What Are Fire Ants?
Have you ever encountered fire ants? Progreen Termite is here to help you detect and eliminate these dangerous creatures! Fire ants can cause blistering wounds to you and your family so take caution!
Fire ants are an invasive ant species native to South America. The continent’s humid and rainy climate gave the ants a powerful means to survive in water-drenched environments. This is why all attempts to drown fire ants in water will not work. The species was accidentally imported into the United States in the early 20th century. Fire ants are prevalent in certain regions of the country, primarily in the southern states as well as New Mexico and California. Unlike other species of ants, fire ants produce a potent and dangerous bite, resulting in burning red welts for the victim.
Detecting Fire Ants
The easiest way to tell if you have fire ants is if you find their mounds or experience their bite. Fire ant colonies will build a small fluffy dirt hill that are a few inches tall. However, unlike other ant mounds, these mounds will have no opening at its center. Instead, fire ants will tunnel underground and a majority of the colony will be underneath the surface. This species is also a reddish brown color and has stingers. Fire ants are known to be an aggressive species so take extra care if you are inspecting your home for fire ants.
Fire Ant Bites
You will know if you’ve been bitten by a fire ant. Their venom stings, and although their bite is not poisonous, it is painful nonetheless. Fire ants are not only very aggressive, but their bites pack a powerful punch, even after several days. If you’ve been bitten by a fire ant, you will notice that the affected area may swell up into a tender, inflamed region. If you receive multiple bites, your skin will form clusters of red bumps in the region. Your skin may feel like it’s burning and the bite will leave a blister or a sore that will be painful to the touch. After a day or so the bites will often become pustules that are filled with pus.
If you have been bit by a fire ant, it’s important not to panic. Burning pain is normal. However, if you start to feel shortness of breath, a swollen tongue, and dizzyness, find emergency medical treatment right away. These signs indicate that you are having an allergic reaction to the fire ant venom. You may go into anaphylactic shock if you don’t seek treatment immediately! Another important note is to avoid over scratching your wounds as this could lead to a secondary infection.
Treating Fire Ant Bites
To treat a fire ant bite, apply a cold compress to ease the swelling and the pain. Ice packs and cold towels will help alleviate the sting. When applying the cold compress to the bite area, leave it on the skin for 20 minutes and then take it off for 20 minutes. You can repeat this step as needed.
Another remedy is to wash the wounded area with warm soap and water. Doing this will clean and disinfect the area. You can also apply aloe vera gel and spread it over the area to help the skin heal. The gel will soothe any irritation and discomfort from the stings. Natural remedies such as witch hazel and oatmeal can also help soothe the skin and relieve any discomfort. Finally, hydrocortisone cream and an antibiotic ointment can clean the wound as well as relieve pain and swelling from the bites. If the area swells more than a typical bite, your skin is having a minor allergic reaction to the fire ant’s venom. To decrease the swelling or itching, you can take an antihistamine such as Benadryl.
If your property has fire ants, beware of stepping on the ant mounds. These creatures are especially dangerous to children. You’ll want to find every way to keep your child away from the vicinity. Do not try to clear out a fire ant colony by yourself. Fire ants are not like typical ant colonies and will require specialized attention, so please seek the help of a professional. If you need to remove a fire ant colony from your property, Progreen Termite can help you with the problem!
Progreen Termite Can Help!
Progreen Termite can help you get rid of dangerous fire ants! Our professional exterminators know how to detect fire ant mounds! We’ll use powerful tools to eliminate these dangerous creatures from your home and yard! Call us now at (714) 677-8446 and schedule a free inspection with us!