A fun day at the beach or out in the woods can turn sour because of ant bites. Most of us have felt the agonizing pain that comes from stepping on an ant hill or sitting in what is their path. Ant bites can cause different reactions in different people. As with other insect venom, ant venom can affect us all in varying ways. Generally, ant bites cause irritation, swelling, pain and itching in most people.
Of course, not all ant bites cause severe reactions. There are different kinds of ants and depending on which type of ant bit you, you can get the appropriate treatment. In case of fire ants, for example, the bite can lead to intense pain and irritation. If there is an allergic reaction to the venom, it is advisable to seek medical help. However, before rushing to the emergency room, for minor bites, take a look at these simple home remedies.
Top 10 Home Remedies for Ant Bites
As soon as you are bitten, wash the wound with gentle soap and water. Then head straight for the freezer, get four or five ice cubes, wrap them in a thin cloth and apply this ice pack to the bite. The cool ice can be a strong antidote to the burning sensation that results from most ant bites.
Applying an ice compress can numb the area around the bite and provide immediate relief from pain. The ice can also help reduce inflammation and swelling that could result from an ant bite. Try this simplest home remedy as your first step towards relief.
Better known as baking soda, bicarbonate of soda is an easy and effective remedy for ant bites. This common kitchen commodity has proven to be a successful way of relieving the irritation and swelling that follows most ant bites.
You can make thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it directly to the affected area. Make sure to not wash it off immediately. Let the paste dry naturally. Because of its alkaline properties, baking soda can help neutralize the venom and reduce inflammation and itching.
Tea Tree Oil
The benefits of tea tree oil for skin health are well-known. It’s no surprise then that this essential oil is also helpful in treating ant bites. Tea tree oil is known for its antiseptic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory qualities.
This is what makes it ideal for treating insect bites. Just dab a couple of drops of tea tree oil on a cottonball and apply it to the wound. If you have sensitive skin, mix the oil with olive oil before applying.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is one more reason why your kitchen needs to be stocked with apple cider vinegar. Common resident in kitchen cupboards, apple cider vinegar can be handy for treating various insect encounters, including ant bites.
Especially effective for fire ant bites, the vinegar is known to reduce inflammation and irritation. Because of its acidity, it neutralizes the venom and can help with the swelling and itching. Add some apple cider vinegar to water and soak the affected area of your body in that water for some time.
Yes, onions can make us cry. But they can also make us smile. Especially if they take the pain away from ant bites. All you have to do is slice a fresh, raw onion and apply the piece directly to the ant bite. There are powerful enzymes in the onion that help reduce inflammation and pain that can be a response to the ant bite. Repeat the application as necessary.
A simple and effective remedy for ant bites is lemon balm. For centuries, this herb has been used in folk remedies for different kinds of skin afflictions, including insect bites. This herb is known to have antihistamine properties that can help reduce inflammation and irritation that can be a response to an ant bite. Applying the fresh leaf on the ant bite can be helpful. You can also get lemon balm in dried, tincture, extract or capsule form.
Aloe vera is a popular remedy for a multitude of skin afflictions. This versatile plant can come handy when treating wounds, blisters, acne, and insect bites. If you have an aloe vera plant in your garden, simply break off a leaf and apply the gel that oozes from the leaf.
The immediate cooling effect of the gel on the ant bite can take away some of the pain and irritation. It also has some antiseptic properties that can prevent an infection. You can also get aloe vera gels in most health food stores or pharmacies.
We know cucumber as a great ingredient for salads or in between sandwiches. Now, we can also know it as an effective remedy for ant bites. This juicy, cooling vegetable can provide you relief from the irritation and pain from ant bites.
Cucumber juice is acidic, which can help neutralize the formic acid in ant venom. It can soothe the burning sensation, as well. Using a cottonball or soft cloth, apply cucumber juice to the ant bite.
The next time you make some herbal tea, think twice before discarding the tea bag. Because tea contains tannin, it is proven effective in treating a range of skin afflictions, like insect bites. The tannic acid helps soothe the effect of the formic acid in ant venom.
This can provide much relief from the swelling, itching and pain that accompany ant bites. Just place a moist tea bag on the afflicted area for some time. Once you feel better you can remove it. Repeat this process as needed.
Clay or Mud
This is one of the easiest remedies for ant bites. Mother Nature provides us with a solution for an attack by one of her most cherished inhabitants. If you live in an area where natural clay and mud abound, count your lucky stars.
This folk remedy for insect bites has proven to be successful in taking away some of the pain and irritation. Mix some clay or good mud and water and apply it to the affected area. Let it naturally dry off. However, make sure you do not take the mud from near an ant hill!