Thursday, October 20, 2005

Fire Ants

As you may recall from my previous post about the bugs in Houston, fire ants are a problem around here. They're not super bad here inside the city, but definitely out in the 'burbs, it's a constant battle with the little suckers.

Well, baby boy had his first run-in with them this past weekend. We were at a one-year-old birthday party out in the 'burbs and baby boy had the misfortune of standing for however short a period of time in a fire ant hill.

For those of you not familiar with fire ants, they're quite amazing little creatures. When we lived out in the 'burbs ourselves, I used to actually like to find ant hills and poke them to watch the ants. The amazing thing is that when you touch their ant hill, they almost literally explode out of the ground. If there's anything on top of that hill, it will immediately be covered in ants and once they reach a certain height on that object, they send out a signal to all the other ants to start biting.

Now, what was equally as amazing to see as the fire ants all over him, was the response of all the adults around him! Within seconds, there were 3 or 4 adults on top of him, as well, stripping off his shoes, socks, and shorts to get the fire ants off of him. I was actually not one of those adults. I was in a different area of the playground with baby girl and it just about killed me to not go over and help, but I knew that I needed to keep baby girl away from there and out of harm's way.

Baby boy ended up getting about 30 bites all over his ankles, but never fear, there were no less than 3 pharmacists in attendence with dosing information and Benadryl at the ready.

We kept cortizone cream on the bites for the next few days, but oddly enough, as with mosquito bites, the ant bites never seemed to bother baby boy. Kind of makes me wonder if his skin doesn't have nerve endings in it!...

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