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Apple Cider Vinegar Eased Itch of Fire Ant Bite

Q. I just stepped in an ant bed and checked the People’s Pharmacy website for a remedy. Many solutions were mentioned, including apple cider vinegar. I had a bottle in my pantry. I soaked a cotton ball in the vinegar and rubbed it all over the affected area. The itch is gone!

I’m in the Deep South where fire ants are rampant, and never before have I tried anything that took the itch away. I wish I’d checked this website sooner.

A. Many readers have shared their success with remedies for fire ant bites. The ants are ferocious when disturbed, and the venom, solenopsin, can create a feeling that the skin has been burned, with intense pain and itching.

Readers’ remedies include witch hazel, benzoyl peroxide (10 percent), Vicks VapoRub, Preparation H, apple cider vinegar or a cut onion.

Tim C noted:

“I grew up in Florida and as a kid I would get into fire ant beds quite often. I remember my mother would always have witch hazel on hand for this reason.”

CM preferred your approach: “Organic apple cider vinegar works for me….I live in FL too and I usually just have to apply it once with a cotton ball and it takes away the itch for good.”

PG has a slightly different suggestion: “We live in Texas and one day I got bit by a fire ant at my mother’s house. I went to look for something to put on it; it was very painful. All I could find was hemorrhoid cream. I applied that to my bite and the pain instantly went away, as well as the redness. I never had any itching.”

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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