it was just horrendous. Anything that comes near me at the minute it's awful, flies or anything, you think you can hear the buzzing in your ear."

And as if all that wasn't enough, Glynis then discovered a nest at their own home, which they have since had removed.

She added: "Honestly, I couldn't believe it."

Glynis said she has marks all over her from the stings and is still in pain - but the worst thing at the moment is the itching.

"I have torn myself apart itching. I've been taking antihistamines and different creams to try and stop the itching."

She now vows to carry repellent with her. She added: "Definitely just for my own peace of mind. But if I go anywhere again it'll be with some kind of spray."

If you get stung

Remove the sting, tick or hairs if still in skin. Wash affected area with soap and water. Apply a cold compress or ice pack for at least 10 minutes. Raise the affected area. Avoid scratching the area or bursting blisters. Avoid home remedies. Pain, swelling and itchiness can sometimes last for a few days.

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