Ants and Alcohol

Recently I had my first run in with ‘fire’ ants. I had been warned about them and had been cautious in avoiding their ant hills. However, we were buying potted plants at a store and in carrying the pot to pay for it, when I put the pot down I felt something under my watch. It was an ant so I quickly got it off. Then when carefully carrying the plant to the car I discovered when I put the pot down that I had 30 to 40 ants all over my wrist and thumb. My wife, Pat, helped me get them off as I was still holding one plant with my other hand. Even though you don’t really feel them biting / stinging you, poison ivy like bumps start forming quickly.


My friend Rusty is a big proponent to the benefits of using rubbing alcohol for just about any situation that is skin related, so I promptly used alcohol and took antihistamine to keep the swelling down. What is interesting is that worked well for the first day but the next day was another matter. The swelling and itching were much worse.

It turns out the venom of the red ant is long lasting. Plus, once one ant balls up and stings you, it sends out a signal for all the other ants to do the same. Antihistamines didn’t seem to work after the initial use.

It got to the point I was ready to try anything to reduce the swelling and itching and remembered I had some magnets that my brother had given me to reduce pain and promote healing, so I tried them.



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