Do Carpenter Ants Bite?
Carpenter ants have strong jaws that help them chew through damp wood. If threatened, the insects may use these mandibles to deliver a painful bite that breaks the skin. While not venomous, a carpenter ant can spray formic acid into wounds. This acid is not normally harmful to people, though it might lead to health issues if you’re allergic.
These large, black insects often enter homes and businesses in search of food. Kitchens, break rooms, and restaurants are common places for the pests to infest, putting residents, employees, and customers at risk for bites.
Effects of Carpenter Ant Bites
Carpenter ants may bite if you handle them or disrupt their nests. Typical signs of a bite include:
- Swelling – Carpenter ant bites sometimes swell and become inflamed, causing your skin to feel warm and tender.
- Itching and Burning – Skin irritation is common after a bite and usually lasts until the puncture site has healed. You may experience a burning sensation if the pest sprays formic acid in the wound.
- Allergies – Although rare, serious allergic reactions can cause breathing troubles, rapid heart rate, or flu-like symptoms. Talk to a doctor if you notice any of these issues after a carpenter ant bite.
Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants
If you suspect a carpenter ant problem, check any decaying wood where the insects may nest. Porch supports, roofing, and door or window frames are all typical sites to find these pests. Removing infested wood can reduce ant populations, though it’s best to consult experts to avoid painful carpenter ant bites.