What Happens To Your Body If You Get Bitten By A Fire Ant

Fire ants are tiny and aggressive insects whose stings can pack a painful and powerful punch. Ranging in color from red to black, fire ants measure around a quarter of an inch in length and are usually found in grassy areas, where they build mounds, or nests (via Healthline). Fire ants don't usually sting people unless their nest is disturbed, but when they do, they attack in swarms, stinging repeatedly and injecting their venom into the legs of intruders.

Fire ant stings are painful and itchy, appearing as swollen red dots on the skin that may last for up to a week. While most people will experience mild to moderate symptoms, others may have a more immediate and serious allergic reaction to the stings. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include dizziness, nausea, trouble swallowing, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms shortly after getting stung, you may require emergency medical care.

How to treat fire ant stings

Unless you're having an allergic reaction, you will most likely not need any medical attention. As long as you're not experiencing any trouble breathing or swallowing, you can treat your fire ant stings at home by using a handful of self-care remedies (via Medical News Today). One way you can treat your symptoms is by icing the affected area for 20 minutes at a time to reduce any swelling and redness in the area, and help relieve some of the pain.

You can also use topical creams and ointments to manage your symptoms. Hydrocortisone cream and triple antibiotic ointment can help relieve itching and prevent any stings from getting infected. Taking an oatmeal bath may help ease the itching, and taking an antihistamine can reduce itching and manage the effects of a minor allergic reaction. As with any rash, it's important not to scratch the stings, which can cause the blisters to open and leave them vulnerable to infection.