What Can You Tell Me About Fire Ant Allergies?

Dr. David Golden answers the question: 'What About Fire Ant Allergies?'

— -- Question: What can you tell me about fire ant allergies?

Answer: Fire ants or imported fire ants are a group of stinging insects that arrived in this country almost a hundred years ago from South America and have settled in the southeast third of this country, especially the Gulf Coast. Actually Mobile, Alabama is where they are centered. They can't live in northern climates and have not yet made their way out to the west coast. And there are some other kinds of stinging ants in other parts of the world.

The stinging ants, fire ants, can be red fire ants, black fire ants. They sting. They actually bite with their jaws and hang onto the skin as a pivot, and then swing around and sting multiple times. So a single ant will sting many times, and it's unusual to have just one ant, because if you're barefoot you're likely to get multiple ants on you and get multiple stings. And stinging ants can cause all of the same allergic reactions as bees or wasps or yellow jackets. So there's no difference there in the kind of allergies that occur.

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