The red imported fire ant was brought to the United States from Brazil in the 1930s and has spread relatively untreated throughout the southeastern region of the country, looking as far west as California. Imported red fire ants dwell in large numbers and respond aggressively to combat hazards to their nests. Red fire ants are generally omnivorous, feeding on proteins, honeydew, seeds, and many foods discovered in homes. A red fire ant will secure itself to its prey with a pair of clamplike mandibles. Once attached, the ant will utilize its stomach stinger to inject alkaloid venom into the victim. The ant can deliver multiple stings, rotating in a circle until it is rejected or until its victim passes away.
How To Recognize The Bite/Sting
The bite of a red fire ant produces a burning or stinging feeling. Stings first manifest as red welts. Fire ant stings are recognized by the sting’s appearance and the ant’s aggressive efforts to come from their above-ground nest in big numbers to sting. Each ant bites and then repeatedly stings if not gotten rid of. If the ant stings frequently enough, numerous stings may appear in a tiny, semi-circular pattern. Fire ant stings appear as a reddish lump on the skin that, in time, ends up being a little blister. The signs of fire ant stings might differ depending upon the person’s level of sensitivity and the variety of times they are stung.
Symptoms Of Stings
Many people develop itchy bumps that might resemble localized hives or single swellings at sting sites. Bumps generally disappear in about an hour, and tiny blisters may appear within four hours of the initial response. About a day after a bite, blisters typically become filled with a pus-like substance. When recovered, the blistered sores may leave scars.
A more comprehensive localized reaction may happen, which includes swelling that extends beyond the sting website. For example, a single sting on the lower arm could cause swelling across the whole arm, and this condition might exist for 2 to 3 days.
Some very delicate individuals may develop much more severe allergic symptoms that may consist of:
- Locations other than sting websites might itch and swell
- Vomiting, stomach cramping, extreme queasiness, and diarrhea
- Tightness in the chest and trouble breathing
- Hoarseness or swelling of the tongue or throat, or difficulty swallowing
- Even more severe, dangerous reactions may happen when anaphylaxis, an extreme, whole-body allergy, occurs. Anaphylaxis responses can start within minutes after the sting( s) and include lightheadedness, a drop in high blood pressure, unconsciousness, or cardiac arrest.
It is constantly best to seek the suggestions and care of a doctor for treatment of fire ant stings and bites.
Why Do They Bite And Sting?
Fire ants bite the skin and hold on until the ant’s stinger injects the venom. The bite may be unnoticed because it is overshadowed by the unbearable intensity of the sting. Fire ants sting as a defensive step to protect their colony and catch prey.
Threats Associated With Infections
If no treatment is administered, the red bumps will develop into white pustules, which bring a danger of infection. If infected, they can leave scars. Risks exist for secondary bacterial infection of fire ant stings if the spot is scratched or burst or the sting websites are not kept tidy.
How To Identify Stings On Family Pets
Eliminating animals from the area where stinging occurs is essential. Fire ant stings can be recognized by the numerous small, red bumps that develop on the parts of the animal with little or no hair– eyes, ears, and stomach. Often fire ants will sting the eyes, too.
Fire Ant Bite Treatment
Possible emergency treatment for fire ant bites consists of over-the-counter items for itching or discomfort and cold compresses. If a fire ant sting victim experiences allergic signs, such as headaches, queasiness, lightheadedness, or problem breathing, expert medical treatment must be sought immediately.
On occasion that fire ants are present on your property, it is advised that you call a local bug control professional to remove the hazard of future attacks.