Fire ants are wingless insects that belong to the same family of
insects as bees and wasps. Fire ants are found in the southeastern and south
central United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. They tend to attack and
sting in great numbers.
A fire ant attaches itself to a person by biting with its jaws, then
pivoting its head and stinging from its abdomen in a circular pattern at
multiple sites. Symptoms of a fire ant sting may include:
A painful raised bump that becomes a pus-filled
blister in 6 to 24 hours and lasts for up to 10 days.
Skin at the
bite site that dies and leaves a scar or bump.
life-threatening allergic reaction.
A toxic reaction when there
have been 20 or more stings.
Redness and swelling extending beyond
the sting site.
Serum sickness, a rare reaction to stings. Flu-like
symptoms and hives begin 7 to 14 days after an insect sting.
Home treatment can help relieve pain and prevent infection.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.