Fire Ants

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fire ants are a serious and increasing problem in our area this time of year. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses what to do if you are bitten by fire ants.

Dr. Hill:

There are many different types of fire ants, and they are found all throughout the southeastern United States. The most common and aggressive is the red imported fire ant.

If bitten by fire ants, immediately wash the area with soap and water, and apply ice to the bites. The venom in the fire ants stings causes the area to swell up quite a bit. You may want to have a medical expert look at this bite to make sure you are not having an allergic reaction. You may need medication to control the swelling and itching.

Occasionally, a severe allergic reaction occurs with breathing problems, chest or throat tightness. If these symptoms occur, the person needs to get medical attention immediately.

The best way to avoid getting bitten by fire ants is to keep your shoes on when outdoors and be on the lookout for fire ant mounds. If you come across a fire ant mound, leave it alone.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.