Ants are one of the most prolific creatures on the planet. The belief is that 10 billion billion ants roam the world. Given their ubiquity, any person with an ant allergy will have a bad time. Here’s a guide on how to know if you’re allergic to ants.

Understanding the Problem

Are You Allergic to Ants?
Image via Flickr by Dzipi

Ants don’t just eat the food at picnics. They snack on human flesh, too. Some types of ants will take a bite out of almost anything. These critters will take a chunk out of your skin, even if you don’t notice it at the time.

Few ant bites are significant enough to cause your body to trigger its pain sensors. Instead, you won’t know that something happened until later. At this point, you’ll start to show signs if you’re allergic to ants.

The other concern with ants is that some of them sting. Unlike bees, these ants are capable of stinging you multiple times. Each instance could lead to an allergic reaction. Most of these feelings are mild, but a severe allergy is possible.

Fake Warning Signs

When an ant bites or stings you, you’re likely to show a few signs. The normal one is a red spot in the affected area. That means that the ant’s behavior has triggered unusual blood flow at this spot. Like any other minor sign of bodily discomfort, it’s rarely a big deal.

A slightly more severe reaction would cause swelling in the affected area. This lump isn’t a problem in most instances. It’s merely a sign that your body has a buildup of fluids. This substance is dead tissue rising under the skin. It’s not an indication of allergy.

Real Warning Signs

The first sign of a real allergy is pain. You’ll have to make a judgment call on whether what you feel is discomfort or pain, though. Either way, people receive ant bites a lot more often than they realize. That’s because the sensation is almost beneath human notice. If you are noticing, you’re showing a sign of an allergy.

Physically, you’ll have a larger than normal swelling area. The place around the bite might also grow discolored. If you develop a blister with pus, you’re having a definite allergic reaction. A regular fluid buildup doesn’t have pus, although the clear substance looks like it. If you’re unsure, you should consult a doctor.

Another sign is itchiness. People who can’t stop scratching the place where the bite occurred are probably allergic. Similarly, hives or other bumps around the affected area hint at an allergy.

The Worst Kind of Allergy

In extreme instances, an ant allergy may cause anaphylactic shock. The allergy will trigger the protective internal mechanisms in the body. These chemicals will overwhelm your body and cause you to show symptoms like low blood pressure and erratic breathing. If you react this way, you need immediate medical attention. Your life is at risk. Fortunately, most ant allergies are much less extreme. They’re usually irritating more than dangerous.

Ant allergies are uncomfortable. If you show any of the signs above, you should consult with your doctor. You may need treatment and medication.