There are various species of ants that can infest and create colonies in your home and garden. One of the many species of ants is the fire ants. These ants are found throughout the Southeastern and Southwestern parts of the country. The most common type of fire ants that are known to be very aggressive is the red imported fire ants.
These insects are very resilient and they can deliver a bite that can get your attention. It is very unfortunate that these ants are very common in many household areas. Red imported fire ants can establish their nest on your lawn, in public parks, playgrounds, and other areas. Additionally, these ants create a mound of dirt over their nest, and these mounds can be as huge as 18 inches high and over 2 feet wide.
Fire Ants: How They Deliver Painful Stings
These ants are tiny little critters that are less than a quarter inch long. They have reddish-brown coloring and they live in colonies. Their nests can contain more than 250,000 ants with a number of queens. These ants can deliver painful bites to both adults and children; however, children are more vulnerable to such bites. Children usually mistake the fire ant’s nests as piles of sand and that’s when they get bitten and stung.
These ants will grip the skin using their jaws and sting their victim many times. The ant will then inject its venom which causes the release of antihistamine. Antihistamine is a chemical in our body that produces pain, swelling, redness, and itching of the sting area. After a few seconds, you will notice the appearance of red welts, which can swell rapidly depending on the amount of venom injected to your skin. Half a day after being stung, the fluid in the blister will turn cloudy and start itching. If you scratch it too much, the bite area will become an open wound and get infected.
The Usual And Allergic Reactions To Fire Ant Stings
Normal Reaction: These reactions occur to almost every victim stung by red fire ants. Symptoms consist of localized pain, redness, itchiness, and swelling at the sting area. Within a day, a pus-filled blister will manifest itself at the sting site. Victims must not worry about this blister as it is not infected. It is only caused by a certain element in the venom injected by the fire ant.
Large Local Reactions: These reactions are also very common, but not all victims experience these symptoms. Some victims suffer from swelling, itching, pain, and redness in a large area at the site of the sting. This occurs within half a day or a day after being stung.
Anaphylaxis: Victims who suffer from these reactions must be immediately taken to the doctor. Anaphylaxis is a whole-body allergic reaction which can occur to those who are very sensitive to the fire ant’s venom. These reactions can be serious and even fatal. Victims who suffer from this reaction experience any or all of the following:
- Itching all over the body, not just the sting area
- Hives or swelling that spreads out from the sting site
- Runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, flushing
- Swelling of the lips, throat, and tongue
- Difficulty breathing and coughing
- Stomach pains, dizziness, queasiness, diarrhea
- Rapid heart rate and palpitation
- Low blood pressure
If you or anyone you know who has been stung by fire ants experience any of the severe reactions listed above, it is essential to provide them with emergency treatment. Failure to do so can lead to life threatening health problems and condition.
Fire ant bites and stings can be very painful and dangerous, especially if you are sensitive to their venom. For this reason, it is best to inspect your home for any signs of fire ant infestation. You can look for colonies and mounds in your garden area. You can also look for any ant trails in your household. After identifying their nests, you can apply the available home remedies that can help prevent and get rid of ants. Additionally, there are professional exterminators who can safely and effectively eliminate these dangerous insects from your property.