There are many different insects around us. These insects exist in many different species. Ants, too, exist in different species. The different species of ants all bite in a different way. By observing keenly the area of the human skin that has been bitten by the ant, they will be different depending on the type of ant responsible for biting them. Bites from different bites will not only differ on their looks, the symptoms that come with the bite will also differ. This is because ants introduce some venom when they are biting. Different species of ants will not necessarily have the same kind of venom. When two persons are bitten by two different types of ants, they will exhibit different symptoms and would probably require different treatments. This article is going to deal with the question of how to identify different types of ant bites.
Identifying the ant
The first step towards identifying an ant bite is identifying the ant species. It is worth noting that ants are not the only insects responsible for human skin bites. For this reason, it is important to identify the insect which bit you and establish whether it really was an ant. There are also different types of ant bites and knowing the species on the ant responsible for the ant bite is also a plus.
Most ants live in one place and travel in groups. They usually travel along a specific trail in search for food that they take back to their nests. When you find an insect trail, observe the ants and identify their sizes; whether they are of the same size or they are of different sizes. If possible, follow the ant trail back to their nests and also tell what time they are mostly active; is it day time or during the night? It is also important to capture some of the ants and use a microscope to identify their species. The following are some criteria that can be used to identify the ant species:
- Body characteristics – Like any other insects, an ant’s body are divided into three body parts i.e. the head, thorax and abdomen. Most of them have an antenna that is bent in the middle. In addition to this, most worker ants don’t have wings, which is unlike the ones that are responsible for production that have wings.
- Their nests – Ant nests may either be clearly visible or hidden. The nest may also differ in terms of the number of entry points and the shape the nests produce on the soil surface. A keen study of the nests will also help in identifying the species of ants that thrive inside.
- Their behavior and size – The size of the worker ants is also key in identifying the ant species. Different species also vary in their behaviors. This includes the type of food they take back to their colonies and what times they are mostly active.
How do you identify ant bites?
Having learnt how to identify the ants themselves, it will be easier to identify their bites. But the question is, how do you identify whether a bite on human skin was because of an ant? The following points may help you do this. Let us have a look at them.
- While some ants bite human skin, most ant species sting humans. A lot of people will say they have been bitten by ants, but the truth of the matter is that they have been stung. When the ant sting humans, they will inject some venom into the human body which will cause allergic reactions. The changes to the human body which will be manifested by certain symptoms, can be an important criterion for one to identify an ant bite. Some of the symptoms caused by the ant stings include; nausea, skin irritation and headaches, among other symptoms.
- Ants, in their daily routine of collecting food to take back to the colony, usually walk in groups. The ants will not bite unless they are distracted by human beings. When they bite, it is usually for their own protection and would, therefore, make an attack as a group, resulting in a cluster of spots caused by the ant bite. When you have many spots on the skin, there is a very high chance that the spots have been caused by ant bites.
- The ant bite spots will also be red in color and will in most cases form blisters at the top. These blisters can then go on to form pus which makes the ant bites appear reddish but with some white substance on the inside.
- Another indication of ant bites is the irritation of the bites. Ant bites are known to itch a lot which causes the persons affected to have skin irritation. This irritation will last for a while, even for a whole week for some persons. The bites will also make the affected areas swell while developing red spots. These red spots will then develop a blister on the top. When you have such kinds of developments on your skin, it would be an indication of ant bites which will require you to make necessary action to treat yourself or go see a doctor.
When an ant bites, the body of the person who has been bitten will respond in many ways. This will depend on the ability of that person’s body to fight the poisonous substances introduced to the body because of the bite. It will also depend on the species of the ant responsible for biting. This is the reason why it is important to identify different types of ant bites so that one may be able to know what cause of action to take. As discussed in the article, it is also important to know how to identify the ants themselves and tell the difference between an ant and other types of insects. Having known how to tell what type of ant bite you have, you will be able to take appropriate action.