When stung by a fire ant, it isn’t just the pain that people should be worried about but also the risk of infection. Fire ants do not bite, rather, they sting. Their sting is very potent and causes intense pain because fire ants evolved from wasps. Fire ants rarely sting alone; they do so in big groups, or the whole colony attacks, posing more threat to fire ant infested areas.
Fire Ant Sting
- Fire ants differ from other ordinary ants such as garden or house ants because of their appearance and their aggressive behavior.
- Fire ants are small, coppery brown or even black in color.
- These ants prefer to nest in moist soil areas but they can also nest indoors.
- Fire ants are commonly found throughout the United States, South America, Australia, Taiwan, China, and the Philippines.
- Fire ants bite with their pincers to get a good grip and then stings with their abdomen.
- Once a fire ant is anchored, it can sting relentlessly.
- An attack by a whole colony can prove to be an extremely dangerous situation especially to those who develop a hypersensitivity reaction.
Fire Ant Sting Symptoms
Local or Minor Reactions:
- Intense, stinging, burning pain
- Welts or hives
- Small blisters within 6 to 24 hours following the bite
- Cloudy fluid-filled blisters
- Red halo around the sting
Systemic or Allergic Reactions:
- General skin flushing
- Generalized hives
- Facial swelling including the eyes, tongue, lips, and throat
- Slurring of speech
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
Fire Ant Sting Treatment and Remedy
- Cold compress or ice pack over the affected site
- Elevate swollen limbs
- Wash the area with soap and water
- Disinfect the area with antiseptic
- Oral histamines for relief of itching and swelling
- Corticosteroid creams to relieve itching and swelling
- Keep the area clean and blister intact to prevent the development of infection.
- Aloe vera juice may be applied as a natural remedy for itching.
- For systemic or allergic reactions, immediate medical treatment should be sought.
- For hypersensitivity reactions, epinephrine may be administered.