We often associate venom with snakebites, but did you know fire ants have it, too? If you’re unlucky enough to be injected by fire ant venom, you’ll likely suffer from small, red welts that are itchy, swelling and painful. In the worst case, you could even have a severe allergic reaction. Here’s how to mitigate the damage.
You’re Stung – Now What?
Start with a cold pack to alleviate itching, numb the area and bring down swelling. Next, take an antihistamine or apply hydrocortisone cream to reduce pain and itching. Follow up with a pain reliever. You’ll likely have a bump for up to an hour and a small blister for up to a day.
In the most extreme cases, one can have severe allergic reactions to fire ant stings. Hives, nausea and tongue swelling are a few of the many symptoms you can suffer. Seek medical attention immediately if a severe allergic reaction occurs. In the most extreme cases, fire ant bites can be life-threatening.
Spotting Fire Ants
Fire ants are reddish and build mounds, which are especially noticeable after a good rain. Not native to the U.S., fire ants were accidentally brought into the country in the 1930s. The best way to prevent fire ant stings is to be aware of your surroundings to avoid stepping into mounds. Home inspections also are an effective way to identify and receive guidance on how to keep fire ants out of your yard.