Bull ants are ferocious insects but the sting is not hooked and does not remain in the body of the victim. The bull ant is capable of stinging an individual repeatedly and the stinger is found in its abdomen. The bull ant workers feed on other insects as well as honeydew from scale insects. The queen bull ant departs the nest to look for food and increase the food supply for the offspring.
The head of these ants are red while the abdomen and thorax are black. These ants create their nest under the ground and they have quite extensive tunnel systems. The nest of the bull ant is a mound of dirt with a large opening and sometimes there are large openings found at the top. Dirt is usually scattered around the mound and there are 2-3 bull ant guards or soldiers that are seen on top of the mound.
The bites of the bulldog ants are very painful and usually causing it to swell and turn red. Even if the person has not been bitten by an ant before, there are symptoms that indicate the development of a severe or anaphylactic reaction which requires medical help.
- Swelling in some parts of the body away from the bitten area especially the lips and areas around the eyes.
- Feeling faint, lightheaded or dizzy
- Red blotches can be seen on the skin or an itchy rash all over the body
- Difficulties in breathing such as shortness of breath or wheezing
- Tightness of the chest
- Brush off all the ants immediately. Remember that these ants are very aggressive and can bite repeatedly if they are given the chance. Tweezers can also be used in removing any ants left in the skin.
- Clean the affected area using mild soap and water. Scrub it gently using a wash towel in a circular movement. Just make sure not to scrub too hard since it can make the condition worse.
- Make a paste by mixing baking soda and a few drops of water. The bite of a bull ant leaves a small amount of acid which is similar to the venom of a bee sting . Baking soda helps in neutralizing the acidity of the ant bite and lessens the irritation.
- Apply an ice pack over the affected area for at least 20 minutes at a time and keep the affected part of the body elevated at least higher than the level of the heart to help minimize the swelling.
- Take the prescribed antihistamine medications in order to help lessen the itching. When bites of the bull ants start to heal, the person feels an intense urge to rub or scratch the bite site. Antihistamines help in minimizing the swelling of the affected area.
In case the symptoms still persist and pus has developed, seek medical help immediately.