Do Carpenter Ants Bite?

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Do Carpenter Ants Bite?

Do Carpenter Ants Bite?

Carpenter ants are common in the United States, especially in the North. There are over 1,000 carpenter ant species and all of them burrow through the wood to build colonies. Carpenter ants can be all red, all brown or black and red. Black carpenter ants are also common. They are between 1/4" to 3/4" in length. Carpenter ants have 3 body sections, 6 legs and an antenna. Sometimes, they grow a pair of wings. 

Do Carpenter Ants Bite Humans?

Yes, carpenter ants bite humans when they feel threatened. They often do this when their nest is disturbed. Carpenter ant bites can be very painful and may even break your skin. They also produce formic acid, a defensive chemical that can increase the pain when applied to the bite wound. Carpenter ants use this chemical to fight other ant species and insects when threatened.


They also damage buildings and houses when building nests. That is enough reason why you should get rid of carpenter ants immediately. Pest control professionals know the complex nesting habits and life cycle of carpenter ants, so they know what to do to get rid of these insects completely.

ants carpenter bite

Carpenter Ants vs Fire Ants

Fire ants are harmful to people. Carpenter ants usually give a mild bite, but fire ants can flock and sting humans. Aside from being extremely painful, the stings can also cause an allergic reaction or infection. A swollen pimple-like area will also form on your skin.

Difference Between Carpenter Ant and Fire Ant

There is a big difference between the size of fire ants and carpenter ants. Fire ants are extremely small, normally 1/4" or less. They are reddish-brown and aggressive. Fire ants are commonly found in the southern U.S. and they dwell in small, raised mounds of soil.

insects vs carpenter ants

Termite vs Carpenter Ant

Both carpenter ants and termites attack wood and can chew through it quickly. But unlike carpenter ants, termites eat wood. Termites are highly destructive insects that can destroy wooden structures very quickly if left alone. That is why you need to treat a termite infestation immediately.


Termites rarely bite humans and if they do, they can only inflict a small red bump on your skin. The bitten area will be itchy for some days, but this is uncommon. Termites can be found throughout the U.S. and they will often arrive in their habitat or territory as winged insects.


Termites shed their wings after finding a new place where they can feed. Like termites, carpenter ants can have wings too. The front wings of winged carpenter ants are larger than the hind wings. It is different for termites because their wings are usually the same size.

How to Identify Carpenter Ant Bites

Carpenter ants have strong mandibles, which can break your skin and leave large bite marks. The bite of carpenter ants looks like pea-sized red spots. For people with sensitive skin, the bite may swell and take more than one week to vanish completely.


The bite feels like a sharp pinch and it is also painful. Aside from this, you would feel a burning sensation in the bite area if the ant injected formic acid into your wound. But do not worry because carpenter ant bites do not transmit diseases or contain venom, so they do not pose any threats to your health.

finding ant colony around house

How to Treat Carpenter Ant Bites

Ants bite carpenter is usually a minor irritation, so you do not need to do any kind of treatment aside from simply washing the bite wound with water and soap. You can also put a cool fabric on the affected area.

Is There a Need to Contact a Physician for a Carpenter Ant Bite?

Carpenter ants bite is relatively harmless, but there is a possibility that what attacked you was not a carpenter ant. If the bite wound is getting worse or you experience long-lasting pain, swelling or fever, visit your doctor immediately for treatment. This could be a sign of an allergic reaction or infection.

How to Eliminate Carpenter Ants

You need to get rid of carpenter ants immediately. There are various ways to do this. You can start by eliminating sources of water near ant colonies. Fix areas that have moist wood and plug leaks as soon as you see them. You should also keep lumber or piles of wood away from your building or home.


Seal all cracks in the windows and trim the trees and plants in your garden to prevent ants from using them to enter your home. You can also remove ants with an ant spray. Another option is to make your solution by mixing boric acid, sugar, and water. If any of these methods did not work, consider calling a pest control professional to solve the infestation for you.


Below are products we recommend to eliminate carpenter ants:

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Ant Killer 439g Domestic Aerosol
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Wilson AntOut 1L RTU
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Oneshot Crawling Insect 425g
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Tips for Locating Carpenter Ant Nests

Carpenter ants love damp wood or damaged structures. That is why you will usually find carpenter ant nests in hollow spaces like wall voids and rotten wood in bath traps, chimneys, doorframes, or sinks. With the right temperatures, ideal conditions of moist lumber and protection from environmental changes and predators, ant colonies can grow and flourish in these areas.

Ant Colonies

There are 2 kinds of ant nests – parent and satellite colonies. The latter of which contains mature larvae, pupae, and workers, while parent colonies have an egg-laying queen, workers, and numerous broods. But it does not matter what nest you are dealing with. Both kinds of nests can become a huge problem in buildings and houses if left unchecked.


Carpenter ants can build nests outdoors or indoors. When they build nests indoors, they are usually found in lumber with moisture damage. Outdoors, you may find them in hardwood trees with holes. 

how ants carpenter look+like

Living Requirements of This Ant Species

Since the nest requires consistent humidity and temperature, carpenter ants usually look for rotten or moist wood. They can also build nests in non-wooden spots, but they will usually have an alternate area that gives them consistent temperature and protection from natural enemies and environmental conditions.

They Can Live Inside Your House

Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but workers dig through the wood using their mouthparts to create galleries for their nests. The amount of damage they cause depends on the size and number of nests that can be found in the area. If left alone, they will cause a lot of damage to your house or building. That is why it is important to get rid of carpenter ants immediately.


You can tap into wooden structures and listen for hollow sounds when looking for ant nets. The hollow sound is one of the most common signs of damaged wood. However, this method may cause the ants to panic and come out of their nest. If you think that you are dealing with a carpenter nest infestation, consider calling a pest control expert to solve the ant problem for you.

eliminating ant pests

So, Do Carpenter Ants Bite Humans? 

Yes, they do. But carpenter ants bite is usually harmless, and they rarely bite people. Carpenter ants' bite will leave a burning sensation, but it usually does not cause any other harmful symptom. If you are experiencing other symptoms, it might be caused by something more dangerous or destructive than carpenter ants. Visit your doctor if you think that the bite is infected, or you have symptoms of an allergic reaction. 

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