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What Are Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants are large and black or dark brown in color. The insects are known for expanding nests inside wood cavities and causing structural damage, as well as biting humans.

Why Do They Bite?
The most common reasons for carpenter ants to bite is human handling and disruption of the nest.

Carpenter Ant Defense Mechanisms

Mandibles
Though the insects do not sting, carpenter ants’ large mandibles make bites quite painful.

Acidic Spray
Another common defense mechanism of carpenter ants is their formic acid spray.

Bites may become particularly painful if this acid covers the afflicted area.

Bite Symptoms

  • Inflammation: The most common symptoms of a carpenter ant bite are inflammation and redness.
  • Itching: If an individual is allergic, serious swelling and itching may occur, as well.
  • Allergies: While rare, allergic reactions should merit immediate medical attention.

Wash the Bite
Washing the area with soap and water to remove any formic acid usually helps dispel symptoms.

Health Risks
The carpenter ant is not known to transmit disease, and the insect’s bite is not venomous.

Learn more about carpenter ants.

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