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Ants (Formicidae) have been commonly considered a pest since before humans were able to write. Though most ants are not aggressive in nature, they’ve long been associated with destroying food crops and other man made objects. In addition, an ant bite can be quite painful and in some rare cases can cause some health issues.
Ants classified as pests include the Pavement Ant, Yellow Crazy Ant, Sugar Ants, the Pharaoh Ant, Carpenter Ants, Argentine Ant, Odorous House Ants, Red Imported Fire Ant, and European Fire Ant.
Controlling ant populations is performed using insecticide baits available in granule and liquid form. The insecticide bait is gathered by ants as food and brought back to the nest where the insecticide is inadvertently spread throughout the ant colony. Boric acid and Borax are often used as insecticides which are relatively safe for humans in low doses. Insecticide bait may be set over a large area to control species such as the Red Fire ants that occupy large areas.
Ant bites for the most part are more of an annoyance than a threat, but ant bites can cause severe allergic reactions when bit by certain ant species. Your common ant bite is about as painful as a pinch to the skin, yet some ant species, such as the Fire ant, commonly known as red ants, will bite hard and continue to do so till you get them off. Some ant bites can cause so much pain that the victim actually passes out.
Ant Bite Symptoms
Ant bites rarely go unnoticed and is likely to immediately grab the victims attention. Symptoms include reddening of the skin, itching and swelling.
Severe allergic reactions can be caused by ant stings in particular and venomous stings in general. Allergic reactions include severe chest pain, nausea, severe sweating, loss of breath, serious swelling, and slurred speech. If any of these are experienced, seek medical attention immediately.
Ant Bite Treatment
Ant bites generally don’t cause anything more than pain, swelling, irritation and itching, but for light allergic reactions to ant bites, antihistamines and topical steroid creams are able to help reduce most bite symptoms. Any severe allergic reaction should be cause to seek immediate medical attention.
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