Ants run very fast, so it is not always possible to “catch” an insect at the bite site. In addition, traces of bites can also be located in completely different places - due to the rapid movement of the goose bumps.
The moment when the ant bites is difficult to confuse with something: there is a sharp point pain, which is stronger than with a mosquito bite. The affected area immediately reveals itself by the appearance of a swollen tubercle and localized or diffuse redness.
By pushing through the skin, the insect secretes formic acid into the tissue - a toxin, which in large quantities can even become deadly. Therefore, it is believed that single bites do not cause particular harm to a person (if he is not allergic to this very acid). But multiple lesions, and especially - in children, are really fraught with great health troubles.
The first signs appear immediately after the ant attack:
- red spot or point on the skin;
- slight swelling, in the form of a tumor;
- itchy sensation;
- in severe cases, nausea, dizziness.
If the victim has an allergy to formic acid, the symptoms will be much brighter and more serious:
- heart rhythm disorders;
- changes in blood pressure;
- speech impairment;
- itching and swelling of the skin throughout the body;
- respiratory failure;
- pallor of the skin;
- disturbance of consciousness.
If these symptoms are detected, a doctor should be consulted without hesitating a single second: it is optimal to call “emergency care”, or to quickly deliver the patient to the nearest medical facility.
What do ant bites look like?
From the side of the affected place is similar to a mosquito bite, just has a few large sizes. Just as after the attack of mosquitoes, itching and burning are usually present. In a hypertrophied reaction, a rash, swelling, and localized fever may occur. Normally, such manifestations should disappear on their own for three or four days. If an allergic reaction develops, then additional signs are often rash all over the body, local itching, difficulty breathing, changes in blood pressure.
The bites of different types of ants
In our region mainly two basic species of ants live:
- Domestic insects that live in residential buildings. Their dimensions are approximately 3 mm, the color of the body is brown. The bites of domestic ants are rare: they are among the most harmless representatives of the ant genus.
- Forest insects that are found in nature. Their size is always larger than that of domestic relatives - up to 9 mm, and the color of the body is close to reddish-brown or black. These insects build specific dwellings - anthills. The bites of forest ants are really common, as they attack all living creatures that pose even the slightest danger to their livelihoods. If a person even accidentally damages their home, or a path, then it can be attacked by ant "guards". The bites of these ant representatives are painful and can cause the development of allergies.
In general, there are more than a dozen species of such insects on the planet - and many of them are quite dangerous.
For example, a bullet ant can bite much more painfully than a common insect. In its secretions, in addition to the acid, ponerotoxin is present - a fairly strong poison and an irritant. Many compare the bullet ant bite to a gunshot wound: such severe pain lasts for a day, and only then begins to recede. These insects live in South Africa, so everyone who is going to travel to South African countries should be careful.
The bites of red ants, also called fire ants, are especially common on the South American continent. However, these insects can be found in North America, in Australia, and even in some Asian countries. The bites of fire ants are often compared with microscopic burns: the secretion includes a poisonous agent solenopsin, a powerful allergen that can cause serious allergic complications, even death.
In our region, people are most often bitten by red ants - they are both domestic and forest, but mostly the latter attack people. The bites of red ants are quite painful, cause itching. Externally, they are accompanied by redness, similar to mosquitoes. Attacking an ant is unpleasant, but not so dangerous as with multiple lesions.
The bites of black ants rarely occur, since such insects practically do not attack humans: this happens only when there is a real threat to their existence. For example, a black ant is able to bite if it is pressed against the clothing or body of a person. This bite is predominantly painless and heals quickly, leaving no traces of tissue damage.
Many people wonder if the bite of flying ants is different from ordinary, crawling insects. The fact is that flying goosebumps are not a separate ant species. That is, these are the same ants that “wing” in a certain period of time for the purpose of reproduction - and this can be both females and males. By themselves, such insects are not dangerous, and attack only when there is a threat to their life - in this case, from the person. Do not touch the goose bumps - including flying ones. This is the best prevention of attacks from their side. The bite of a female ant as a whole has the same symptoms as in males: redness, itchy sensations, transient burning sensation and the appearance of a small, inflamed tubercle.
As we have said, the insect will never attack a person without clear reasons. The ant does this solely for the purpose of protecting itself, its kin and dwelling. The bite of yellow ants, or any other ant representatives can only be provoked by human activity, so be careful when going out into nature.
Summer residents, gardeners and those who often have to deal with gardening, know firsthand what a garden ant bite is. True, the signs of damage can be radically different, due to the individual characteristics of human organisms. The pain is usually not stronger than with a mosquito bite, but a red spot of different size forms in the area of prokus, less often a blister. During a normal reaction of the body, discomfort and external manifestations stop themselves on their own for 3-4 days.
In the ant body there is a lot of specific poisonous acid: the insect uses it not only for self-defense, but also for food processing. When meeting with a person, a goose may consider that something threatens her life, so he is preparing to defend himself: even the bite of an ordinary ant is accompanied by injection of a small dose of an acidic secretion under human skin. You should not blame this insect: it is only the instinct of self-preservation and physiology.
In addition to the above, I would like to mention another ant species - this is a German wasp, or the so-called velvet ant. The bite of velvet ant scientists call one of the most painful bites of all known insects. An attack of pain recedes only a few hours later. In all other respects, the symptoms resemble the bites of other ant representatives. Such insects are distinguished by a beautiful and dense scalp, and they live mainly in steppe and desert regions. For example, they can be found in all territories of southern European countries, as well as in the south of Russia and Ukraine.
Ant bites in a child
If the parents have an increased sensitivity to formic acid, but it is possible that the child will have a hypertrophied reaction to the bite of the ant. By the way, any child's body always reacts to insect bites more rapidly than an adult. The greatest danger is multiple bites.
Allergy symptoms in some cases do not appear immediately: the bitten place turns red, swells, hurts or itches. Further, the reaction becomes more pronounced: the swelling "diverges", the affected area expands. Most often, within a few days, the condition returns to normal. But with the appearance of such signs as swelling of the whole body or limbs, tachycardia, shortness of breath, dizziness, pallor of the skin, rash on the body, you need to urgently call a doctor. In children, the allergic process is faster and more intense than in adults. This must be taken into account and not delay in the provision of medical care.