Fire ants are small and dark orange-brown colored ants that stings when their mound is disturbed. Fire ants forage for food through a network of underground tunnels. The venom of the fire ants is composed of alkaloids from piperidine.
People allergic to the sting usually experiences anaphylaxis and needs immediate treatment. The sting swells and becomes a bump that causes severe pain and irritation especially when there are plenty of stings that form in one place. The bump forms into a white pustule that can become infected when scratched.
Symptoms of stings from fire ants
- Severe pinching or burning pain immediately after the attack.
- Swollen, raised bumps and lesions that are filled with pus on the skin
- Redness that spreads on the skin
- Developing a severe allergic reaction to the venom such as difficulty breathing and swallowing, nausea and dizziness requires immediate attention.
- Move away from the fire ant mound and brush away ants found in the body and clothes.
- Wash the affected area using soapy water to eliminate the venom from the skin and get rid of dirt and debris to prevent development infection. Use mild soap when cleaning the area. Pat dry using a soft towel and apply olive oil to keep the area moisturized.
- Elevate the affected area to lessen the swelling.
- Apply a cold compress on the affected area for at least 5 minutes, and take a break for a few minutes and reapply again to lessen the itchiness and swelling due to fire ant stings. Avoid applying ice directly on the skin to prevent further damage and worsen the condition. Wrap ice in a towel or piece of cloth before placing to the area. Another alternative is running the affected area with cool water for a few minute is good for the condition.
- Soak a cotton ball in raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and apply on the area and let it remain for at least 30 minutes and rinse off using cool water. Pat dry the skin and apply a moisturizer to prevent dryness of the area. If the symptoms persist, reapply again after a few hours.
- Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of water. Mix well until it becomes a paste. Apply the mixture on the area and leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse off using lukewarm water. Baking soda lessens the redness and itchiness of the affected area.
- Avoid fire ants as much as possible.
- Wear protective covering when going outside such as wearing shoes and socks. Apply an insect repellant designed for fire ants.
- Take the prescribed antihistamine medication to prevent an allergic reaction from fire ants.
- Avoid popping the blisters if they develop in the skin to prevent the risk of developing infections.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on stings from fire ants is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage insect stings by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.