Fire Ants attack my left leg in masse
My husband and I unknowingly disturbed a Fire Ant nesting area. We ended up with Fire Ants crawling up our legs in masse.
How did this happen?
We went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and stayed at our favorite hotel: Cabana Shores. The ocean is right across the street. As you return from the beach, there is an outdoor shower nozzle attached to a pole that you can use to wash away the sand.
On the first night of our trip, my husband complained about pain between his toes after using this shower. We did not know what to make of this and promptly forgot about it.
The next day, we both spent quite a bit of time sitting on the edge of the ocean, letting the water wash over the bottom half of our body again and again. Since I am extremely sun-sensitive and prone to sunburn, I wore calf length pants and a tee-shirt. Needless to say, I was covered with sand. My husband held the string to keep the water going and helped me wash off the majority of sand.
It was then that we noticed that both of our legs were covered with crawling ants. There were probably about fifty ants or more on each of us. We rushed to our hotel room. He jumped into the shower, bathing suit and all and ran hot water over his suit and body. He washed as multiple ants were washed down the drain.
In the meantime, I was stripping off my clothes, attempting to wipe ants off of me as they bit or strung or whatever it was they were doing to me. It hurt like fire. Later on, it itched like crazy.
The housekeeper came in while I was in the shower. She gave us a plastic bag to wrap our clothes in as my pants were still covered with ants. I had some Aloe Vera lotion that I rubbed on my legs to relieve the burning sensation.
The next day, I had red welts all up and down my legs. The day following that, the red welts looked like overgrown puss-filled pimples. See the illustration of my lovely left leg.
As we drove back to our home in Tennessee that same day, we stopped at a pharmacy. The pharmacist recommended Neosporin to help take care of the infection. The good news is that it does not hurt or string any more. It just looks really gross.
Once I had access to my home computer, I Googled the topic. From what I read, the swelling will go down in a few days; however, it might leave a scar.
I also discovered the following from msucares.com: Fire ants both bite and sting. How do they do that? According to this site, Fire ants “grasp the skin with their mandibles to anchor themselves.” Then they “insert their sting.”
No wonder it hurt like fire. They were doing both to me.
Visit this website to see their slideshow of what the bites look like over a progression of one hour to 24 hours to 72 hours to one week to one month. Oh, joy!
Click this link to watch the slideshow
- The Fire Ant Sting
Anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to have an intimate encounter with fire ants understands why they are such unwelcome pests. They sting and it hurts! They bite as well.
In spite of the attack of the Fire Ants, my husband and I had a wonderful time on our 3-night vacation.
Fire Ants attacked my left leg at Myrtle Beach - These bites are 2 days old
Bite Me with Dr. Mike - New Series Preview 1
Red Fire Ants
Ants create a lifeboat in the Amazon jungle - BBC wildlife
Fire Ant Attack after 1 week
Update. After getting attacked by the Fire Ants on Thursday, April 21st, I had to go to the doctor on Tuesday, April 26th. My throat felt like it was closing up a bit, and I developed a bad cough. It may or may not be related to the 50 or so stings and bites I sustained.
The doctor prescribed:
1) Prednisone 10 mg. It is a Steroid pack. You take 6 pills the first day, 5 pills the second day, 4 pills the third day, 3 pills the fourth day, 2 pills the fifth day, and 1 pill the sixth day.
2) Cephalexin 500 mg. I take one pill three times a day.
It is helping some.
As of yesterday, April 27th, as the bites and stings are healing, they now itch like crazy. My husband had trouble sleeping as he was itching so bad. I had been using Neosporin; however, that was ceasing to be all that helpful. I found myself scratching like crazy.
We went to the K-Mart Pharmacy today. The pharmacist recommended an over-the-counter itch relief lotion called Smart Sense, Clear Anti-Itch Lotion. It seems to be helping.
My skin looks like the star constellations. I had a lot more stings and bites than i first realized. Hopefully, I will not scar.
I hope you all remain safe from insect attacks. They are not a whole lot of fun.
My husband commented that it did rather color our vacation. Instead of mostly dwelling on the happy times we had, we are having our minds gravitate to the bites and stings. Nevertheless, I am still glad we went.
Hopefully, this hub will help other people be more aware so that they can stay safe, and we can stay safe in the future.
Fire Ants bites at the 3-week point
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