Ant bites, while not a medical emergency, can be a source of pain and discomfort. This makes it important to know how to handle the condition while making the best out of the available home remedies, Interestingly, while the pain subsides, one of the most annoying lingering symptoms is the itchiness that does not seem to go away. The itching is usually accompanied by swelling at the point of the bite. Both symptoms are attributed to the production of histamines by the body as a defense mechanism against the foreign substance as a result of the bite.

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Note that in many cases, however, the severity of the ant bites depends on one’s skin sensitivity so that the bites affect people differently.The intensity of the symptoms also varies depending on the specific type of ant species in question. For those whose skins are highly sensitive and trigger allergic reactions, it helps to seek medical attention. To manage ant bites at home, below are some natural remedies that you can use to ease the discomfort and reduce the swelling.


1. Ice Pack:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Ice cubes, a clean towel, soap and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

After an ant bite, one of the simplest remedies that you can use is an ice pack. The low temperatures will create a numbing effect on the bitten area, while helping to reduce the swelling. Overall, the pack helps reduce the burning sensation associated with ant bites. Before applying the ice pack, it is important to wash the bitten area with warm soapy water to get rid of topical dirt. Note, you should never apply ice directly on the skin at the risk of getting a frost bite.

Directions:

  1. Clean the bitten area using warm soapy water and rinse.
  2. Place the ice cubes on the clean towel and wrap to create a handy pack.
  3. Massage the ice pack on the bitten area, doing this gently but firmly.
  4. Give your skin a break every 2 minutes and repeat step 3 severally for about 10 minutes.
  5. Use this remedy at least thrice daily until the irritation at the bite area ceases.

 


2. Aloe Vera Gel:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh aloe vera leaf, soap and warm water. Aloe Vera gel (store-bought, optional).
Difficulty: Easy

 

Aloe Vera gel is a popular remedy for a host of skin conditions, among them, ant bites. The plant’s leaves come in handy when you need to treat the ant bites quickly and yet effectively. First, the plant’s cool gel is able to soothe the irritated skin and keep the swelling down. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties make it ideal for the prevention of skin infections following the bite, a factor which works incredibly well for those with sensitive skin. Note that if you cannot access fresh aloe vera leaves, you can always purchase aloe vera gel from your most convenient chemist of health store.

Directions:

  1. Wash the bite area using soap and warm water and dry well.
  2. Cut the aloe vera leaf at an angle in order to maximize the surface are for the gel production.
  3. Squeeze the leaf and rub the gel produced directly on the bite area, pressing firmly to allow for proper absorption.
  4. Leave the gel on for 20 minutes.
  5. Rinse the gel off with warm water.
  6. Use this remedy thrice daily until the irritation from the ant bite reduces.

 


3. Herbal Tea Bag:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Used herbal teabags, ice cubes and warm soapy water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

If you love to spend time in the outdoors, you may need to keep this remedy in mind the next time you want to throw away your used teabags. Tea is rich in tannin, a compound that has been shown to be extremely effective in the treatment of various skin conditions including ant bites.

Tannin, when exposed to the skin, produces tannic acid. This acid counters the effects of formic acid, one of the compounds released onto the skin by the ant. This counter-reaction provides you with relief from the pain and swelling, effectively reducing the itching sensation on the area surrounding the bite. It is a simple remedy, and works effectively especially when the tea bags are refrigerated.

Directions:

  1. Wash the bite area with warm soapy water to get rid of the bite substance topically.
  2. Place the used teabags on the ice cube to chill and allow for quick relief from the effects of the ant bite.
  3. Transfer the moist and chilled teabags from the ice cube tray and onto the bite area.
  4. Leave the teabag on the skin for 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse the skin, making sure you repeat this procedure as often as you need to or until the bite area is healed.

 


 4. Wet Clay or Mud:

Time Required: 30 Min – 1 Hr
What You Need: Wet clay/mud and warm water to rinse.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Mother Nature has readily provided a remedy for the natural treatment of ant bites. If you live in an area, or are exploring the outdoors where natural clay or mud is in plenty, simply take this and use it to reduce the irritation from the ant bite. When wet, the cool temperatures also help soothe and numb the bite area. Depending on the consistency of the clay/mud, you may need to add some water to get a thick paste as described in the directions below. The most important thing as far as this remedy is concerned is to avoid using clay or mud obtained from the area near the ant colonies.

Directions:

  1. Scoop some of the clay/mud and press firmly between your fingers. The idea here is to create a consistent paste that you can apply on the bite area.
  2. Apply generous amounts of the paste on the bite area, making sure you cover the surrounding area too.
  3. Allow the paste to dry naturally as the soothing effects set in.
  4. Once dried, the paste will have a hard exterior, which is why you will need to rinse it off using warm water.
  5. Use this remedy as often as you need to or until the effects of the ant bite dissipate.

