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, it stings from its belly 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.