Fire ants are a common cause for concern for most South Florida homeowners. These tiny, invasive creatures have taken over South Florida and other Southern states because of the warm, sunny climate. While they may look harmless to the human eye, don’t let their size fool you. Fire ants carry a fierce, venomous sting that can cause severe, even life-threatening allergic reactions in some people.
So how can you protect yourself, your family and your property from these dangerous pests? AAA Riteway has some useful tips that can help protect you in the event of fire ant bites.
How to Identify a Fire Ant Bite
Before you can start treating an ant bite, it is important to know how to properly identify it.
If you are the victim of fire ants, chances are that you will know right away. Fire ants typically bite the skin and anchor on until the ant’s stinger injects a toxic venom into the skin. Many times the ant will sting repeatedly if not removed, often resulting in multiple stings within the same area.
Typically, the victim will experience a fiery, burning sensation and notice red bumps that manifest into itchy, uncomfortable blisters or pustules after a few days.
Symptoms of fire ant bites vary depending on the person and their individual sensitivity to insect stings. For most people, fire ant stings indicate discomfort rather than danger.
However, in more severe cases the victim can experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, difficulty swallowing and even paralysis. These are all symptoms of a severe allergic reaction and the person should seek professional medical care, immediately.
How to Treat Your Fire Ant Bite
1. Protect Yourself from More Bites
If you suspect that you’ve been bitten by a fire ant, there is a good chance that there is a nest or mound nearby. Your first reaction should be to check for other ants that may still be lingering on your skin or clothing and remove them by brushing them off. Move yourself to a safe location and take off any constricting clothing, shoes, and socks and carefully examine yourself and your clothing for any remaining ants that may be trapped in the folds of fabric or on skin.
2. Clean The Bite
The next step to caring for your bite is to wash the affected area with soap and water as quickly as possible after you are stung. This will help remove any residual venom left on the surface of the skin, help lessen the impact of the bite and help prevent infection.
3. Apply Ice to The Area
After cleaning the bite or bites thoroughly, you will want to apply an ice pack or cold compress to the affected area in intervals of about 15-30 minutes. This will help reduce much of the swelling and discomfort associated with the bite.
Don’t scratch the itch! As tempting as it may be to scratch your ant bites, this can put you at risk for infection and scarring. If the itching sensation is simply unbearable, you may want to consider applying Calamine lotion, over-the-counter itching and pain products, or take an anti-histamine.
Fire Ant Exterminators in South Florida
If you have discovered an ant mound or nest anywhere on your property, it is crucial to take immediate action. The best way to protect your family and your pets from painful fire ant bites is to contact your local pest company to perform a thorough inspection of your home.
At AAA Riteway Pest Management Services, we have the necessary fire ant control knowledge and experience to get rid of your problem once and for all. Our fire ant exterminators can eliminate ants before they form colonies and can prevent them from coming back.
Call us today to have an AAA Riteway Pest Management professional assess your fire ant infestation and recommend a solution. For more information or to schedule an inspection, please contact us today at 954-289-5862 or 561-475-3268.