Fire ants are aggressive insects that can sting. The sting can be itchy, causes pain and susceptible to infection. Sometimes, the fire ant bite can lead to infection and permanent scarring.
Fire ants inject venom which causes itching, swelling and redness of the skin. Small red-colored welts appear and clear blisters will develop. The fluid inside the blister becomes cloudy and begins to itch, swell and become painful. If experiencing shortness of breath or tightness of the throat, seek medical help immediately.
Symptoms of fire ant bites
- Vomiting, nausea and diarrhea
- Hives, itching and swelling in areas and other parts of the body
- Swelling of the thoat, tongue and lips and difficulty swallowing
- Anaphylactic shock which happens when the condition becomes severe and causes dizziness, blackout and cardiac arrest if left untreated.
- Move away from the mound of fire ants to prevent accidentally stepping into or sitting on them.
- Avoid slapping on the ants to prevent agitating them. If there is chance that more ants cling into the clothes, remove them immediately.
- Elevate the affected area above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling.
- Gently wash the bitten area using soapy water to eliminate dirt and debris from to reduce the risk for infection. Use an anti-bacterial soap and scrub the area at least 2 minutes to minimize infection before rinsing with water.
- Apply an antiseptic solution such as betadine, isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Allow betadine to dry on the skin to reduce the risk of infection.
- Apply a cool compress on the area to lessen the itchiness, swelling and numbing of the affected area. Use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or a facecloth soaked in cold water and apply it to bitten area at least 10 minutes only to prevent frostbite that can worsen the condition.
- Take the prescribed antihistamine or use hydrocortisone cream to lessen the pain and itching.
- Avoid popping the blisters to prevent infection. If blisters are accidentally popped, clean the area using soapy water and look for signs of infections. If the area is discolored or begins oozing pus, it indicates that it is infected.
- Apply toothpaste on the bitten area and let it dry
- Use fresh aloe vera gel to relieve pain from the sting. Split open a fresh aloe vera leaf and apply the oozing gel over the bitten area.
- Avoid scratching the bitten area to prevent infection.
- Use olive oil to relieve and soothe the infected area. Fold a paper towel in half and place a small amount of olive oil on the towel then apply it on the bitten area for at least for 5-7 minutes. Leave the olive oil in the area for an hour and a half then rinse it using hot water.