Just like most insects, carpenter ants find their way into homes in search of food and moisture. These ants typically build their nests in areas of the home damaged by moisture, while feeding on other insects, household sweets as well as plants. Although they do not feed on human blood, carpenter ants might bite you in self-defense if they feel threatened. The bites from carpenter ants are known to come with a burning sensation which leaves a lot of people uncomfortable. This article explains why carpenter ant bites burn.
Do Carpenter Ants Sting?
No, carpenter ants do not sting. Carpenter ants have powerful jaws, which often result in broken skin whenever they bite. The burning sensation that comes with a bite from the carpenter is caused by formic acid. This is the same acid that is found in insects that sting. Most times, a carpenter ant bite results in swelling and redness, which might last a few days.
How Painful is a Carpenter Ant Bite?
The pain that comes from a carpenter ant bite varies, depending on the amount of formic acid that is released by the ant during the bite. The burning sensation might be painful, but it only hurts for a short while.
Do Bites From Carpenter Ants Itch?
Generally, bites from carpenter ants do not itch. However, the burning sensation might make some people scratch it, as they try to find relief from the pain. It is best to avoid scratching it, as you can end up opening up a wound, thereby leaving it prone to infection.
Are Carpenter Ants Poisonous?
No, carpenter ants are not poisonous insects. They only secrete formic acid, which is best described as an irritant. Formic acid is not a poison or venom. While some people might describe carpenter ants as poisonous, they do not qualify as that. You can however be allergic to carpenter ants, just like other insects. Allergy to carpenter ants results in flushed skin, dizziness, swelling of the face, throat, or tongue, vomiting or nausea, as well as hives.
What Happens After A Carpenter Ant Bite?
A carpenter ant bite is not as serious as bites from other ants, such as fire ants. Oftentimes, the bite merely causes an irritation that presents itself through burning and redness. As carpenter ants do not possess venom, the effect of the bites is restricted only to the injured area. You do not have to worry about the spread of poisonous venom. First aid procedures can be applied if an injury is caused by a carpenter ant bite. Simply treat the wound and disinfect it. Do not scratch the wound to prevent an infection. Also, make sure to cover it from dirt that might cause infection. In the case of a burning sensation that persists, apply an ointment on the wound.