Bites from insects vary in severity depending on the insect you’ve been bitten by, and how your body reacts. Fire ants are one of the more painful insects to be bitten by and have quite a nasty little bite.
In this article, I will cover the best essential oils for fire ant bites. Essential oils offer a natural and effective way to reduce the symptoms of insect bites. They help manage the itching, reduce inflammation, and are my only choice when it comes to repelling bugs and treating bites.
What Are Fire Ants?
Fire ants are pretty easy to identify. They range in color from red to brown and can be as large as a quarter of an inch. They build nests in grassy areas, and if you disturb the nest you better be ready to run because it really angers them.
Inside their nests can be thousands of ants. Each ant can sting several times in quick succession. So, if you find yourself near a nest I suggest you get well away in a hurry because the bites can be painful too.
How to Identify a Fire Ant Bite
You will most likely see the fire ant as soon as you’re bitten because you will feel it right away. There will almost always be more than one ant and more than one bite. You will likely have a cluster of bites, looking like swollen red spots.
The sting hurts, and the spots will be very itchy. It’s important to take action soon after the bite to slow down the swelling and reduce the irritation. If you feel ill or the bites become huge and swollen you may be having an allergic reaction, in this case, seek medical advice as soon as possible.
What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten by a Fire Ant
Fire ants will sting more than once if they get the opportunity, so don’t be surprised if you have a series of bites close together.
Reactions can vary from person to person. If you have an allergic reaction it’s important to seek medical care. But most people will just experience a small itchy, inflamed lump, sometimes forming a blister a day later.
When you first notice the bites, you should:
- Clean the area with some antiseptic wash
- Avoid scratching or itching the bite
- Mix one of the suggested essential oils below with a carrier oil
- Apply the oil to the area with a gentle massaging motion
- Avoid irritating or touching the bite further
The bite should start improving in an hour or so, and within a day be either blistering or greatly reduced. You can apply more of your essential oil if the itching is too distracting and uncomfortable.
Essential Oils for Fire Ant Bites
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is great for skin, it can reduce the itching and redness from a red ant bite as well as repelling the annoying little insects. A couple of drops mixed with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil applied to the area can provide the relief you’re looking for.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint has a lovely aroma to you and I but to ants it’s horrible. Plus, it’s great at soothing areas of skin that have bites on. It has a cool effect, reducing the burning sensation and itching that’s so distracting.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary is a versatile oil that’s going to come in handy as part of your oil collection for a number of uses. One such use is relieving the annoying itching and burning sensation of a fire ant bite.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
One of the best oils for overall skin care, tea tree essential oil can help soothe all kinds of irritating skin problems. It has a strong scent that will help keep more ants away if you’re camping or somewhere where you may encounter more.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme has strong antiseptic properties that can give you some quick relief from the burning and itching you’ll feel after a bite from a fire ant. It’s very effective for people who tend to flare up worse than normal from bites.
Using Essential Oils Safely
You can use a drop of essential oil directly on your skin. Some people will do this with bites and it’s very effective. Oils are concentrated substances however, and they can cause irritation when used undiluted.
I always recommend diluting with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil to be safe. You will still get all the health benefits of the oil, without the risk of skin sensitivity.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use essential oils, neither should children. If you have any concerns always check with your doctor before using essential oils. They are however very safe when used correctly.
If you’re packing essential oils for fire ant bites or any other bites from insects and bugs I advise checking the oils do not cause any skin sensitivity. If you have to use oils in a hurry for someone who has been bitten, then mixing with a little carrier oil should be fine.
Essential oils are natural and wonderful ways to treat a wide range of health concerns, especially skin issues. I’m sure you’ll find them much better, and safer than chemically produced creams and sprays.
If you’re interested in learning more about these little insects there is a great FAQ resource here.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.