Ants are insects that can give people a lot of trouble. In total on our planet there are about 60 thousand of their species, but only some of them represent a danger to human life. An ant bite, in which it injects poisonous enzymes under the skin, can cause health problems.Therefore, it is necessary to know what to do in such a situation.
Types of ants that inhabit our latitudes
In the immense expanses of Russia are found pretty harmless species of ants:
- Domestic ants settle in residential buildings, their size is about 3 mm, the color is brown, they are well adapted to the conditions of food and living, do not bite and are almost harmless.
- Forestliving in the nature, up to 9 mm in size and red-brown color, erect constructively complex anthills and maintain a particular social hierarchy in their community.
The bite of a red ant will bring trouble only if a person has been bitten by many insects that protect their anthill. In such a situation, the manifestation of allergy is possible, but there is no danger to life. Ants can attack and animals: for example, if they bit the dog, the consequences will be similar to the effect on the human body.
In the world there are several dozen dangerous species of antsfound in countries of Asia, Africa and America. The bites of ants of these species are very painful and dangerous. These insects include:
- Nomadic species, called siafu, live in Africa and South America, move in whole colonies in search of food, are considered to be the biggest ants in the world. Outwardly, they look intimidating: with a body size of 1.5 cm, the insect's jaws grow more than its head, and the female siaph during the egg laying period reaches 5 cm. There are allergic effects, but no fatal cases have been reported.
- Ant bullet bites even more painfully, since its secret contains poneratoxin, which is considered one of the most poisonous in the world. According to the feelings of the victims, the bite of such a "bullet" delivers severe pain, comparable to a gunshot wound. Another name for it is “24 hours” due to the duration of the painful condition after the bite. The size of the biting insect reaches 1.5-3 cm (females are always larger), they live in South Africa.
The bites of ants of this species are used by local people during initiation rites of men, after which the bitten hands and legs may even be temporarily paralyzed or blackened.
- Bulldog - the ant is small but deadly, because of it many people die in the Pacific Islands every year.The danger is an acute allergic reaction to an ant sting, often resulting in a shock.
- Red fire antsThe bites of which are considered the most poisonous in the world, originally inhabited the South American continent. However, due to the high adaptation, they, together with the ships, easily moved to Asia, Australia and North America, having reached the southern states of the USA. They are found in Asia and the Pacific Islands. The bite of a red ant can be compared to a burn by soreness: an insect infects with poison solenopsin, which has the strongest allergic effects, up to the death of a person from anaphylactic shock.
Knowledge of such types of insects and ways of treating an ant bite is necessary for all travelers and tourists visiting exotic countries so that the long-awaited rest does not end with illness and a tragic outcome.
Ant bites and their consequences
With the usual bite, the ant squeezes the human skin and bites with the help of the jaw. There are some tropical species of ants that use a sting, located closer to the tail, they inject a toxic substance through it - such a bite is felt immediately in the form of severe pain and redness (see photo of an ant bite).
Many species of ants produce formic acid in special glands, which can be sprayed for a distance of up to 30 cm, and if it gets into human eyes, a retinal burn may occur.
When a person is bitten by an ordinary ant, then there is redness in this place and slight itching, the symptoms disappear within 8-24 hours. If there are a lot of bites, then there may be more serious consequences (as the bite of a large number of insects looks like - see photo):
- severe itching and burning in places of injury;
- general weakness, headache, vomiting;
- drop in blood pressure;
- disturbances of cardiac activity, tachycardia.
Allergies to bites in humans are manifested by the following symptoms:
- swelling of limbs;
- the manifestation of edema on the face and neck, breathing difficulties;
- inflammation and suppuration in the field of bites, compaction on the skin (see photo of skin lesions from an ant bite).
Complications after biting
The dangerous and serious consequences of ant bites can manifest themselves in such diseases:
- Urticaria - skin rash, turning into voluminous pink and red spots and blisters, merging into one, there is a burning sensation, skin itches, body temperature rises. In such a situation, a visit to the doctor is necessary.
- Quincke's edema - swelling of the mucous membranes and larynx, which can cause a cessation of breathing: the process is fast, so you need to call urgent medical care. Before the arrival of the ambulance car, it is better to drop vasoconstrictor drops into the nose and take antihistamine medicines.
- Anaphylactic shock is a rare and dangerous type of allergic reaction of the body in case of intolerance to any substance, may be caused by the action of formic acid or toxic toxins.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis: itching that spreads throughout the body; a sharp drop in temperature, paleness and cold sweat; Blue lips, shortness of breath, hoarse breathing, possible loss of consciousness. If the help of doctors is late, then death is likely.
First aid and treatment
Treatment of ant bites is carried out depending on the symptoms, the main rule is not to rub the bite site so as not to infect the infection:
- for disinfection, the wound is washed with soap and water, then ice is placed for 10-15 minutes;
- alcoholic solutions or vodka can be used for processing;
- to reduce itching and redness, the place of the formic bite can be rubbed with balsam or ointments sold in a pharmacy: Gold Star, Advanten, Fenistil-gel, etc .;
- in case of an allergic reaction, it is urgent to drink an antihistamine: Fenistil, Suprastin, Loratadine, etc.
Successfully applied and popular methods that recommend how to treat skin lesions, with which itching subsides:
- Apply to the bite site a slurry of soda with water or an acetic compress with soda;
- if you rub the vinegar, the burning sensation from the bite of the ants subsides, you can also use lemon juice;
- use of toothpaste, it is better mint, which rub the affected area;
- if the bite is itching, you can make a lotion from cold or frozen milk for 10 minutes;
- make a lotion with the addition of echinacea tincture, and you can also take it inside to reduce allergies.
In children, ant bites can often cause a stronger and faster reaction due to thinner skin. If an ant has bitten a child, then parents should carefully monitor it for at least a day to avoid unforeseen complications.
Useful ant bites
Medical studies indicate that there is also an advantage from the bite of ants, because their poison contains many biologically active substances that help treat some diseases: sciatica, injuries, varicose veins on the legs, arthrosis of the joints.