The Facts on Ants and Ant Bites

The Facts on Ants

Do you remember the first time you saw ants working in their colony? This complicated structure with never-ending tunnels is home to hundreds of ants who are all working together.

While fascinating to watch, you and I definitely don’t want to have an ant infestation in our homes. There are over 100 species of ants living in North America, some of which can cause structural damage to homes and buildings, others live in hollowed out logs, piles of sand or dirt, and even under the pavement. Ants can and will build a colony wherever they are able.

Types of Ants

The most common ants in the United States and Canada are the:

  • Black carpenter ant: this is the largest ant in size and is the most common. These are common household pests and like to nest in wood. This is also the only species of ant that will bite.
  • Pavement ant: these ants like to nest under sidewalks, driveways and the foundations of buildings. Often you’ll see pavement ant nests close to your house along the garage or sidewalk.
  • Pharaoh ant: these ants are attracted to foods that are high in sugar and protein. Because these ants are so small (2 millimeters long) they’re hard to spot.
  • Odorous house ant: these ants live in massive super colonies and often have satellite colonies. If you step on one of these ants, a strong odour is released.
  • Argentine ant: this is a very invasive ant species and they are attracted to all types of food.
  • Thief ant: these ants are named for their habit of stealing food and ant larvae from other ant colonies. One of their favorite food sources is grease.

Ant Bites

While ants have developed strong jaws and teeth to allow them to chew food and through wood, pavement and other strong objects, they typically don’t have the strength to bite through our skin. Only the black carpenter ant will bite if provoked.

If you disturb a black carpenter ant nest, you can be at risk for being bitten. When a black carpenter ant bites you, it also sprays a defensive chemical called formic acid into your wound. This formic acid is used to increase the pain of the bite.

It’s important to remember that it is very rare to be bitten by an ant. Like most insects, a black carpenter ant will only bite if it is under threat. If you are bitten, the pain is primarily caused by the formic acid the ant sprays into the wound.

To remove this painful acid, use the Bug Bite Thing to quickly suck the venom out of the wound. Because a stinger is not left behind, you simply need to place the Bug Bite Thing over the wound, pull the lever of the pump upwards and hold for thirty seconds.

When it comes to the black carpenter ant, walk tall and show some swagger. And remember to buzz back.

Ants are definitely a nuisance when it comes to our homes and other buildings. In fact it can be very challenging to successfully remove an ant colony from your home. The good news is that it’s very rare to be bitten by an ant and if you are bitten by a black carpenter ant, you can quickly and easily remove the painful formic acid with a quick pump of the Bug Bite Thing.


1 comment

  • Karen Thacker

    You stated that only the black carpenter ants bite and that others dont have the strength to bite through human skin, however this is untrue. I keep getting bit by sugar ants! I dont even know they are on me until I suddenly feel a sharp bite like someone stuck me with a needle. This has happened to me over and over in the last few months. I have been bit about a dozen times now by these tiny little pests.

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