If you’re currently suffering from bites from ants, then you must be wondering how to soothe the painful and uncomfortable itch and how to get rid of the ants. To help you out, we have compiled some natural remedies for ant bites. These remedies that can be applied at home will help relieve the itch fast. They are not only effective but also safe, easy, and quite affordable.
Table of Contents
What Are Ant Bites?
There are various different species of ants, but the most common bites are caused by fire ants. Fire ants are red-colored insects; they are called fire ants due to their color that looks like fire. It is often a common misconception to say that ants bite. Most ants don’t really bite, instead, they sting.
Fire ants sting by first latching on the victim’s skin with their jaws. After that, they sting you a couple of times, making a circle as they do that. As they sting, the ants also release venom on the sting. The venom contains a chemical known as piperidine. The result of this ant sting is a little tiny red mark that is surrounded by pus bumps. Fortunately, there are natural remedies for ant bites that will help you deal with the pain and discomforts from such stings.
Symptoms of Ant Bites
The most common physical reaction to a sting or bite from a fire ant is actually red, raised welt. The next day, however, the welt will reduce but a pustule will most likely take its place. Bites from fire ants can be extremely painful and may cause burning or itching.
There are some people who experience more than a localized reaction on the skin when they get bit by a fire ant. There are some people who are extremely allergic to stings from fire ants, although this is quite rare. These anaphylactic reactions may result in a range of physical symptoms. For example, if you’re bit on your leg and you’re allergic, a bit from fire ants could cause your entire leg to swell up, or in more extreme cases, it could make you unable to breathe.
It is better to consult your physician if you notice any of the following symptoms after a bite from an ant:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sudden difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Swelling on the lips, eyelids, or throat
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea or vomiting
How to Prevent Ant Bites
The following measures are very important if you intend to prevent a recurrence of ant bites:
- Immediately leaving the spot where the ant has bitten you
- Teaching kids to spot the nests of ants and staying away from them
- Wearing clothes that can protect you from the bites. Thick clothes, socks and boots are most effective to be worn when outdoors
- Putting on gloves while gardening
- Desist from working in an area where there are ant mounds
- If ants invade your home, do pest control indoors to get rid of them
- Using insect repellants to deter fire ants
Home Remedies Against Ant Bites
Besides the natural remedies for ant bites which will soon be discussed, there are also various other things you can do at home that can help treat ant bites immediately. Some of the good home remedies for the treatment of ant bites include the following:
- Wash the bite spot with soap and water
- Ants mostly use their jaws to bite or sting; therefore, brushing them off your body with a cloth or towel is the best way to shrug them off you
- Place ice pack on the spot every fifteen minutes
- Raise the part of the body where the ant has bit will help reduce swelling
- Apply 0.5-1% hydrocortisone cream to help relieve itching
- Make use of a calamine lotion to be applied on the spot
- Put fresh aloe vera gel on the spot to help soothe the painful feeling
The measures outlined above can also be regarded as first aid treatment that everyone should know.
Some of the things that should be avoided while suffering from ant bites include the following:
- Applying a solution of half-bleach and half-water
- Trying to pop out a bite from an ant
- Making use of homeopathic medicines without first consulting your doctor
- Scratching the spot
- Washing the spot with alcohol
There is nothing wrong with consulting your physician if any of the first aid measures listed earlier does not work for you, and you can also try the following:
- Taking painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve discomfort and pain
- Making use of hydrocortisone ointment or cream, antihistamine tablets, or crotamiton lotion or cream for itching
- Using steroid tablets in the case of symptoms that have become severe
How to Kill Fire Ants
It is not easy to get rid of problems from fire ants. Most fire ants have colonies that stretch out over a large area and eliminating all the colonies can be very difficult indeed. Some colonies contain more than one queen, hence the reason they are difficult to combat.
In fact, as soon as you are able to get rid of the colony of fire ants, another could move in almost immediately and take over the area again. This is a fact you need to fully understand, no matter how frustrating it may seem. To kill off fire ants on your property, you can make use of spray and/or bait on them. This, however, is something you have to continue doing to make sure that they never return. It is very hard to control fire ants, so you can get the help of a professional if you think you cannot handle the situation yourself.
