Why Fire Ants Are Dangerous
It was mentioned previously that fire ants are aggressive and deliver stings when disturbed, but this is not why the fire ant earned its name. Though most ants would bite, fire ants bite AND sting — causing a sharp, painful, burning sensation because of the venom’s toxicity. Disturbance of the fire ant’s nest gives it enough reason to attack you in swarms and repeatedly sting the intruder. A bite from a Fire Ant often results in pustules or welts which, when left untreated, may cause allergic reactions and infections. Although rare, it may cause death due to allergic reaction.
If you find yourself nursing a fire ant sting, here is what you should do:
- Place the affected area at an elevated position. If the stings are on your arm, hold your arm up to help minimize the swelling.
- Bathe the infected area with water and soap. This helps prevent the stings from getting infected.
- Hold a cold compress over the stings. This helps alleviate itching, numbing, and swelling.
- Apply hydrocortisone cream or take over-the-counter antihistamines to avoid allergic reactions from worsening.
- Avoid popping and scratching at the blisters to prevent them from breaking. If, however, you break the blisters, wash the area immediately with soap and water.
You are most likely allergic if you’ll display the following symptoms when bitten by fire ants:
- Anaphylactic shock, which may lead to blackout, cardiac arrest, and dizziness if not treated immediately
- Itching, swelling, and hives in areas bitten
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea
- Difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest area
- Difficulty swallowing or swelling of lips, tongue, and throat
If you think you are suffering from the symptoms mentioned above, then seek treatment immediately. Treating fire ant bites at hospitals would most likely involve antihistamines, epinephrine, or steroids.