Why And How To Keep Your Open Soda Can Free Of Bees And Other Insects

If you like having a cold soda on a hot day, consider yourself lucky if you've never found a bee, wasp, or other nasty insect crawling inside the can. The sugar in regular soda syrup can attract a lot of stinging insects, which then crawl inside the can. If you think you'd be able to see this happening, ask yourself how many times you look away from the can you're drinking from. It takes only a split-second for a bug to crawl inside, where it could surprise you in very unpleasant ways.

Why Avoid It

Some reasons why you want to avoid letting bugs into your soda can are obvious:

  • It's disgusting.
  • The bugs can sting your mouth if they're near the opening.

Sometimes the insect can actively sting your throat; if you have even a minor reaction to the sting, that can restrict your ability to breathe. If you're definitely allergic to the insect, of course, you could experience anaphylactic shock.

Another reason is that if you swallow a stinging insect, you could end up with the stinger causing some pain and minor damage as it entered your digestive system. Even if the bug doesn't sting you, you still have that sharp stinger traveling through areas lined with soft tissue.

Insects can also transmit diseases. A fly or beetle can transmit Shigella and tapeworms, respectively. So keeping bugs out of your drinks is not just a way to avoid ickiness -- it's a matter of preserving your health.

How to Avoid It

It's unrealistic to think that you'll never take your eyes off your soda can, so you have to keep the can covered somehow:

  • Cover it with your thumb or hand; this works if you remember to move your thumb or hand over the can's lid when you stop drinking, and if your hand is clean.
  • Get a can lid if you tend to forget to move your hand or your hand is dirty. These are reusable plastic lids that are sized to fit standard soda cans.
  • Try a bug screen. These are shaped like half of the top of the soda can and have small holes that prevent bigger bugs from entering the can. They might not work for smaller bugs like fleas or fruit flies, depending on the size of the holes.

If those solutions aren't viable for you, switch to drinking soda in clear bottles. Plastic and glass bottles have caps, and they will at least allow you to see if anything got into the soda if you leave the cap off.

If you'd like other strategies for keeping stinging insects away from your drinks, talk to  an allergist who focuses on insect allergies, such as at http://www.oakbrookallergists.com.