Fire ants are one of the most prevalent ant types in the United States. You’ll see these critters in many outdoor settings. Sometimes, one of these ants will bite you. You need to know how to react when it happens. Otherwise, you might suffer an allergic reaction. Here’s what to do if you’re bitten by a fire ant.

Study Your Reaction

What to Do If You're Bitten by a Fire Ant
Image via Flickr by MrBluVenom

The first thing you should do after a fire ant bite is see if anything happens. Most ant bites and stings don’t have a serious effect on your body. You may have a red dot at the impacted spot. A bit of swelling isn’t unusual, either. Web MD offers a few (admittedly gross) pictures of fire ant victims. Compare your affected area with the pictures. You want to find one that matches your wound.

Monitor the area to see if it changes over time. The affected region may look different in six hours than it does now. You want to know exactly how it changes. That way, you can diagnose the situation better. Note the type of swelling that occurs as well as any itching you experience. You should look for bumps or other signs that your body is working hard to recover from the ant bite.

Identify the Symptoms

You also need to identify the symptoms of a bad bite or sting. If you’re noticing anything, a fire ant is the likely culprit. Other ant bites and stings don’t have the same impact. A burning sensation or solid lesion is unusual for any other type of ant. These are frequent symptoms for fire ants, though.

You should make a list of your symptoms. If you have more than two, you may have an ant allergy. That could lead to a more significant reaction. You may suffer blood flow issues and experience a change in your heart rate.

Treat the Bite

You need to ice the bite in 15-minute intervals. Use the ice for 15 minutes then remove it for 15 minutes and so on. You should also elevate the impacted body part to improve blood flow. You should also rub a topical cream on the bite mark. It should soothe the body’s reaction to the irritant.

In extreme instances, your ant bite could cause anaphylactic shock. If that happens, you’ll struggle to breathe. You must get immediate medical treatment. When you learn that you have this type of allergy, you should carry an EpiPen. This injector will counteract any impact from an allergic reaction. It could literally save your life.

When you suffer a fire ant bite or sting, you should chronicle your reactions for this reason. You want to relay everything that happens when you speak with a doctor. The specificity of your information will lead to better treatment recommendations. This isn’t the last fire ant bite that you’re likely to have in your lifetime, after all. You want to learn everything that you can from the experience. That way, you’ll react faster and smarter next time.

A fire ant bite is annoying. It doesn’t have to ruin your day, though. Just follow the steps listed here to eliminate the aggravation of a bug bite.