Fire Ants are evil


Not so happy today as today is day 2 of nursing my fire ant bites. Thankfully I only have 3, but that is 3 too many in my opinion. I’m pretty allergic to their bites. By that I mean that where ever I get bit swells up and doesn’t go away without the help of antihistamine or cream.

I got the bites over the weekend while doing the Mom’s Time Out Event, because apparently there was a colony of fire ants at the crack of the pavement and I was standing right on them.

I was much luckier than the owner of Simply Silverton as she ended up with 40+ bites. If I had received that many I would have been in the hospital on heavy drugs as my foot and leg would have swollen up.

My Allergic reaction goes back to being a  little kid and having one of those cheap pools people used to put in their back yeards, my parents put it up near an anthill… a fire ant hill and being the curious and evil little thing that I was I wanted the ants to go away because just looking at them ruined my fun.

So I put some water on them, well this sent them into a mild flurry.. they weren’t moving fast enough for me, so I put more water on them and watched as a few were carried away by the  minor tsunami I had created.

At this point, this should be where a normal child stops.. well I wasn’t a normal child.. and so I keep going until the ants either decided to climb the walks of the pool or drown with their fellow antmates..

The ants that climbed the pool wall I didn’t notice until it was too late.

I ended up with bites on my arms and somehow on my legs as I lept out of the pool like a man on fire and ran inside crying to my mother because it hurt.

Serves me right.

Well fast forward a few days and I end up with a very nasty bite on the back of my calf that is so swollen that I can barely bend my leg.

Or that time that I got a bite on my forearm near the bend of my elbow and it was so swollen that I had to go to the hospital/clinic (I was small so I don’t remember really which it was, but I know there was a doctor and a few nurses involved) to get a shot and some medicated creme.

Now fast forward again to saturday were I get wrongfully assaulted by fire ants…my big toe, my little toe and the middle of my foot were the unlucky victims of this vicious attack.

As of right now, my foot is wrapped up with aloe vera and elevated as I remember something from those horrid experiences. The problem at the moment is that the bite from my little toe has swollen the area in front of my toes, the same with the bite from the big toe so I’m having a bit of difficulty bending my toes.

The bite on my food didn’t even swell up of which I’m glad otherwise I would have to wear one normal shoe and then a clown shoe since my feet are size 11s to begin with with swelling I don’t think they make women’s shoes much bigger.

But the main reason I am writing this blog is to share so of the information I found on the evil fire ants while looking up how to treat myself.

(Taken from

Home Remedy for Treating Fire Ant Bites:

    • Take an antihistamine (like Benadryl) to help prevent allergic reactions and swelling
    • After washing the bites, as soon as possible:
        • Worcestershire sauce. Cover the bite(s) with a paper towel and saturate with the sauce. Read more.
        • Bleach and water (half and half) or full strength, followed in 15 minutes by a slathering of Arm & Hammer Advance White toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide.
        • Cut open a fresh lime and rub the area in several different directions until you feel the burning and itching stop. Once you’ve saturated the area with the lime and lime juice, you won’t even get any pustules or scabs. Also, you won’t get scars!
        • Ammonia alone, or alternately applying ammonia and hydrogen peroxide with two rags, cotton balls, or paper towels. A reader writes: “A touch of ammonia on the bite immediately (within 15 minutes, or the body begins to heal by covering over the wound) will neutralize the venom.
        • Soak in a tub of warm water with 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax. Borax is actually the mineral boron. So you are taking a mineral bath. This draws out the venom.

      Read one man’s rather entertaining account of his first encounter with fire ants after moving from Washington state to Texas.

        • Topical steroid cream such as a 1/4% or stronger hydrocortisone cream.
        • Baking soda and water (thick paste)
        • Meat tenderizer and water (thick paste)
        • Alcohol
        • Vinegar. (This is the suggested solution for use with box jellyfish.)
        • Crushed aspirin (thick paste). May help even after a day.
        • Salt (thick paste)
        • Aloe jell
        • Liquid dishwashing soap (not dishwasher soap)
        • Freshly cut onion

      These can reduce the pain and itching. You can carry a small spray bottle of some of these mixtures with you to use immediately if you know you will be in an infested area that is not close to the house.

    • Apply an ice cube to reduce pain and itching
  • Immediately apply USDA grade peppermint oil, then USDA grade lavender oil, repeatedly.

Why do Fire Ant Stings Burn So Much?

Fire ants got their name because their sting literally burns like fire. Fire ant venom is much more potent than other insects’ venom in that it contains a high concentration of piperidine, an alkaloid compound with a high pH that is 95% insoluble in water. Piperidine is related to piperine, the main active ingredient in black pepper. No wonder it burns! Fire ant venom also contains a smaller amount of protein than is normally found in stings. Scientists have been able to identify four separate proteins in the fire ant venom, two of which seem to be unique to fire ants.

The Body’s Reaction

The body reacts to the venom by releasing histamine, which actually causes the pain, swelling and redness. Discomfort is felt within seconds, and a small red welt will appear. The welts often will enlarge rapidly, leave a burning and itching sensation, and are usually, but not always, followed by the formation of a white pustule after anywhere from 6 to 24 hours

About 15% of people who are stung have an allergy to fire ant bites. They can react quite strongly, often suffering from chest pains, nausea, dizziness, hives, swelling, shock or, in rare cases, lapsing into a coma. Although extremely rare, some deaths have been documented as having been caused by fireant stings. A imported fire ant vaccine is available which can help desensitize people to the venom.

The bites, if not quickly treated with something like the toxin neutralizer we recommend, may take up to several weeks to disappear. The blisters become itchy and are prone to infection if they are broken. If they are not properly cleaned or treated, they may cause an infection or leave permanent scarring.

Because of this, and occasional stories of humans or animals being killed by multiple stings, people have a fear fireants. (No kidding!) In some areas of infestation, playgrounds, parks and picnic areas go unused because of the presence of fireants.

So what have we learned?
15% of people are allergic to these evil things.. and they sting you not bite you.. now I’m off to take some Benadryl and go to bed.