First aid for fire ant stings

Encounters with fire ants can involve tens or hundreds of ants; they tend to all sting at once and can sting repeatedly.

Stings are painful, and the burning or itching sensations can last up to an hour. Victims of multiple stings may feel as if their body is on fire.

After a few hours (or even a day or two), small blisters or pustules may form at sting sites. These may become itchy and can take up to 10 days to heal.

There is a risk of secondary infection if the blisters or pustules break.

Fire ant stings are very painful and skin can take up to 10 days to heal

Severe allergic reactions

In extremely rare cases, fire ant stings can cause a severe and sometimes fatal allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Seek immediate medical advice if you have a history of allergy to insects or experience the following symptoms:

  • rapid onset of flushing
  • general hives
  • swelling of the face, eyes or throat
  • chest pains
  • nausea
  • severe sweating
  • breathing difficulties
  • faintness.

First aid for fire ant stings

  • Apply a cold compress to relieve the swelling and pain.
  • Gently wash the affected area with soap and water and leave the blister intact.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you are allergic to insect stings or experience symptoms of allergy.

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