By Gerald Hipps

The fact that fire ants are an ominous red color is enough to suggest that we should stay away from them. In many cases, fire ant bites are not life threatening and can be easily treated, but it is likely that most people do not know how. Being educated on the basics of these feisty creatures could help to notice more severe symptoms, which could lead to death, but could help avoiding the bite in the first place.

A bitten person will surely be aware that he or she has been bitten. He or she will experience a burning sensation at the inflicted location, which is why they are called "fire ants." The bite will probably become itchy, red, and inflamed, and might even result in blistering. These are the common effects, though some people are excessively allergic, and if the symptoms seem to be overly severe, death could occur, so being educated is important.

Everyone should make sure that children playing outside know that these little pests are very dangerous and to stay away from them. Kids should be taught never to kick over their colonies. Instead, if they are spotted on the property, the homeowner should obtain a cypermethrin solution and apply it generously to the areas in which the colonies are found. Watering the area will help to adhere it to the ground.

If a bite does occur, there are a few steps that should be taken. First and foremost, the bitten person should ensure that the ant and any others are removed from the body, as they will continue to bite. Then, take an allergy medicine to try to counteract the symptoms. Immediately after, crush aspirin or use meat tenderizer and mix it with water to form a paste and cover the location of the bite to reduce pain.

Bites from fire ants will almost always itch intensely, so you should know that it is safe, and recommended, to apply over-the-counter anti-itch cream. Try not to scratch the bite to avoid opening wounds; but if this does occur, antibiotic solution should be applied to the sore. The affected person should be aware that if the symptoms seem to be getting worse or unbearable, he or she needs to seek medical attention.

Fire ant bites are merely a week's worth of discomfort for most, but since there are cases where they can get out of hand, it is important to be aware of the dangers and know what to do. Mostly over-the-counter solutions can be used to heal these bites, but the number of a medical professional should be kept on hand at all times just in case. As some do not know, these pests could unfortunately be the cause of death in some people.

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