A fire ant sting can cause pain and even fatal to some people. Generally, the sting of fire ants contains alkaloid venom which causes severe irritation to humans and result to the formation of white pustules and red bumps that can lead to scarring of the affected area.
When fire ants attack, they first use their mandibles in gripping the prey and inject venom through a stinger. Furthermore, there is pain when a small red welt appears and eventually become a clear blister. In addition, the fluid inside the blister turns cloudy and begins to itch, swell and becomes painful.
Symptoms of fire ant sting
- Tightness of the chest and difficulty breathing
- Development of hives, itching and swelling of the bite site
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Swelling of the throat, lips and tongue and difficulty swallowing
- Sometimes, anaphylactic shock and cardiac arrest occurs if left untreated.
- Move away immediately from the fire ant mound. Most stings happen when accidentally stepping on fire ant mounds.
- Elevate the sting site above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling.
- Wash the area using soapy water to remove dirt and debris to prevent infection.
- Place a cool compress on the bite site to lessen the swelling and itchiness as well as numbs the affected area. Another alternative is soaking a cloth in cold water and applied directly on the affected area at 10-minute intervals by taking a break between treatments.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter antihistamine medications to lessen the itchiness and pain.
- Avoid popping or scratching the blisters to prevent infection. If the blisters break accidentally, clean the area using soapy water. If the area becomes discolored or leaks pus, seek medical attention immediately.
- Use an anti-inflammatory cream to lessen the burning and stinging sensations.
- Apply toothpaste on the site of the fire ant sting and let it dry.
- Avoid scratching the sting site to reduce the risk for infection.
- Fresh aloe vera gel is also good for the condition. Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the bite site to lessen the pain.