Last Modified on Jul 21, 2015
Fire ant bites are misery itself! Actually, what we're talking about is a fire ant sting, because when a fire ant feels threatened it stings its "attacker" from the abdomen, just like the wasps from which they are descended. Unfortunately, fire ants often attack in numbers, and their stings can lead to infection of an open wound.
The symptoms of a fire ant bite or sting include a burning or stinging pain, whitish blisters, hives, swelling, redness, inflammation, and possibly a red circle around the bite itself. Secondary systemic symptoms such as a headache are also possible.
Natural Cures: A cold compress applied right away will reduce inflammation and pain. Aloe applied to fire ant stings can relieve the itching and pain. Both vinegar and a baking soda paste have been recommended as natural remedies to soothe the pain from fire ant bites, though in the end one of these should be a better treatment than the other. Hopefully Earth Clinic readers can discover the truth!
|Apple Cider Vinegar||9|
|Campfire Ashes or Strong Soap||4|
[YEA] Thank you. I was starting to panic after a huge fire ant repeatedly bit me on my toe. It swelled immediately and was so painful I couldn't stand it. I live for away from any stores and read about the apple cider vinegar remedy. Instant relief.
[YEA] Recently I got red ant bites. It was quite uncomfortable and the best relief was the suggsestion I got on your website to soak your feet in apple cider vinegar.
Replied by Colorado Mom
Replied by Ali
[YEA] I'm allergic to fire ant bites, and my foot was swollen and sore for 3 days. I tried everything. I remembered that apple cider vinegar works wonders for a million other things, so I tried it on a lark. Instantly, my foot felt better and the swelling went down within minutes. Apple cider vinegar works is a miracle home remedy for treating fire ant bites!!!
Replied by Stephanie B.
Fort Worth, Texas
Replied by Sara
Replied by Jennifer
Replied by Miah
Replied by Bev
I was going to make a paste of baking soda and water to put on my daughter's foot. She has a couple red ant bites & it is quite swollen. Would it help?
Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile , Tn
[YEA] Another thing that can work really fast for ant bites is benzoyl peroxide (Clearasil or similar products). Just dab on, and repeat later-usually works within a day or two; will take the itching away fast. Also works for spider bites, and other types of skin bumps.
[YEA] We go backpacking in remote areas where we are far from medical help and must deal with problems immediately. One night I woke up to find half my face red and swollen from red ant bites. Ants inject formic acid which causes the pain in nerve endings. If the formic acid is neutralized immediately, the pain is much less. First I applied a baking soda paste from my first aid kit but without much relief. Then I used ashes from the campfire. The relief was rapid and I didn't feel any more pain. We were in Hawaii in Dec where I was bitten by about 50 fire ants...much more painful than any other insect bite I have ever had. We didn't have any baking soda or ashes and I wanted to treat it immediately. In a hotel room, there are few options, but I found the strongest soap that I could and lathered myself for about 20 minutes in the shower. The soap neutralized the acid and the water from the shower diluted the acid. The pain left almost instantly. I attribute the success of this to being treated in less than 2 minutes. Three places that I missed had swellings about 2 1/2" across. I would not have wanted to have 50 welts like that on my body.
Replied by Nsmith
Replied by Hannah
Replied by Tina Sumner
[YEA] I was pulling weeds w/ gloves on and got 20 fire-ant stings where my gloves touch my wrists. Then to top it off, a wasp stung my finger through the gloves. It hurt bad.
Normally, my body can handle a few stings w/out a hitch but, for whatever reason, whether it was the fact that I vomited a lot the night before due to overeating, or it was due to the mixture of the 2 different poisons in my hand, my hand swelled up, and I couldn't close my fist w/out an inch gap.
Of course, the first thing I did was go to Earth Clinic. I tried ACV soak, charcoal poultice, I ate 1 square inch of charcoal, and I bathed. None of that made the swelling go down.
Then I put a big poultice of comfrey on my hand, where the glove was protecting it. Note that the ants never stung my hand, but it was swollen. This didn't yield any effect.
Next I put the poultice on my wrist w/ the 20 ant stings and I made a little poultice for the site of the wasp sting on my finger. That drawed out the poison to the skin, so I had these white blisters on my skin after applying to poultice directly to the area that was stung. I still have them & I'm on day 2. Although the white blisters are still there, the swelling in my hand has decreased 90% since I added the comfrey poultice, and none of the other things I tried reduced the swelling. I an close my hand now with maybe 5% resistence.
The strange thing is, & I'm not recommending this, but the majority of the healing occurred while I was doing tantric work, and my heart was lit up to almost overstimulation. Don't ask. Still, I think the comfrey was the key herb. Knitbone is one of the most powerful healing herbs known. Its amazing stuff. It can make swelling go down in a few hours, even w/ broken bones, not that that is always a good thing, probably not, but it works that way. Get your bones set before using this stuff. As for antbites, chew it up w/ some water, spit it on the area, and cover it up w/ a grocery bag & some tape.
