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What Are Ant Bites Like?

Need to get rid of ants? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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Do All Ants Bite?

There are 12,000 different species of ant, and each of these is capable of biting. Most house-infesting ant species are so small, however, that their bites will largely go unnoticed. The ant “bites” that we do notice are actually stings, rather than bites.  

Which Ants Sting?

In the United States, there are three kinds of ants that can sting: fire ants, harvester ants, and acrobat ants. All three types of ants are unique in that they deliver painful stings. 

Fire Ant Stings

Of the three kinds of ants, fire ants are understood as the most aggressive and are most commonly what we talk about when we’re talking about ant bites. Fire ants can both bite and sting you. When fire ants sting, they inject chemicals into your skin that can cause allergic reactions. Most ants will only sting when they feel threatened or they feel that other nest members are in danger. Their sting is said to feel like fire in that it burns intensely. 

Fire ants are able to sting multiple times and do so by latching on to your skin with their jaws, making a circle as they go. While they are doing this, they are simultaneously releasing venom into the bite. The result is a tiny red mark surrounded by pus bumps. If you are unlucky enough to threaten fire ants you probably won’t walk away with just one bite. Fire ants are very aggressive and swarm, meaning that you will most likely get many stings from several ants. 

Symptoms of Ant Bites or Stings

Burning, redness and swelling are key features of an ant bite. Fire ant stings can also develop red welts with white pustules. This pustule can appear anywhere from 6 to 24 hours after being stung and can last up to 10 days. 

About 3% of adults and 0.5% of children have allergic reactions to fire ant bites. Signs of an allergic reaction to an ant bite include dizziness, nausea, sweating, low blood pressure, headaches, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain. If you think you have been bitten by an ant and are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. 

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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