Fire ants are a very dangerous type of ants. Whereas common ants only cause simple bites that typically go away after a few hours, fire ant bites can lead to hospitalization. If the victim does not receive prompt medical attention, especially if he's known to have a weak or compromised immune system, it can even lead to death.
Fire Ant Bite
The scary thing about fire ants is that they typically attack in swarms. An encounter with fire ants usually involves tens, sometimes even hundreds, of fire ants all stinging the victim at the same time. They even sting repeatedly, increasing the number of ant bites.
As soon as bitten by a fire ant, the victim experiences a very painful sting. It is oftentimes accompanied by a burning sensation together with severe itching that usually lasts for more than an hour. Some victims oftentimes describe the sensation that their body is on fire from the multiple stings.
A few hours after being attacked by fire ants, the victim's skin develops blister-like pustules at the bitten site. These pustules usually go away after about a week and a half, but for those who've scratched the area repeatedly, causing the blisters to break, secondary infection could occur.
As mentioned earlier, fire ant bites could also cause severe allergic reactions prompting a trip to the emergency room. Symptoms of anaphylaxis due to fire ant bites include widespread hives and severe sweating. The victim also experiences swelling of not only the face and the throat but the eyes as well. Additional symptoms include chest pain, together with nausea and difficulty breathing.
Treatment of Fire Ant Bite
The effects of fire ant bites are typically severe, so prompt care and treatment should be given to the victim.
Cold compress should be applied over the affected area. This can help reduce swelling and itchiness, and this can also help relieve pain. Once the pain has subsided, the bitten area needs to be washed thoroughly but gently with soap as well as water. Washing with soap and water can help wash away the toxin from the fire ants and, at the same time, prevent bacteria from infecting the bitten area. Be very careful though that you don't break the pustules and blisters when washing the area. You need to leave them intact so as to prevent bacteria from contaminating the site. Open blisters plus bacteria can easily lead to secondary wound infection.
For severe pain and itching, you can take over-the-counter medications. You can also apply cold compress for 20 minutes to relieve pain, itching, and swelling.
If you're suffering from severe allergic reaction, then you need to get to the hospital immediately. So if you feel lightheaded and nauseous and if you develop chest pains, generalized hives, difficulty breathing, and severe sweating, stop what you're doing and ask someone to take you to the nearest hospital.
Fire Ant Threat
Fire ants are very dangerous, so if your home has a fire ant infestation, then you need to get in touch with your pest control company immediately. Their colony should be removed from your property and their population should be eradicated to prevent fire ant stings.
Jennifer Dallman is a blogger who specializes in pest control articles. She also writes for Preventive Pest Control in Pasadena .