Foul little beasties, they are.
I mean, think about it. You get stung by a mosquito; you get a little red bump and it itches for a little bit, but you put some tea tree oil on it and it stops itching.
You get a regular ant bite; you get a little red bump and it itches for a little bit, but you put some tea tree oil on it and it stops itching.
But you unwittingly stand for a few minutes in a fire ant bed, when you’re wearing flip flops and shorts, and what happens? You get swarmed by fire ants. It takes a minute or two (if you’re wearing flip flops and shorts) to get all of the ants off your foot, your leg, your flip flops, etc. And you get a little red bump and it itches like mad. Well, if you stand in the fire ant bed for a few minutes, and if you’re like me, you get 15 red bumps and they itch like mad. So you put some tea tree oil on it, and you get maybe 2 minutes of relief. Then you spray it with lanacaine, and you get maybe 15 minutes of relief. Then you spray it with lanacaine again, and there’s no change. In the meantime, your foot doesn’t just have little red bumps, it has huge red welts and it gets swollen, and you take Benadryl and you put Benadryl cream on it and it doesn’t help at all.
Then the next day you call your doctor who says to use hydrocortisone (I got Cortaid spray) and keep taking the Benadryl. So you do. And for a little while, you have no pain. But the Benadryl wears off while you’re asleep, so you wake up to find that you’ve been scratching your foot against your sheet while you were asleep, and it’s itching and hurting like mad. So you take some more Benadryl and spray your foot a few times with the Cortaid, and eventually drop back to sleep again. Repeat that two more times, which makes for a really tiring night.
Then you go to work and take some more Benadryl and spray some more Cortaid, and you’re actually feeling pretty good until you look at your disgusting foot and see that one of the sores has already burst, and the others look just nasty. But you’re glad to have some relief.
Then you go to lunch, and you don’t take more Benadryl before lunch because you can’t drive when you’ve taken Benadryl. And 15 minutes into your lunch break, you realise your foot’s starting to hurt again, and you cuss because you let your Benadryl wear off. By the time you get back to your desk so you can take some more Benadryl and spray the Cortaid on some more, your foot is in full-fledged painful itchy fire ant hating mode.
I’ve been back for 40 minutes. It’s only barely starting to get a little relief. I’m embarrassed to admit how much scratching I did–not with my fingers, but by friction (e.g. rubbing my foot against my blue jeans).
Fire ants: 15