How to Treat Ant Bites

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Ants are creative and wonderful creatures--until you get bitten by one of them. Though these insects are small, they pack a powerful bite. Depending upon the type of ant, they may even swarm and act aggressively, quickly covering their victim. Millions of people are bitten every year by ants, and knowing how to treat the bite is important. In most cases, there is just a little swelling, redness, and an itchy feeling around the bite. In extreme cases, anaphylactic shock can occur, which means the person's entire body over-reacts to the bite, causing swelling to occur in the mouth, throat, trachea, and lungs. Without prompt medical treatment, the person can die.

Wash the bitten area with warm water and soap. Dry the bite gently.

Mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste.

Apply the baking soda paste to the bite. This homemade treatment helps with itching and swelling.

Take a Benadryl tablet. One 25 milligram dose of Benadryl helps in the event of an allergic reaction.

Avoid scratching, picking, or draining the bite. In many cases, a pustule will form within a day or two. Do not break this open as it can cause infection.

Call your doctor if you think your bite is infected. Signs of infection include foul odor, drainage and pus from the wound, fever, and swelling.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stay away from ant mounds. If you do come in contact with a mount, move away as quickly as possible.
  • If you are bitten and experience shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the tongue or lips, or experience hives all over your body, call 911. You need immediate emergency medical help to treat an acute allergic reaction.

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