Treating fire ant bites and stings.  Information on reaction and treatment.  Find a home remedy.Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion; you must set yourself on fire. - Reggie Leach
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Fire Ant Bite Home Remedies

 

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The Fire Ant Bite

Unlike many other ants, fire ants do not really bite, they sting. But then, neither do mosquitoes and we call those bites, too. The fire ant will bite with its pinchers, but that is only to get a tight grip on you. Then they sting you from their abdomen and inject a toxic alkaloid venom called solenopsin. One welt can be the result of ten stings. They hold on with their pinchers and turn a circle, stinging you all around it. This can result in a pea sized welt. They can then move to a different area and continue stinging you. About 40% of people in infested areas, or more than 20 million, are bitten each year by fire ants.

 

Fire Ant Bite Pictures

Fire Ant Bite Remedy Fire Ant Bite Remedy Treating fire ant bites and stings.  Information on reaction and treatment.  Find a home remedy.
Usually have a white pustule,
although not always.
They may simply be about a
1/4" raised red mound.
After several weeks.

If You Just Got Stung

exterminators

Try applying either the best fire ant bite remedy we have found, or one of the home remedies mentioned below. The fire ant toxins are 95 percent non-water soluble, so washing with water is only going to be marginally effective. Instead, we suggest vigorously massaging, but not scratching, the bite with anything that will neutralize the venom. You want to flush out as much of the toxins as possible. Scratching is the wrong thing to do. It brings blood to the area. Then the venom can spread to tissue that is not damaged, resulting in more pain.

Next, elevate the extremity if possible.

 

Home Remedy for Treating Fire Ant Bites:

There are numerous home remedies for fire ant bites. We list some here which our readers have shared with us for educational purposes only, with no guarantee that they will work. Please email us if you would like to share another home remedy or comment on ones you have tried

Please Note: If you have an allergic reaction to fireant bites,
seek medical attention, rather than trying a home remedy.

 

  • Take an antihistamine (like Benadryl) to help prevent allergic reactions and swelling

  • After washing the bites, as soon as possible:

    • Worcestershire sauce. Cover the bite(s) with a paper towel and saturate with the sauce. Read more.

    • Hot water. Read more.

    • Put a penny on each welt and tape it on with scotch tape. This can provide almost immediate relief with the welts being gone in a few hours. Read user comments.

    • Bleach and water (half and half) or full strength, followed in 15 minutes by a slathering of Arm & Hammer Advance White toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide. Read user comments.

    • Cut open a fresh lime and rub the area in several different directions until you feel the burning and itching stop. Once you've saturated the area with the lime and lime juice, you won't even get any pustules or scabs. Also, you won't get scars! Read users comments about fire ant bites and lime.

    • Ammonia alone, or alternately applying ammonia and hydrogen peroxide with two rags, cotton balls, or paper towels. A reader writes: "A touch of ammonia on the bite immediately (within 15 minutes, or the body begins to heal by covering over the wound) will neutralize the venom.

    • Plantain extract. Read user comments.

    • Soak in a tub of warm water with 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax. Borax is actually the mineral boron. So you are taking a mineral bath. This draws out the venom.

    • Read one man's rather entertaining account of his first encounter with fire ants after moving from Washington state to Texas.
    • Topical steroid cream such as a 1/4% or stronger hydrocortisone cream.

    • Baking soda and water (thick paste)

    • Meat tenderizer and water (thick paste)

    • Alcohol

    • Vinegar. (This is the suggested solution for use with box jellyfish.)

    • Crushed aspirin (thick paste). May help even after a day.

    • Salt (thick paste)

    • Tea Tree oil (may also be good for other insect bites, such as, chiggers, fleas and mosquitoes)

    • Aloe jell

    • Liquid dishwashing soap (not dishwasher soap). Read user comments.

    • Freshly cut onion

    • Peroxide

    These can reduce the pain and itching. You can carry a small spray bottle of some of these mixtures with you to use immediately if you know you will be in an infested area that is not close to the house.

  • Apply an ice cube to reduce pain and itching

  • Immediately apply USDA grade peppermint oil, then USDA grade lavender oil, repeatedly.
Read what others have said about their experience with a home remedy for fire ant bites.

To Pop or Not to Pop the Pustules

There are two schools of thought about whether or not it is helpful to break open the pustules. One school says not to break them because it may invite infection. However, others say that the pustules must be broken open to release the toxins.

Our readers have reported that popping open the pustules has helped. If you do open them, thoroughly wash the area first. After popping them, spray the area with peroxide. Let it dry before applying anything else.

Here is what one reader had to say:
"After receiving 3 bites within 1 inch of each other on my hand, and one being between my fingers, my hand started to swell almost immediately. I was not able to apply anything until the following day. I am of the opinion 'break open the pustules". I sterilized a pin. Cleaned the area with soap and water and then with alcohol. After puncturing the pustule with the pin I gently pulled the skin to enlarge the pin hole slightly. Then using a cotton tip or Q-Tip I applied alcohol. I kept expressing the liquid for a few minutes and then reapplying the alcohol. I would rub the alcohol into the pustule opening that I created with the pin. BTW the itching was relieved instantly. After doing this several times and there was no longer any fluid coming from the opening I applied Calamine Lotion. Because of the location of the bites I could not apply a covering. But nonetheless this seems to work well for me. I hope others can benefit from my experience." - Joe Colao

 

Aftermath

Avoid scratching the pustule, which can lead to infections.

Severe allergic reactions to fire ants can be deadly. Seek medical attention immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

  • severe chest pain
  • severe sweating
  • slurred speech
  • loss of breath
  • serious swelling
  • nausea

Treat any bites that become infected.

 

Prevention

The best way to avoid fire ant bites is to avoid fire ants. Unfortunately, that is not always possible.

One idea we read suggested that you might try dusting your legs, shoes and socks, or tall rubber boots with talc or talcum powder. This simply makes it difficult for the fire ants to climb up on you, thereby making it impossible for them to sting you. Teflon coated shoes sound like the best answer, which actually is a darn good idea!

Of course, it's even easier to prevent fire ant bites if there are no fire ants in the vicinity. For that, check out our page about killing fire ants.

 

More Fire Ant Bite Information

Click to read more about fire ant bites. How does a fire ant sting you? Why does the bite sting so much? How does your body react to a sting?

 

Wasp and Yellow Jacket Stings Home Remedy

Yes, we know this is a site about fire ants. But someone sent us this information and we thought we'd include it. Maybe you can use it for bee stings, too. We don't know. We have no idea if it will work. If it works for you, let us know.

From Al Barrs:

For stings like wasp, keep a copper penny in your pocket. Press the penny over the sting sight and hold it. The copper will react with the acid the wasp injects into you and cause an electrolysis action much like a battery. That will neutralize the acid because the copper penny has much more ability to be effective than the acid the Wasp injects.

 

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