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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Imported Fire Ants
USDA Agricultural Research Services Web site on area wide suppression of fire ants.


close up of white pustules caused by fire ant stings.

Fire Ant Venom

  • Causes immediate pain

  • Alkaloid venom kills tissue

    • White pustule forms ~ 24 hours

    • Heals in 10 to 14 days

  • Composition

    • 95% alkaloids (6-n-alkyl or alkenyl, 2 methyl piperidines)

      • Potent necrotoxic effects (kill tissue and results in pustule formation)

      • Do not produce allergic effects in humans

    • 5% aqueous solution of proteins, peptides and small molecules

      • One protein (Sol i I) causes allergic responses in people allergic to bee and wasp venom

      • Three other proteins are not related to bee or wasp venom


Areawide Suppression of Fire Ants main menu

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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