A common household pest that can be seen in many homes is ants. Though these tiny creatures play an important role in our ecosystem, they are also a nuisance in our homes most especially when they start to bite us. Most ant species are harmless, but there are also species that can trigger allergic reactions due to the venom ejected when they bite. Other people are simply allergic to insect bites that when any species of insect bite them, acute to severe allergic reactions occur. Unfortunately not everyone knows if they are allergic to ant bites that they end up experimenting with an array of remedies and treatments or they simply ignore the bites which only make matters worse. Ants may be tiny, but they can also be harmful pests so underestimating them may not be a wise decision to make.
How Do You Know If You Have Been Bitten By Ants?
Most of the time, the symptoms you may experience are caused by allergic reactions. Determining what caused these symptoms can be difficult if you are not aware of the effects of insect bites. The symptoms you must watch out for are:
- Swelling of the skin around the bitten area
- Blisters on the bite
- Itchiness on and around the bitten area
- Redness and tenderness of the skin around the bite
The more severe symptoms are often associated with allergic reactions and these are:
- Facial swelling
- Tongue swelling
- Breathing difficulties
Do Ant Bites Have To Be Treated?
Ant bites are insect bites that must never be ignored. Bites that have acute symptoms can be easily treated at home, while those with severe symptoms must seek immediate medical attention. However, it is also essential to note that severe symptoms or serious allergic reactions are usually experienced with multiple ant bites at one time. Here are a few tips on how you can treat ant bites at home:
- Clean the bitten area with warm water and a mild soap then dried off with a clean towel. This must be done thrice a day.
- To assist in relieving itchiness and reduce inflammation, you can apply ice cubes in a towel or cold compresses for 20 to 30 minutes, every four hours.
- Take a cool bath or shower. If you plan to soak in the tub, add some oatmeal to your bath to soothe the itchiness and prevent further irritation.
- If the bitten area is swollen make sure that you elevate the area above your heart.
- Blisters must never be pierced to avoid infection and swelling.
- You can also take oral antihistamines or apply ointments. Your ant bites can heal within five to seven days if you do not experience serious reactions.
- In the event that you begin to experience breathing difficulties, fainting, wheezing and tongue swelling, you must consult with a doctor. This is most necessary if your symptoms include vomiting, fever, pus in the bite wound, scabbing and extreme pain.
Since not all ants are harmful we tend to sometimes neglect to ward them away from our homes until it is too late. This may be an unwise attitude towards housekeeping and pest control, because ants can contaminate food and water, and there are certain species of ants that can cause severe allergic reactions through their bite. As such, stay safe from ants by practicing proper housekeeping and applying professional pest control treatments.
Valerie Hardy is a freelance writer who specializes in health, well being and natural pest control methods of Interstate Pest Rodent Removal. She also writes about the different types of insects and their habits and what allergic reactions occur when an insect bites.