Fire ant first aid

It is important to know what to do if you or someone you know is stung.

Most people do not need medical treatment for fire ant stings.

If breathing is normal and the sting victim does not have a history of insect allergies, the following home treatments can be effective:

  • Apply a cold compress to relieve the swelling and pain.
  • Gently wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • Take an antihistamine to manage minor, localised reactions and itching.
Fire ant sting pustules, 48 hours

It is important to keep the blister intact.

There is a risk of secondary infection if the blisters or pustules break.

If you observe any symptoms of a severe reaction in someone who has been stung by fire ants seek urgent medical advice

Severe reactions

A severe reaction may occur if a sting victim has a history of allergic reactions to insects or experiences the following symptoms:

  • rapid onset of flushing
  • general hives
  • swelling of the face, eyes or throat
  • chest pains
  • nausea
  • severe sweating
  • breathing difficulties
  • faintness.