 


5. Lemon Leaf:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh leaf from the lemon tree and warm soapy water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

The compounds present in the leaf of the lemon tree make for an excellent remedy against the effects of ant bites. This is an age-old remedy which has been passed down generations. The healing properties of the lemon leaf are attributed to its anti-histamine properties which help counter the effects of the ant bite. These properties go a long way in reducing inflammation as well as soothing the bite area. In the absence of the leaf from the lemon tree, you can always use lemon balm in extract form or tincture form, both of which you can get from your health store.

Directions:

  1. Clean the bite area well using warm soapy water.
  2. Take the leaf and rub it gently but firmly on the bite area. This allows the antihistamine compounds to seep into the skin and offer relief from the bite.
  3. Leave the sap on the skin for about 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
  4. Use thrice daily for best results.

 


6. Raw Onions:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Onion wedges and lemon leaf.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Away from the tears that onions cause many people, these common kitchen ingredient can actually provide you relief from ant bites. Fresh onion slices are rich in enzymatic compounds that help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with ant bites. The cool nature of the slices also works by soothing the bite area. If you are concerned about the onion’s pungent smell, you can always rub your hands using the lemon leaf.

Directions:

  1. Peel the onion and clean under running water.
  2. Slice the onion and rub it directly on the bite area.
  3. Leave it on for a couple of hours.
  4. Rub your hands using the lemon leaf to eliminate the pungent smell.
  5. Repeat this remedy thrice daily or until the irritation subsides.

 


7. Tea Tree Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Tea tree oil, sterile cotton wool and warm soapy water. Carrier oil such as olive oil.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Tea tree oil is known for its healing properties and positive benefits on the skin. When used to treat ant bites, the oil’s anti-inflammatory properties ease the pain and reduce the swelling. Additionally, its antiseptic properties prevent the risk of infection especially in people with sensitive skin. Olive oil is added to the remedy as a carrier oil and for dilution purposes. Use sterile cotton wool for the application process.

Directions:

  1. Wash the bite area using warm soapy water, rinse and dry well prior to the application of the oil.
  2. Place a few drops of the tea tree oil onto the sterile cotton wool before dabbing it on the bite area.
  3. For those with sensitive skin, it helps to mix the tea tree oil with olive oil in order to dilute it while maintaining its healing properties.
  4. Rub the cotton wool on the bite area and leave on.
  5. Use this remedy thrice daily until the irritation clears.

 


8. Baking Soda:

Time Required: 45 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of baking soda, warm water and soap.
 Difficulty: Easy

 

Quite a number of the natural remedies included above can easily be sourced from the kitchen, which is why it does not come as a surprise that baking soda belongs to this category. When mixed with water, the baking soda creates an alkaline paste that works by countering the poison in the ant bite, effectively reducing the inflammation in the bite area. The paste, when allowed to dry on the skin, also soothes the bite area and effectively relieves the swelling and intense itching.

Directions:

  1. As with all other remedies, first clean the bite area using warm soapy water.
  2. Create a thick paste using the baking soda by adding water in bits until you get the desired consistency.
  3. Apply this paste on the bite area and leave on for half an hour.
  4. Do not wash off the remedy immediately to allow its healing properties take effect.
  5. Let the paste dry naturally before rinsing off with warm water about half an hour later.
  6. Use this remedy three times daily until you get relief from the ant bite.

 


9. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar, cotton balls, 1/2 cup of warm water for dilution purposes and warm soapy water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Apple cider vinegar (abbreviated ACV) delivers great results for many people when used to treat ant bites. The vinegar is a popular remedy because it reduces inflammation and effectively deals with the intense itching. Its properties also help counter the effects of the ant poison on the skin. If you are constantly in the outdoors, it helps to stock up on ACV in your pantry. For those with sensitive skin, make sure you carry out a patch test prior to the application of the remedy.

Directions:

  1. Clean the bite area using the warm soapy water and rinse.
  2. Dilute the ACV by mixing it with the water and stir for proper mixing.
  3. Soak the cotton ball in the solution and apply it on the bite area.
  4. Leave on for half an hour.
  5. Use ACV three times everyday until the effects of the ant bite wear off.

 


10. Alcohol:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) or any products with a high alcohol content and cotton wool .
Difficulty: Easy

 

Alcohol is yet another effective home remedy for the treatment of ant bites. The alcohol works by reducing the action of histamine compounds produced by the body in response to the bite. Topical application of the alcohol also prevents swelling at the site of the bite while reducing the itching and stinging sensations.

Directions:

  1. Soak the cotton wool in the alcohol or choice product.
  2. Dab the soaked cotton wool on the bite area and leave on for a few minutes.
  3. Keep applying fresh coats of the alcohol to compensate for the evaporation.
  4. Use this remedy three times daily until the effects of the ant bite subside.

 


Other practical home remedies that you can use include salt which prevents the effects of he ant bite from spreading, toothpaste whose cooling effect enhances speedy healing of the bite area as well as calamine lotion which is best loved for its skin soothing properties. Crushed aspirin tablets have also been shown to be particularly helpful when applied topically, thanks to the potent anti-inflammatory traits.