Ant Bites Hurt – How to Stop the Pain?

Every summer I manage to get bitten by ants while working in the garden. I never see the critters attacking me, it's later when the bites start to hurt that I notice them.

It’s 2014 and ants are still biting me.  My most recent run in with these vicious creatures was in the Caribbean.  As I hung my laundry up to dry on a clothesline a tiny little ant silently climbed up on me and bit me. 

I’m guessing that this is what happened since I didn’t feel the bite. After I noticed a little bump, like a pimple, I ignored it since it didn’t seem so bad.

But true to an ant bite, the bump just kept getting worse and worse day after day, more painful and more painful. AAnt Bites Hurtfter days of pain and swelling where hot showers and aloe were not helping I searched the internet for advice.  I found out that heat directed right at the bite might kill the pain.  Someone advised using a hair dryer.  I didn’t have one so I heated up a wet washcloth in the microwave and used it as hot as possible on the bite area.  Finally relief!

I had discovered previously that hot water would help, but now I realize that it has to be really hot, as hot as one can stand without burning the skin, to help.  I endured another week of the bite spreading, and then weeping for days requiring me to wear band aids.  3 weeks later I can say the bite is healed.

Every summer I manage to get bitten by ants while working in the garden. At least I think its ants. I’m praying it’s not spiders. I never see the critters attacking me, it’s later when the bites swell up, turn red, and start to hurt that I notice them. Usually they are on my skin under my clothing. I guess ants like privacy when they bite. Ant bites hurt, I always forget, so how to stop the pain?

Ant Bites Hurt the most!

The key to making the bite heal faster is recognizing it before it starts to hurt. It takes a day or two for the bite to start hurting and swelling. Lots of hot water compresses as soon as possible will make the whole healing process happen faster.

ant bites hurt

These ant bites have been the worse insect bites I have every received, and that includes having camped in the tropics for weeks at a time, and being stung by a wasp a few years ago. My advice is watch out when you move through the garden in late summer, as it seems that ants are crawling on every leaf and stem, especially on peonies! Preventing ant bites and all insect bites is really my best advice!

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Julia has been practicing green cleaning for several years as the owner of As You Like It Home Cleaning and organic gardening for almost 20 years running Julia Houriet Custom Gardening. She studied landscape design at Radcliffe Seminars in Cambridge Massachusetts. Her expertise is gleaned from education and years of experience.

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  • Tiffany

    I could not find a date on here so I do not know how old this is. (Maybe its because I’m on my iPhone) Anyway, are you sure they were ant bites and not chiggers?

    • Julia Houriet

      I’m not positive, but I dont’ think we have chiggers up here in urban New England. Do we?

  • Brabantia

    I’m currently going through the same ordeal, for the second year (again in June, so not “late summer”). On my leg and … the inside of my lip… imagine the appealing look of a blown up sack dangling on your jaw. But the swelling is different from last year, it’s definitely less severe (I hope it’ll result in a less long healing process… fingers crossed)
    Coincidently I’ve been drinking a lot of homemade elderflower cordial the last couple of weeks and found out it’s supposed to be a natural anti-hystamine so eventhough those bites still suck, you might want to give it a try. Drinking the cordial surely isn’t difficult 😉 There’s many recipes online and it’s a straightforward business to make it.

    • naturallybubbly

      sorry to hear it hope you feel better soon. I’m on high alert for anything crawling on me while gardening. Thanks for the advice about the elderberry cordial.

  • pmpope

    Fire ants! wow! These little critters can certainly bring the pain. I went to Blackhawk hardware (Charlotte) & talked to Wade. He is a database of ‘getting rid of garden pests’. My ant bites are still causing me pain so I am seriously considering this elderberry cordial. :) If you can’t beat ’em; drown the little bugger’s in an Elderberry Cordial! Cheers!

    • naturallybubbly

      thanks for your comment pmpope. Hope you are feeling better today, unless you are now suffering from a hangover! Take care.

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