Insects defend themselves in many different ways.  Some insects have large claws.  Some have strong mandibles.  Some have stingers.  But they all protect themselves in many unique ways.  Ants have many ways that they defend themselves.  Their sheer numbers are one protection against extinction.  They also live underground, protected from most predators.  But do ants bite?  Almost all ants can bite, but many are too small to bite us.  Some ants also may sting, and others do both.  

As ants forage for food, or stray from the nest for whatever reason, it is assured that at some point they will have to protect themselves.  It’s for this reason that these insects have developed the ability to bite and to sting.  Smaller animals and insects must even the odds against larger and more powerful predators.  Bites and stings are natures way of giving small creatures a fighting chance.  


One of the most prominent of the stinging ants is the fire ant.  These ants come in two different varieties.  The indigenous fire ant and the imported fire ant are in completion not only with predators, but with one another.  And currently, the indigenous fire ant is losing.  Both of these ants have mandibles that they use to hold on to your skin, and then they will arch their back until they can insert the stinger on the end of their abdomen.  A Tulsa exterminator can help.  

The sting of a fire ant is not fatal.  It will hurt a small amount when it first strikes, and leave a welt.  The welt may itch for a few days.  If you do itch the welt, you run the risk of opening up the skin and getting an infection, but other than that, probably nothing.  If you have an allergy to fire ant venom, then you could have an issue.  It’s important to contact a medical professional if you have an allergy and have been stung by fire ants.    


In many areas, harvester ants are mistaken for fire ants.  They can be black, but in some regions, they are red much like fire ants.  They bite in the same way that fire ants do, gripping their victim and then using their stinger to inject venom.  Like fire ants, their stinger has no barb, so they can sting multiple times.  You can call an Oklahoma exterminator for these ants.  Also like fire ants, when they sting they send out a pheromone that alerts other ants of the danger around them, and they come to help.  This means that, if you don’t move, you’re going to end up with multiple stings.  

Some harvester ants have more poisonous stings than fire ants.  People  with an allergic reaction to insect stings such as bees, wasps and ants should be wary.  Young children and the elderly can be very susceptible to these bites, especially when they are in high numbers.  In any of these special cases, it’s important to get medical attention.  


The asian needle ant is a relatively new invasive species that has shown up as early as 2006 in the southern regions of the United States.  It has a sting that is painful and more likely to cause allergic reactions.  Because of this, it is more dangerous than bees to people with sting allergies.  It also has the ability to infest homes.  The size of the colonies of this ant are significantly smaller than most other ants, giving them the ability to nest in small cracks in your home.  

Red velvet ants are sometimes called cow killer ants.  The truth is that these are not ant at all, they are wasps.  They closely resemble ants, hence the name.  The cow killer part of their name refers a particular species of velvet ant found in Kentucky.  It is very large and their sting is so painful it supposedly could “kill a cow”.  Contact your local Oklahoma pest control company for help.  


As with all stinging insects, ant stings can cause an allergic response.  This allergic response is simply your bodies immune system responding to the venom injected into your body.  Sometimes this reaction is excessive and can become dangerous.  After you get stung by a fire ant or some other ant, often the symptoms will be swelling, discomfort, and redness at the site of the bite.  This is normal and should subside within a few days.  

If you should have a more severe reaction, or the reaction remains for a long time, then you should seek medical attention.  Severe reactions such as whole-body rash and itching, difficulty breathing, or becoming pale, sweaty, faint, lightheaded or confused are considered whole body reactions and should be treated immediately.  These kind of reactions need to be treated quickly and aggressively.  Without the correct treatment, shock or death can be the result.  Consult a medical physician if there is any question.  


So what do you do if you have an ant problem?  It’s time to call a reputable Tulsa pest control company.  That’s why TermMax Pest Control is here.  Contact us for a free estimate.  We are here to help!

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