Here is information on how to treat ant bites, pictures and information on types of ants.
An ant bite causes itchy and red swelling on the skin. The victim will feel some burning sensation after the bite and a visible mark follows afterwards. The bite can cause a variety of symptoms which subside in a relatively short time. However, some ant species can cause painful sensation and blistering, eventually resulting in life-threatening conditions. Some individuals may also develop allergic reactions to ant bites and exhibit more serious symptoms.
Ant bite treatment improves the discomfort that comes with the bite. There are effective ways to treat ant bites naturally. Also, there are over the counter creams and lotions that can provide relief. Those who develop allergic reactions need prompt treatment and must be taken to the hospital.
Information about ants
Ants are insects which are known to destroy crops, invade human dwellings and inflict painful bites. There are over 20,000 ant species across the globe and they act as predators and scavengers to balance the ecosystem. Ants live in groups and work together to support their colony. A colony of ants is composed of the queen (or queens), and male and female workers. On average, an ant could live between 45 and 60 days.
There is one kind of ant that is popular for inflicting excruciating ant bite and this is known as the fire ant. The fire ant is of little difference with other ant species with its copper-brownish head and darker abdomen. They are very aggressive and immediately launch an attack once disturbed. They choose to inhabit moist places like backyards, farms and gardens.
Types of ants
Insects, like ants, use biting as their means to defend themselves from, or launch an attack to enemies. They bite when people accidentally disturb their nest or colony. Ants also bite when they are threatened by the presence of human beings near their colony. When an ant bites, it injects chemicals like formic acid which causes irritation and burning sensation. Quite a few ant species have been known to cause severe symptoms and life-threatening conditions. Some of these are:
- Fire ants
Bites from fire ants are dangerous and even deadly among people who are allergic to their venom. They inject poisonous chemical piperidine alkaloids when they bite which cause serious conditions among allergic individuals. There is also a possibility of getting multiple bites because the chemical can be sensed by other ants, prompting them to chase the bitten individual.
- Bullet ants
Bites from bullet ants are extremely painful which last within 24 hours. Their bites are harmless among ordinary people but dangerous to those who are allergic.
- Jack jumper or bulldog ants
The sting from a bulldog ant is very painful and leads to anaphylactic shock. Jack jumper ants are native in Australia and are responsible for ant bite-related deaths in the country. Experts have been working on developing an antivenin for jack jumper sting.
How does an ant bite look like?
A typical ant bite produces a small and itchy bump with minimal burning sensation. The mild discomfort should not last longer than a couple of days. The bite of dangerous ants usually has similar manifestations a few hours after the bite. However, a pus-filled lesion may develop on the bite site which can be quite painful. This usually happens with the bite inflicted by fire ants.
Victim may also experience additional symptoms relative to the individual’s sensitivity to ant venom. Allergic individuals tend to develop more serious and even life-threatening conditions even from the bite of ordinary ants. Concerned parties should watch out for signs of allergic reaction and bring the victim to the hospital as soon as possible. Some of these signs are:
- Severe swelling
- Rapid pulse
- Breathing and speaking difficulties
Anaphylactic shock will likely occur due to the body’s excessive reaction to the ant bite, resulting in the swelling of the lungs, trachea, throat and mouth which could eventually lead to death.
Remedies and treatment for ant bites
Just as what is usually done after sustaining an insect bite, an ant bite must be washed with water and soap to get rid of bacteria present around the bitten area. Homemade remedies could be applied on the bite site to help alleviate swelling and itching. The most popular means is the use of baking soda paste and covered with gauze. Over the counter medications could likewise be taken to help relieve symptoms but should be done cautiously. Victims should keep away from scratching or draining the bitten site to prevent it from getting infected. Allergic individuals should consult the doctor before taking any non-prescription medications as well as when signs of allergies develop.
Ant bite is virtually inevitable but something can be done to minimize the chances of getting bitten by staying away from mounds, ant hills or areas where their colonies can be found.
Ant Bites Pictures
The pictures below are of the red fire ants.