The 3 Week Diet

Fire Ants Stung Me!- the Dangers of Fire Ant Sting

Fire ants can stay asleep permanently; however, if their nest is disturbed or if they feel threatened, they can deliver a sting that can be very painful. This insect can survive various conditions, and it has a sting that can get your attention very quickly. Fire ants are considered as “people pest”, since they can live in the same areas where you live, eat, play, and work. If you believe that your home is infested with fire ants, you must first know what fire ants are and what happens when you get stung by them.

What Are Fire Ants?

There are various types of fire ants, but the most common and aggressive type is the red imported fire ant or IFA. This type of fire ant is a stinging insect that was imported into the United States from South America during the early 1900s. Since their introduction to the country, they have spread throughout the southeastern United States. As a result, many people have been reported to be stung by them. These insects have been reported to sting people outdoors and indoors, including nursing homes, hotels, inns, and residential homes.

Red imported fire ants are reddish-brown in color and they are about 1/8-inch long, which is about the size of a pencil eraser. Like other types of ants, they live in colonies and they create nests in the ground, and they also create a mound of dirt over their nest. These mounds can grow to 18 inches high and around 2 feet wide. The most common areas where you might find the nests of red imported fire ants are the lawns, playgrounds, parks, and fields.

What Happens If A Fire Ant Stung You?

When you get stung by a fire ant, you will feel a sharp pain followed by a burning sensation. You will most probably get stung by this insect if you step on their mound, wherein you will suffer from multiple stings because you have disturbed their nest. Each sting will become very itchy all day. If you have been stung, you might suffer from a wide range of reactions, from the usual reactions to allergic and fatal reactions.

Usual Reactions: The most usual reactions when stung by a fire ant may include localized pain, redness and swelling of the sting area. Within one day, a pus-filled blister will start to develop at the sting site. This blister is not infected; thus, you don’t have to worry about it since it may have been caused by a certain element found in the fire ant venom.

Large Local Reactions: About 50% of the people who get stung by a fire ant suffer from this type of reaction which is usually allergic in nature. The symptoms of this condition include having a large area of redness, swelling, pain, and itching around the site of the sting. This reaction develops within a day or two after being stung.

Anaphylaxis: This type of reaction is a whole-body allergic reaction which can be very dangerous, and about 1% of people who get stung suffer from it. This reaction can be very severe and even be fatal at times. Some of its symptoms include:

  • Itching all over the body
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea
  • Hives or swelling that spread around the site of the sting
  • Itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, flushing
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, and tongue
  • Shortness of breath and coughing
  • Fast heart rate, low blood pressure, light-headedness, or passing out

Here are some first aid remedies for fire ant stings:

  1. Wash the sting area with disinfectant soap and water.
  2. You can put ice to the sting area to prevent inflammation
  3. Observe the bite area. Consult a doctor if you experience severe itching, and if there is redness and swelling in the sting area.

When you consult with a doctor, he/she might give a medicine called antihistamine if you suffer from an allergic reaction. This medication will help control the swelling and itching. For a more severe allergic reaction, he/she might give you a shot that can fight off the reaction. If you know that you are allergic to fire ant stings, you can also consider carrying a medicine which you can take to prevent severe reactions from occurring.

Additionally, it is advisable to avoid getting stung in the first place. If you believe that you have fire ants at home, immediately seek help. You can also try to get rid of fire ants naturally using home pest control remedies, or you can hire the professional services of a pest control company.

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The author, Kris Lim, is a prolific blogger who usually writes for health websites. She writes about the common health problems caused by pest infestation, such as fire ant infestation, to help raise awareness regarding the dangers of having them at home. She also writes about the importance of Tempe pest control.

Category: Infection Control

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