Allergic Reaction to Ant Bites

It’s more common to fear an ant sting than become allergic to one. Different people get different reactions from ant bites and stings such as swollen foot, itching, and even a severe allergic reaction that might need immediate medical attention.

After an ant bite, it’s normal to get a small itching lump, which will normally get better after about an hour. There’s a possibility of getting a blister within the first 24 hours. Some people experience larger reactions after ant bites, such as a swollen arm from a single ant bite on the arm. Getting a severe allergic reaction from an ant bite is rare, but it can be life-threatening. Some of the symptoms associated with ant bite allergies include:

  • Cramping
  • Hives
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble breathing
  • The tightness of the chest
  • Swelling of the tongue or throat

If you are bitten by an ant and experience any of the above symptoms its important to seek emergency services immediately. However, if you have an epinephrine shot, you could use it. Repeat the shot after 5 to 15 minutes if the symptoms haven’t reduced. You will still need to see a physician after the shots, even if the symptoms have stopped, this is a precautionary measure to prevent a delayed reaction.

How can I avoid ant bites?

  • Half the time, ant bites happen by mistake, these tiny critters aren’t the easiest to spot, and walking or picnicking close to their nest could lead to severe ant bites. So how do I avoid getting bitten?
  • Stay away from nests. It’s hard to stay clear of what is hard to see. But before you settle for a picnic site always check for ant hills. When working in your garden or mowing through your lawn, avoid disrupting an ant nest.
  • Hire a professional pest control expert to get rid of the ant nest in your property. Ants in your property can be dangerous to your pets and children. In case you notice an anthill in your yard, call in the experts and have it removed.
  • When walking in your yard or working in the garden, make sure you wear protective clothing. Wear shoes and socks in the lawn or yard and wear gloves when pruning your vegetables.

If you are stung with a fire ant, for example, you have a 60% chance of getting a similar or worse reaction if you get stung again.

Types of ant bite reactions

There are several different types of ant bite reactions you can get depending on the species of ant that bit you. Some of those reactions include

  • Allergic reaction
  • Local irritation
  • Toxic reaction. Some ants have substances in their sting that can cause a toxic reaction. The symptoms are often similar to those of an allergic reaction, but the underlying mechanism is what is different.
  • Serum sickness. This is yet another type of reaction you can get from an ant bite or sting. Some of the symptoms of this reaction are similar to an allergic reaction, but will also include symptoms that are similar to the flu virus.

The most common ant bite that is prone to have a profound effect on humans from a bite is that of a fire ant. Most people will experience a significant amount of redness, swelling and itching around the bite site. A few people will experience severe allergic reactions as a result of a fire ant sting.

Red harvester ants are very rare nowadays, just like fire ants, they will sting instead of bite, but unlike the fire ants, they are reluctant when it comes to attacking. The sting from this ant feels like a bee sting.  Victims will get a painful swollen red welt that will itch for a few days before going away.

Carpenter ants are also known to bite when confronted. Most of the time they will escape. If they bite, the result is more or less the same as the one you would get from a red harvester ant. You will experience a stabbing pain and a red welt.

What to do after an ant bite?

Ant bites and stings cause significant discomfort and sometimes can lead to life threating symptoms like anaphylaxis. If you are at risk of anaphylaxis have an Epi-Pen on hand, allergy shots can also be helpful when it comes to reducing symptoms. In case the allergy is severe rush immunotherapy can help relieve the symptoms in a shorter period. If you are bitten or stung by ants and you don’t have any of the medication at hand, seek medical services immediately. To remove ant infestation please feel free to call our professional ant control Toronto services: 647-496-2211.

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.