Help For Fire Ant Bites

This may not fit exactly with real food, but, in Houston, we have a problem with fire ants, and when they sting, they can hurt for days.  I got a fire ant bite a couple of weeks ago while weeding in the back garden.  It really hurt so I thought I would try something different.  I rubbed the bite area with a small amount of baking soda paste and then cut open an aloe vera leaf and kept the area wet (yes, it’s messy) with the gel for a few minutes.  The pain subsided fairly soon, and, to my amazement, I forgot about it until the next day.  I realized that there was no sign of any bite.

Tuesday I got another bite while weeding in the back garden, so I thought I would use the baking soda/aloe vera treatment again.  Maybe the first time was just a fluke.  It worked great again.  The pain subsided within 5-10 minutes and never returned.  After about 30 minutes, I washed off the baking soda and aloe vera gel.  There’s been no pain or even any evidence of a bite.   It is probably very important to treat the bites as soon as possible; I did the treatment within 5-10 minutes of getting the bite.  It may be too late for this treatment if a blister has already formed, but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try.

Well, I guess that’s not a scientific test and it might not work as well for a lot of bites at once, but I know how I will always treat fire ant bites, at least for just a few at a time.

According to Wikipedia and other web sites, fire ants bite to hold on, then sting with their abdomens, injecting a painful venom.  Here’s a sample of web information about recommended treatments for fire ant bites: WebMD recommended cool compresses and oral antihistamines for mild reactions.  FireAnt.tv recommended elevation, cold compresses, and oral antihistamines.   Fireantbites.net mentions baking soda paste, ice compresses, and calamine but one comment says they did not work–maybe because the bites were not treated soon enough.  It did not mention combining baking soda paste and aloe vera.

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2 Responses to Help For Fire Ant Bites

  1. Amy says:

    A real estate agent in League City discovered that Dawn Dishwashing soap kills fire ant beds better than the standard stinky poison they sell at garden centers. I haven’t tried it, but may be worth investigating for a couple of different angles…

  2. laura says:

    I tried baking soda and water yesterday on a fluke as well. I had been stung repeatedly after stepping in a hidden nest and thought I would try something different. Nothing else had ever worked. I had the same results! I came in wet my legs/feet where I had been bitten and rubbed baking soda all over and let it sit for a few minutes. I then rinsed off, applied a quick alcohol rub (my son got bit when we were out the other day and all I had on me was water and hand sanitizer – the alcohol in the hand sanitizer. I used both and the pustules were far lessened than usual for him – I used it immediately) and then some cortizone for itch. I put on knee socks and my knee high rubber boots from Cabela’s to finish the job outside (wasn’t taking any chances!) but remarked to myself how the bites were not bothering me so soon afterwards? The next day – you can’t tell that I was even bitten except for one place where I remember having to pull the ant off me. That place was really itchy so I repeated what I did yesterday and now that one is gone too! very remarkable. Usually with fire ant bites I have sores for 14 days and I still have scars from bites I received 18 months ago. To say I am happy with the baking soda “cure” is a true understatement.

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