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Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

First Aid - Fire Ant Bites and Stings

Training Time: 13 minutes

Fire ants are aggressive ants that sometimes bite and sting. This course explains where in the U.S. fire ants are most commonly found and, within those regions, the types of areas you’re most likely to find them. It gives tips for bite/sting prevention, and discusses first aid procedures for bites and stings, including first aid for people who are allergic to the bites and stings.

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Training Content + Interactive Quizzes
The primary areas in the U.S. where fire ants are a concern are the Southeast and Southwest.

The primary areas in the U.S. where fire ants are a concern are the Southeast and Southwest.

To avoid being bitten and stung, wear long-sleeved shirts and protective gloves along with close-toed shoes and long pants.

To avoid being bitten and stung, wear long-sleeved shirts and protective gloves along with close-toed shoes and long pants.

Some people are allergic to the bites of insects such as fire ants. Look for a medic alert bracelet and/or an injector, and be prepared to inject a person who’s having a serious reaction to fire ant bites and stings.

Some people are allergic to the bites of insects such as fire ants. Look for a medic alert bracelet and/or an injector, and be prepared to inject a person who’s having a serious reaction to fire ant bites and stings.

Learning Objectives

  • State where fire ants can be found in the United States
  • Describe fire ant appearance and behavior
  • List some ways to avoid being bitten and stung by fire ants
  • Explain proper first aid for fire ant bites and stings that cause minor symptoms
  • List some severe symptoms of fire ant stings
  • Explain proper first aid for severe fire ant sting symptoms
  • Explain proper first aid for people with insect sting allergies
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First Aid - Fire Ant Bites and Stings FAQs

Where in the U.S. are fire ants found?
Primarily in the Southeast and smaller pockets of the Southwest.

How can one avoid being bitten and stung by fire ants?
Avoid their mounds; know what they look like; be careful and observant while working; and wear long, protective clothing.

What should I do if I’m being bitten by fire ants?
The first thing to do is to briskly rub the ants off your body. They’ll be holding you with their jaws while stinging you, so you’ll have to rub actively to get rid of them.

What are other steps of first aid for minor reactions to fire ant bites and stings?
Wash the area with soap and water; apply ice or cold compresses; and give the person antihistamines.

How can I know if someone who’s been bitten by fire ants is allergic?
Start by asking the person. You can also look to see if the person is wearing a medic alert bracelet and/or carrying an injector.

What should I do if someone’s been bitten and stung by fire ants and is having a severe reaction due to allergies?
Call for medical assistance; see if the person has an injector; if the person does have an injector, inject the person to help calm the reaction; and stay with the person until medical care arrives.

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