A fire ant can both bite and sting. The bites or stings could have a red center that is in the middle of lighter colored rings, and there can also be tendrils of redness coming off the main area of the bite. Its primary symptom, however, is pain. Those who are bitten or stung by fire ants can also experience flu-like symptoms such as for instance fever, nausea, fatigue, and the body aches.
The venom of fire ants is principally (>95%) consists of oily alkaloids structurally produced by piperidine (see Solenopsis saevissima) combined with a tiny bit of toxic proteins. Fire ant stings are painful, characterised by a local burning sensation, followed closely by urticaria. The sting site typically swells into a bump within hours, that could cause further pain and irritation, especially following several stings at the same place. The bump may develop into a white pustule within 24–36 hours that could become infected if scratched, but will spontaneously flatten within a few days if left alone. The pustules are obtrusive and uncomfortable while active and, when they become infected, may cause scarring. Many people may become allergic to the venom, and in case untreated, could become increasingly responsive to the idea of experiencing anaphylaxis following fire ant stings, which requires emergency treatment. Management of an urgent situation visit as a result of anaphylaxis is preferred with the use of adrenaline. It is often demonstrated that, whilst pustule formation results through the injected venom alkaloids , allergy to fire ant stings is caused solely by venom allergenic proteins.
First aid for fire ant stings includes external treatments and oral medicines. Additionally, there are many home cures of varying efficacy, including immediate application of an answer of half bleach and half water, or aloe vera gel – the latter of which can be also often incorporated into over-the-counter creams which also include medically tested and verified treatments. External, topical treatments range from the anesthetic benzocaine, the antihistamine diphenhydramine, plus the corticosteroid hydrocortisone. Antihistamines or topical corticosteroids might help reduce the itching and certainly will generally benefit local sting reactions. Oral medicine include antihistamines. Severe allergy symptoms of fire ant stings, including severe chest pain, nausea, severe sweating, lack of breath, serious swelling, and slurred speech, may be fatal or even treated.