Natural Remedies for Ant Bites
Fire ants are almost everywhere and so not everyone is safe from a bite from them. An ant will start its attack by biting down on your with its mandible and then anchoring down into your skin. While doing that, it injects venom through its stinger, causing you a very painful and uncomfortable feeling. But you can deal with these bites with the following natural health remedies:
1. Essential Oils
There are several essential oils that may provide a natural remedy to venom from fire ants. Lavender, Basil, Roman Chamomile, and Wintergreen contain properties that can help in reducing swelling, pain, irritation, and burning sensations from the sting.
A. Lavender Essential Oil
This oil will naturally help in easing the pain of the bite. It is very safe and gentle for everyone, including young children. Lavender works well due to the soothing and inflammatory-reducing properties it contains.
Add 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil (you can make use of fractionated coconut oil) to the palm of your hand and gently apply the mixture to the spot of the fire ant bite. You may need to apply diluted essential oil to the bite spot several times.
B. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
This particular oil has almost the same properties as the lavender essential oil. You can follow the same direction as given above with Roman Chamomile Essential Oil; mix it with a carrier oil and gently rub it on the bite spot. It is helpful for soothing and calming the bite area.
C. Basil Essential Oil
This oil is effective for relieving itching. It does not only work for fire ant bites but is also very effective against mosquito bites, or any insect bite for that matter.
D. Wintergreen Essential Oil
It is advisable to use wintergreen essential oil with the species of gaultheria procumbens. This particular species has been discovered to effectively help ease pain due to the chemical compound of methyl salicylate that it contains, which naturally helps relieve pain.
Do not use wintergreen essential oil on children below the age of 10 due to the fact that the essential oil has similar chemical components to aspirin. Also, ensure that you dilute and never use it internally because the methyl salicylate is not safe for internal organs.
2. Hot Water
When you have been bitten by a fire ant, the first step to take is to run the affected area under hot water. However, make sure the water is not too hot to scald your skin. Hot water will help neutralize the sting venom and relieve the itching and stinging. If you are bitten on the foot or leg, you can run hot water in your bathtub and immerse your feet in it.
However, do not try this with young children because their skins may be tender and the water may burn them.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Fire ant bites often result in painful itching that can be quite unbearable. Apple cider vinegar is very effective in relieving the itching as the acid works to neutralize the sting venom. While it relieves the pain, apple cider vinegar also assists in the prevention of skin infection. Many people understand how effective apple cider vinegar can be. Among its myriads of wonders is improving peeled skin due to scratching. Just dip a cotton ball in the vinegar and gently apply it to the bite spot.
4. Aloe Vera
This is one of the most effective natural remedies for ant bites that work on many skin problems. Aloe vera does not only provides a cooling effect on the skin but also assists in soothing the itching and pain from an ant bite. Take a small leaf of aloe vera, dice it into two to reveal the gel, and then gently apply it on the spot of the bite.
The mint contained in toothpaste is also known to help cool the burn of a fire ant bite. It also provides great relief to people who are dealing with a lot of pain from the bite. Simply squeeze a small amount of mint-flavored toothpaste onto your finger and gently rub it on the affected area. Also, baking soda-based toothpaste is also very effective for this treatment.
6. Tea Tree Oil
This oil contains antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve pain from bites. Simply pour a little tea tree oil on your palm and gently rub it on the affected spot of your skin. Within a few minutes, you will begin to feel more relieved until the pain totally subsides.
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil can be found in the kitchen of most people. Many people do not know that olive oil is also very effective in relieving a red, irritated, itchy ant bite. Olive oil has oleocanthal content – a chemical effective in inhibiting the action of certain enzymes that cause inflammation. To find out how effective olive oil truly is, just rub a bit of the oil on the spot from the ant bite.
8. Lemon Juice and Baking Soda
These two elements are very effective for reducing the pain and discomfort associated with ant bites. To apply, simply squeeze out a bit of lemon juice into a small bowl and rub a tiny amount of it on the spot of the bite. If you desire to make use of a baking soda, just mix it with a small amount of water to make a paste, then apply the mixture to the bite area. Either of the two is guaranteed to give you quick relief.
We cannot mention effective natural remedies for ant bites and not mention honey. For thousands of years, honey has been serving as a natural remedy for many conditions, relieving pains from ant bites is one of its myriad of uses. Some drops of honey on the bite spot will reduce the itching, swelling, and redness. You can try it now if you are suffering from an ant bite.
While it is great to get instant relief from ant bite, the best way is to make sure there is no future occurrence. Prevention has always been better than cure. Therefore, it is important for you to take the necessary steps to get rid of ants in your surroundings and home. Also, you may need to inform your physician before trying any of the natural remedies for ant bites given above.