Fire Ant Allergy


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fire-ant-allergyFire ants were originally introduced to the United States from South America during the 1920s, fire ants are now well established in several southern states. The venom of the fire ants differs from that of small biting insects, in that it can produce several local allergic reactions or systemic anaphylactic reactions.

The fire ants attack by biting to secure itself, then inserts its stinging apparatus, which contains the venom. Highly sensitive individuals with high levels of allergic antibodies against the venom of the fire ant are usually treated with immunotherapy.

Someone who is sensitive to insect bites should avoid:

  • Standing in the direct path of fire ant mounds and their traffic zones
  • Contact with a nest
  • Throwing objects or disturbing a nest
  • Hitting a mound when mowing
  • Planting flowers in a fire ant zone
  • Trimming hedges or shrubs in a fire ant zone
  • Walking barefoot outdoors
  • Cooking or eating outdoors

Fire Ant Control Tips

There are many safe fire ants mound control products available today which will help in controlling the fire ant population in your yard. However, they usually require more than one application per season. Always make sure you keep your pets away from fire ant zones as they can also have severe fire ant reactions when bitten. If you have a fire ant problem in your yard then it is advisable that you walk your perimeter weekly to help spot new mounds and zones so you can treat them promptly.

About the author: About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

HOW TO KILL FIRE ANTS ~ DEAD !

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Insect Allergy


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insect allergyIf you’re allergic to the stings or bites of insects, navigating your way rhough the summer can be more dangerous than bicycling through New York City. An estimated 2 million Americans have insect allergies, which send more than 500,000 of them to the hospital and cause at least 50 deaths per year. That figure may actually br higher, since some insect-allergy related deaths may not be recognized as such. Almost half of the fatal reactions occur in people who have no history of insect allergies. If you suspect you may be allergic, ask your doctor to do a skin test.

Insect Allergy Culprits

The culprits include stinging insects, such as bees, hornets, yellow jackets, wasps, and fire ants, and biting insects, such as mosquitoes and bedbugs. Most of which are plentiful in late July, August and early September. You’ll know you’re allergic to one of them if, after you’ve been bitten, you develop hives, itchiness, swelling in areas other than the sting bite, difficulty breathing, dizziness, a hoarse voice, and/or swelling of the tongue. In severe reactions, you may lose consciousness and go into cardiac arrest as your body becomes overwhelmed and goes into anaphylactic shock. Don’t be surprised if the symptoms hit several hours after your encounter with the insect and gradually worsen before dissipating.

There’s really no way to know if you’re allergic to an insect until you’ve been stung, since this is one of the few allergies in which there is no clear family history. Just because a parent is allergic to bee stings doesn’t mean that you will be.

If you’re stung, try applying cold compresses and/or an over-the-counter hydro-cortisone cream to reduce the stinging and swelling, but even if that first reaction is mild, make sure you see an allergist.Not only do you need a doctor’s prescription for the epinephrine kit, you should ask if you’re a candidate for venom immunotherapy, or allergy shots, which can desensitize you to most insect stings.

Related Post: Wasp Allergy.

Excerpt from Allergy & Asthma Relief, Debra Gordon, Co-author of Allergy & Asthma Relief, Reader’s Digest, 2004

Insect Allergies Explained