Ant bites are quite painful, especially if you are bitten by fire ants. The burning sensation on your skin seems to last for hours. To make matters worse, the pain is accompanied by swelling and itching and before you know it, the bumps turn into pus-filled blisters, which can lead to bacterial infection. Fire ants usually grow up to a quarter of an inch in length and their color can range from reddish brown to black. Their way of attack is what makes them so dangerous. They attack in groups and each ant has the capability of stinging several times. They hold on to your skin until they inject their venom. Due to this reason, it is advisable to stay away from ant infested areas at all costs and to destroy ant mounds near your area by taking the help of professional pest exterminators.
If you do get bitten by fire ants you need to brush them off as soon as possible. Do not try and kill them by slapping them, it will only agitate them further. Wash the sting with soap to prevent infection and apply a cool compress to reduce the itching and swelling. There are some natural treatments you can use on the bites, but before you use them, you need to apply hydrogen peroxide to the bites several times a day. Here are some natural remedies for ant bites.
Since ant bites cause itching, you are prone to get a secondary infection when you scratch the bites. To prevent such infection, you can use vinegar, which is highly acidic and kills off bacteria. Vinegar also soothes your skin and controls itching. Dab a cotton ball in vinegar and apply it generously on the bites. After 15 minutes, wash it off with water.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which prevent secondary infection caused by scratching. It also soothes the swelling and reduces the redness of the insect bites. Take tea tree oil and water in a 1:1 ratio in a bowl, dip a cotton ball in it, and apply it over the bites 2 to 3 times a day.
Salt has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which prevent the occurrence of secondary infections. It helps soothe the insect bite and helps dry out pustules rapidly. Take a tablespoon of salt and make a paste using water. Apply the paste on the ant bites, leave it for 10 to 15 minutes, and wash it off with water.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a gentle, but effective, remedy for ant bites. It reduces swelling and alleviates pain without irritating the skin. Applying the gel over your skin will form a protective layer over the infected areas and its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties will quicken the recovery process. Scoop out the gel from an aloe vera leaf, apply it evenly over the bites, and let it dry completely. You can use this remedy as much as you want.
Toothpaste usually contains ingredients like menthol, clove, or peppermint, which have a cooling effect on your skin. Applying toothpaste reduces the sensation of pain and itching. Smear toothpaste over the bites, let it dry completely, and wash it off with water. You can repeat the procedure as many times as you like.
For some people, ant bites can be very dangerous as they can trigger severe allergic reactions that need immediate medical attention. The symptoms include hives, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, trouble breathing, swelling of the tongue and throat, and severe cramps in the gut. Do not waste time in calling for medical help. The sooner the help arrives the greater the chances of survival.