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As I was walking to the Post Office Saturday morning, some jackass asked me for directions. I stepped up to his car, and when we were finished talking, I realized I was standing on an ant hill.


Actually the guy wasn’t a jackass at all. He was very polite. But my foot is now covered with 16 fire ant bites (or are they stings?) and I’ve got to blame somebody.

Update: I got stung Saturday morning, but the irritation didn’t really begin until Sunday, with pustules in full effect by Monday morning. I took a couple sick days because it just wasn’t comfortable to wear a shoe. Now it’s Friday and the pustules are starting to diminish. I used some topical hydrocortisone to relieve the itching at first, but then I remembered the hot water method. Years ago I discovered this was a great way to deal with poison ivy, and it works for fire ants too. Just bathe in water hot as you can stand, and the itching goes away for hours. Ralph Robert Moore explains it this way:

The itching is caused by histamines produced by the insect bite or poison ivy rash. Exposing the affected area to hot water draws the histamines to the surface of the skin, where they are washed away.

I don’t know if that’s just his speculation or if there’s scientific research to back it up, but one things for sure: it works.

Published inBody


  1. hk hk

    Rhuli Gel, now sold under the Band-Aid brand, is the best stuff I’ve ever used for red-ant bites. I was initially turned on to it by a nurse who used it to treat my bites. Available in most any convenience store and also good for mosquito bites.

  2. It was the noxious plant oils that got me yesterday. Not too fun. But still, I bet yours was worse. 🙁

  3. Frank S. Frank S.

    I use cold oatmeal for them. Just mix a bowl [plain or quick cook is fine] let it cool and then smear it on.

  4. Marion Marion

    Got me too, I think while I was mowing the grass (with flip-flops on). Didn’t notice it for two days. I usually feel them right away. My circulation and pain sensations must be getting old and useless in my old age.

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