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ant bites

What Do Ant Bites Look Like?

Summer is the time you walk barefoot around the garden, playing a game of football with the kids then suddenly, you feel a sharp bite, sting sensation. You look down and see you have accidentally walked straight across an ant Congo line that leads back to what looks like an ant nest! 

At this stage, you are still hopping around with the searing pain in between your toes, still not calming down and you are waiting patiently for one of the kids to return with water to wash the affected area where the ant had bitten.

As small as ants, many people suffer ant-induced anaphylaxis. Ant allergy is a rare clinical problem that ranges from local to systemic reaction and life-threatening anaphylaxis. When this occurs, you can get a range of breathing difficulties, swollen arms, and legs, tachycardia, and dizziness. 

Let us look at the different ant bites you may come across below.

Ant Bite Symptoms Australia

Bull Ants

Bull ant bites aren’t bites at all. A sharp prong near its abdomen pumps venom made up of proteins, histamines, and other stuff into its target – because it’s quite big in comparison to other ants you’ll encounter, the sting hurts significantly more. 

While the initial bite is extremely painful, and redness, irritation, and swelling are common, be on the lookout for signs of allergic reaction – bull ant bites have killed people in the past due to the potency of their venom.

How do you treat bull ant bites in Australia?

  1. Wash the stung area with soap and water.
  2. Apply a cold pack to the area and take a simple analgesic, if required, to relieve pain and swelling.
  3. If there is persistent or severe ant bite swelling and/or itching, take an antihistamine for 1-3 days.
ant bites

Fire Ants

Fire ant bites are miserable. You’ll never just have one either – when disturbed or offended, they swarm towards their target, mouth parts at the ready. 

image of fire ant

Fire ant venom contains over 46 proteins that can impact the human nervous system, from the initial pinching sting to short-lived pain followed by itching or burning that can last days. Fire ant bites resemble bumpy red pimples. Any allergic reaction will occur within minutes of being bitten – breathing issues, dizziness, confusion, swelling, and loss of consciousness are all symptoms that should have you dialing 000.

Should you pop a fire ant bite? Experts advise you to stop the urge to pop fire ant bites, or else you’re risking yourself a secondary infection. 

You may also expect some ant bite swelling next day, and fire ant bites itching a week later. Although they say it’s pretty normal as the symptoms are expected to last up to 10 days, it’s best to closely observe the ant bite area and decide when medical treatment is needed.

Jack Jumper Ants

The jack jumper ant is a distant cousin of the bull ant. While the initial bite symptoms are the same with some added swelling, the likelihood of anaphylaxis is higher. Jack jumper ants are not rare, but their nests are extremely difficult to locate. If you suspect your backyard is home to jack jumpers, please pick up the phone – protecting your family is our number one priority.

Give us a call on 0407 065 413, and we’ll send expert help right away. 

Green Ants

Green ant bites cause minor redness around the bite, with sharp pain immediately radiating from the site followed by itching. A mild allergic reaction may lead to a rash or significant swelling around the area. Hives and swelling away from the bite signal that you’re having a generalized allergic reaction, while tongue and throat swelling, in addition to breathing difficulties. Coughing, wheezing and dizziness mean you need to seek help right away.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ant bites are quite big, around the size of a pea, reflecting the size and power of their wood-chopping mandibles. The skin around the bite site becomes inflamed, resulting in redness and itching. The bite itself is extremely painful, usually breaking the skin. If you experience constant pain, irritation, or itching around the affected area, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction. When in doubt, go to the hospital. Carpenter ants rarely attack people.

image of carpenter ant

Pictures of ant bites prove that these tiny creatures can actually cause serious harm. If you notice ant bite swelling that has started getting worse, don’t disregard it. Take immediate action. 

How Long Do Ant Bites Last

Ant bites typically last for 1-2 days. This is the time when the severity is still at its peak, although you could expect that it’s no longer as serious on the second day. Ant bites take 7-10 days to resolve.  

You could expect ant bite swelling next day, especially if they’re fire ant bites as the redness usually lasts 3 days and the swelling 7 to 10 days. Fire ant bites itching a week later is still common, but if the symptoms don’t go away or are still severe, medical treatment may be necessary. 

image of ants biting a hand

Ant Bite Treatment

If you or someone you love is having an ant bite reaction, initial treatment steps include:

  • Assessing Yourself – Are you feeling okay in general? Is your breathing steady? Do you feel dizzy? Has any pain and swelling stayed localized to the bite zone? Check in with yourself this way for 5, 10, 30, 60, and 90 minutes after the initial bite to ensure you aren’t having an allergic reaction.
  • Wash the Bite Site – Use soap and clean water to give the bite a good wash.
  • Apply a Cold Compress – A cold pack or a packet of peas from the freezer will help with any resulting pain and swelling.
  • Take an Antihistamine – If you’re wondering just how do you stop ant bites from itching, a loratadine-based antihistamine like Claritin will help take care of that maddening itch while further settling any swelling.

Remember: Any ant bite or sting can inspire an allergic response. Often, black ant bites are not very serious, but if you or someone you know has been bitten by any of these species before, or those that aren’t listed, and experienced a serious reaction, seek emergency treatment straight away by dialing 000 or going to the nearest hospital.

To avoid getting the risk of ant allergies or serious ant bites, it’s best to get rid of ants in your home. An ant pest control is what you’ll need to keep your family safe. 

Call our A1 Pest Control Canberra team on 0407 065 413 NOW!

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Call A1 Pest Control Canberra today for a consultation and to schedule an inspection of your property.

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