Ants play an important role in the environment as they burrow and dig in the soil, while adding amounts of oxygen and nutrients. They can also break down waste materials when feeding on dead animals, plants and food. However, ants are a nuisance as well and they can inflict dangerous bites too. There are ant species that only inflict minor discomfort, but there are also those that can inflict severe allergic reactions which can become life threatening. Numerous of people are bitten by ants throughout the country in their homes or when they are outdoors, but since their bites or sting can cause serious reactions, it is important to know how to treat them.
The Symptoms Of Ant Bites
Most ant bites immediately result in slight swelling, itching and redness in the bitten areas. If an allergic reaction occurs, red patches or hives can begin to show within a few minutes. Unfortunately, some people are unable to control the itchiness that they end up scratching the wounds which can lead to infections. Other symptoms that are severe include all over body swelling, mouth, airway and lungs blockage and anaphylactic shock. While minor symptoms can be treated at home using home remedies or over the counter treatments, once chest tightness, shortness of breath and lips and tongue swelling is experienced, immediate medical care is needed.
Home Remedies Used To Treat Ant Bites
There is a variety of over the counter medications that can be used to treat ant bites and stings, but for those who prefer to use natural means or have to time to run to the pharmacy to purchase them, these home remedies will be useful.
- You can make a thick paste out of water and baking soda then have it applied directly onto the bite. Not only will the pain be reduced, even the itching will be treated.
- If you have ammonia and hydrogen peroxide at home, you can apply each alternately, with separate cloths.
- Lemon juice is an effective home remedy for treating ant bites. It can be poured onto the wound and the lemon extract will counteract and neutralize the acid in the bite. If there is no lemon at home, you can use cucumber slices as well as a clove of garlic or onion slices.
- To help reduce pain and itching, you can apply an ice cube onto the bite. Then rub on some peppermint oil followed by lavender oil and repeat the application. Just be sure that you are using pure oils.
- If you have aloe vera in your garden or in a pot, you can also use it by cutting the leaf open and then squeezing the juice directly onto the bite. Even pure aloe vera gel that is available in tubes can be used to remove any infections.
- Though Worcestershire sauce is normally used in cooking, it can also help treat ant bites. Simply take a piece of paper towel soaked in the sauce and cover the bite with it.
- Tea is also an effective home remedy for ant bites. You can use any type of tea, but black tea will work best. Moisten a tea bag and then apply it onto the bites to help neutralize the acid.
While home remedies are awesome treatments for ant bites, the best way to treat ant bites is to get rid of the ants completely. Hire a pest control professional to take care of the problem for you or practice preventive ant control measures to avoid getting bitten by ants.
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Valerie Adams is a freelance writer specializing in safe pest control methods and treating insect stings and bites. She regularly contributes articles to various pest control business websites such as Insight Pest Solutions.