[YEA] Emu oil is AMAZING for fire ants bites!! Make sure it's natural and pure.
[YEA] I learned this remedy from a lady from Panama. She advised me to rub a fresh lemon slice on fire ant bites. For me the relief is instantaneous. Also, a pustule does not form. A co-worker came to work complaining of fire ant bites she had gotten several hours earlier that were still burning. There was no lemon available, so she rubbed her bites with some orange slices. She reported the bites felt better immediately. I am guessing that lime would be equally effective.
Replied by Cyn
[YEA] little fire ants are invading the islands. I thank the person who suggested hot water--yes it works immediately and relief lasts 4-5 hours. I also found that your hair dryer does the same thing (tested it several times). At the first bite, grab your dryer right away and the heat seems to disperse the histamine that causes the pain and itch. It has to be hot enough without scalding.
[YEA] Went foraging, hoping to find some wild stinging nettle, and while being ever so careful of some vigorously healthy poison ivy, I was looking closer at a pointed, jagged-edged leaf (not nettles after all) when I realized my feet were burning. Fire ants! Before I could brush them all away I had numerous stings to my feet and ankles. They hurt a lot!
I hurried for home but almost immediately stumbled into some clay quick sand in a run off area that sucked my sandals off - we just had a LOT of rain - and realized as I hurried on that it had felt soothing to the bites. So I went back and stood in the mud for a moment or two. I didn't want to waste time getting back home to treat before too much damage was done, but I do think the clay bought me some time or even was a beneficial first line of treatment!
At home twenty minutes later, I did a hasty google and ran into the debate about acid vs. Alkaline treatment. So I quickly doused my feet and ankles in white vinegar (at ten times the price I figured I save my raw organic ACV for spot treating later), dumped that out and then doused in household cleaning ammonia. Then I threw together an Epsom salts soak with the cold water on hand outside, figuring that even if it did nothing about the stings it would calm me down.
I shortly realized that the only sting that was hurting was one that was too high up my leg for the Epsom salts to reach (I may have missed it with the vinegar and ammonia, too, and the higher bite wouldn't have made it into the mud, for sure). I changed that leg to a different, higher bucket.
After about half an hour, with a headache trying to sneak in (fire ants?), I rubbed on some witch hazel/mint mouthwash/EOs mixture that helped last year with chigger bites (thank you, Earth Clinic people) and decided to try to nap and decide what other steps I'd have to take from there.
Well, I must have done something right because two hours later all I see where I know ants stung is little dark sting spots. No blister, redness, burning, etc. It itches a little but the chigger mixture takes care of that.
I had been anticipating having to hunt up more remedies... Things like plantain, etc. , to deal with the aftermath. I'll know better tomorrow, but at the moment it looks like there is no aftermath! In the past, without immediate treatment, those stings have resulted in terrible misery and open, running sores that went on for weeks.
Thank You, God... Your natural pharmacy rules!
Replied by Katrinika
[YEA] Oil of Oregano!!! I discovered this amazing essential oil about a year ago and I'm constantly amazed at the ailments it cures! I got about 10 fire ant bites a few years ago and they lingered with white centers for about 2 weeks, then took another month to heal, leaving a small scar. I got 7 bites 3 days ago out on a job. I came home 3 hours later and put oil of oregano on them. The itching disappeared immediately. The bites turned white in the center by the next day, but I kept applying the oil morning and night. By evening of day 3, white centers were gone! I'm anticipating total healing within days, not weeks! Maybe even less or no scar! There's many other uses for this natural antibiotic also!
[YEA] Papaya placed on the fire ant bite takes the sting and itching away and if done within minutes of getting bit, the bite will not blister. You can buy a papaya fruit and cut it into cubes and freeze it. This way it is always on hand to put on a bite.
|BETTER BUT NOT CURED (1)||50%|
[YEA] On the subject of fire ant bite remedies, a few weeks ago I was in the garden weeding and pulled out an enormous weed and with it, hundreds of fire ants. They bit me all over my hand and wrist in less than an instant. I went in and tried rubbing soap on the bites after reading the few cures we have for fire ant bites on Earth Clinic, but it didn't work. After that I decided to try tiger balm, my favorite remedy for mosquito bite itch. 10 minutes after applying the balm, the bites stopped stinging. I forgot all about them and a few hours later when I checked my hand, there were no signs whatsoever that I had ever been bitten!
Replied by Michael
Fort Pierce, Florida, Usa
[YEA] I agree with Ann, white vinegar for ant bites works wonderfully. I am allergic to ant bites too and also mosquito bites and everytime I get bit I apply white vinegar or apple cider vinegar immediately. I can feel the relief right away. I have used shaving cream, calamine lotion and hidrocortisone but the vinegar seems to neutralize the venom right away and the itching and swelling is gone faster.