Ants are insects. On the planet there are about six thousand species. Ant bites can cause serious trouble to a person, especially if they are massive.
What species of ants threaten human health, where do they live and how to react in case of a bite of this insect?
Ant species and their habitat
Fortunately, there are no poisonous ants on the territory of the Russian Federation, or even of the countries of the former USSR. In Russia, their species are quite harmless. The most common are forest and domestic red ants.
- Forest red ants live exclusively in the midst of nature, build anthills and have a complex social organization. The size of the working ant reaches 9 mm in length, the head and abdomen are black, and the chest is painted in a reddish-brown color.
- The house ant settles down in constructions and easily adapts to the most various conditions. These are small insects about 3 mm in length, painted in brown. Domestic ants rarely attack humans, and their bites are practically harmless.
Fans of traveling in exotic countries will be useful to get acquainted with some species of the most dangerous ants and their habitats.
- Nomadic ants syafu. Area - Africa and South America. The bite of the ant sifu is not lethal, but often causes serious allergic reactions. Since ants move in large colonies, their attacks are usually multiple.
- Ant-bullet, or "ant 24 hours." The bite of this insect is accompanied by severe pain during the day. This species lives in South Africa.
- Ant-Bulldog The poison of this species of ants in three cases out of a hundred causes the development of an acute allergic reaction, even anaphylactic shock. In some countries, the death rate from ant-bulldogs exceeds the number of deaths from the attack of all other poisonous insects and snakes. They are found in Australia and on the island of Tasmania.
- The red fire ant lives in South America, in the south of the USA, in Australia, in Taiwan and in New Zealand, the Philippines and China. There are about 280 species of fire ant (or South American red ant). The bite site is very painful, often allergic reactions occur. Single deaths due to the development of anaphylactic shock are described.
Let us dwell in more detail on the bites of ordinary red ants and the methods of their treatment.
Ant bite symptoms
When a bite ant injects into the wound its poison, whose composition is quite complicated, but the main irritant substance is formic acid. In this place, there is pain, comparable to the sensations of a mosquito bite. After some time, the wound swells up, a small red spot is visible on the skin. There is an itch and there is a desire to constantly scratch this place.
When an ant bites, the symptoms depend on the body's tendency to allergic reactions. In case of an allergic reaction of a weak and moderate degree, no special treatment is required. In this case, the wound swells and reddens more than usual, perhaps a local increase in skin temperature in this place and a rash.
Consequences of the ant bite
The effects of an ant bite are usually minor. Within 3-4 days this place remains reddened and edematous, there is a strong itch. You can not comb it, because it will increase the painful reaction and can lead to infection of the wound.
Acute allergic reactions to the bite of a red ant are extremely rare. The danger increases with the bite of the mucous membranes (mouth, nose, with contact of formic acid in the eyes) or if a lot of ants attacked.
The most common allergic reactions to formic acid are urticaria and angioedema.
Signs of urticaria: rash on the skin of red in the form of blisters, sometimes they merge.
Symptoms of angioedema: the rapid development of local subcutaneous edema, often in the lips, eyes, places of accumulation of fatty tissue. Edema in the larynx area can be life threatening.
Signs of a common allergic reaction:
- itching all over;
- drop in blood pressure.
In all cases of acute allergic reactions, it is necessary to contact a medical institution for qualified assistance.
How to treat ants bites
When biting an ant, treatment is symptomatic. It is necessary to prevent wound infection and soothe itchy skin.
What to do when biting an ant?
- Wash the area with soapy water.
- Apply ice for 10–15 minutes.
- Lubricate with antiseptic (preferably 70% alcohol or vodka).
When severe itching and redness, you can apply the pharmaceutical remedies for ant bites (balms or ointments):
- "Golden Star";
- "Fenistil gel";
Treatment of ant bites in allergy sufferers is carried out with the use of antihistamines. In light cases, take 1 tablet of any drug dispensed in pharmacies without a prescription: "Tavegil", "Suprastin", "Fenistil".
In severe cases, it is necessary to consult a doctor. According to its purpose, the drug "Diffenhydramine" is used and a course of treatment with steroid anti-inflammatory drugs from the group of cortisone is carried out.
If you have previously experienced severe reactions to insect bites, learn how to use the anti-anaphylactic package. In its kit are:
- adrenaline in the syringe (for injection).
Going to the risk zone, add an anti-anaphylactic package to the first-aid kit.
Ant bites in children are no more dangerous than in adults. It is difficult to persuade the child not to comb the damaged place, so use pharmacy ointments or folk remedies to relieve itching. If the child still scratches this place, apply a bandage or glue with a breathable anti-bacterial adhesive plaster.
Treatment of ant bites folk remedies
Relieve the pain and relieve irritation will help tips on the treatment of ant bites folk remedies.
- Mix the baking soda with water to a slurry and apply to the sore spot.
- Wipe with ammonia diluted with water in a 1: 1 ratio.
- Brush with mint toothpaste.
- Put lotion from milk or milk ice for 10 minutes.
- Crush the tablet of activated charcoal, drop some water, put the resulting paste on the bite and cover with foil.
- Attach lotion with tincture of echinacea, take a few drops inside to relieve an allergic reaction.
- Wipe this place with a cut onion or smear with onion juice.
How to treat an ant bite with improvised means? Aloe juice, gruel made from parsley or plantain leaves, a piece of raw potatoes will help. By applying them, you can remove swelling and redness, reduce itching and pain.
Is the ant bite helpful?
Is there any benefit from ant bites? The poison of ants, in addition to acid, contains a huge amount of biologically active substances. There are several unconventional methods of treatment, practicing ant bites or soaking them with poison clothing in order to get rid of various diseases. With the help of ants they treat:
- fractures and dislocations;
- gout and arthrosis.
Ant bites living in Russia do not pose a danger to human health. An exception may be the development of an acute allergic reaction, which occurs very rarely. In these cases, you should contact a specialist for professional help.
In all other cases, it is enough to wash the bite and smear it with an antiseptic or ointment to eliminate inflammation and itching. In nature, you can use folk remedies for the bites of ants.