Carpenter Ant Bite: Painful Bites and How to Get Rid of them at Home

Carpenter ants belong to kingdom Animalia and phylum arthropods. They are most aggressive wood destroyer insects. They do not use wood as food but create hollow sections in all the woody items and make their appearance fearful and horrific somehow. The Carpenter ants have many species, but the most known are the black carpenter ant which has a black body, this special species has pure black color with its body and head while there are some yellow hairs on its abdominal area.

Do Carpenter Ants Bite People?

Carpenters ant live in colonies, and they do bite people, the carpenter ant uses its wood-cutting strong mandibles to bite people.

3 Reasons Why Carpenter Ants Bite

Carpenter ant on ground
  1. Carpenters ant bite for their defense, and same defensive strategy they use when they have a threat from other species or insects.
  2. Carpenters ants also bite when they feel their nest is being disturbed or destroyed by some foreign agent. No matter when their nest gets disturbed by a person either intentionally or unemotionally.
  3. Carpenter ant infestation should control in an early stage. As if it ignored it can create severe damages to the wooden structure they are living in. Carpenter ants normally do not live in a dry wood they prefer damp habitat or wood which is partially or highly moisture. This is the reason they nest in hollow doors windows pipe wires. Carpenters ants live close enough to each other by forming traits, once their trait locates it is easy to destroy their nest.

【Read more about Ants】

How Does it Feel When a Person Gets Bitten by Carpenter Ants?

  • When a person gets bitten by a carpenter ant, a severe pinching sensation is felt by the victim.
  • The bite is very painful.
  • It gives burning sensation.
  • The bite of carpenter ant often breaks the skin.
  • The pain depends on the size, type, and severity of the bite.

Symptoms of the Bite Mark

Man scratching on hand
  • Carpenters ants are large varying from 0.3 to 1.0 in or 0.76 to 2.54 cm, so they give a sizable bite mark.
  • To be more precise; the size of the bite mark can be of a pea size.
  • It gives a reddish skin or creates a blemish on the skin when the person gets beaten by the carpenter ants.
  • It causes inflammation to the skin and skin looks raised, and blemish produces.

Carpenters ant life cycle is usually between 6 to 12 weeks. The cold water can resist the development of Carpenter up to 10 months. Carpenter colony usually consists of one queen the work of queen is to lay eggs. These eggs when mature they become the part of the established colony start exploring new food for the young larva. After two to three years a queen is capable of giving birth to a male and female, which becomes the leader of new Carpenter colonies.

Is the Bite Venomous?

  • The carpenter ant rarely bites but when it does; the bite of carpenter ant is quite painful but not that venomous.
  • Its venom is not that poisonous to create any long-term threat to the health of the bitten person.
  • The venom neither possesses any agent which is disease causing not anything which is infectious. The reason for the severe pain on the bitten person is the presence of formic acid. Formic acid is also present in the mandibles of the carpenter ant from where it bites.
  • In some cases, it can be dangerous when it causes prolonged pain. If a person feels constant irritation on the infected area, it means that it is dangerous.
  • The bite can be dangerous in such sense that it creates an allergic reaction to the infected area. The person could feel constant itching and irritation.
  • It does not cause any risk to the health of bitten person.

Carpenter Bite Treatment

1. Wash the Area with Soap and Water

Washing hands with soap and water

The pain even can become worse when the formic acid gets ejaculated on the skin. It becomes unbearable for the person as formic acid is present in the sting of the carpenter ant. The immediate remedy after getting bitten by the carpenter ant is one should clean the bitten area with an antibiotic soap. In the case of broken skin, one would bandage the infected area. It may cause constant itching for a week, but one should try avoiding striking or scratching the skin.

2. Applying Ice or Cold Compress

The person will feel a burning sensation when it gets bitten by the Carpenter ant. When the pain becomes unbearable, and you want to reduce the burning sensation and irritation, then you should use the ice packs to the affected area for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Applying Topical Creams for Bites

Persons who are not getting relief even after washing their hands with soap applying ice cubes to the skin must go for the creams. Which are designed for the victims who got bitten by the carpenter ant and possessed very sensitive skin. Usually, the pain is not severe that one should consult a doctor. But if a person is having severe itching, nausea, irregular breathing, in that case, he should consult a dermatologist. But wounds are not dangerous and can get treated with Benadryl pills and or some hydrocortisone creams.

4. Bandage the Wound

You must clean the wound thoroughly, and once clean, you may want to prevent the wound from being infected. One way to do this is to clean the wound thoroughly following the points above.

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the wound, it’s time to bandage the wound.

You can use an ace bandage, but a simple bandaid will often do the trick. Feel free to put ointment or cream on the bite prior to covering the area. Antibiotic ointment is a great option because it will fight infection.

You should check the wound often and replace the bandage as needed.

If the wound does not get better, starts swelling, oozing or starts to smell, you may be suffering from an infection. A visit to the doctor is recommended at this point, but keep in mind that an infection from a carpenter ant bite is very rare. In fact, getting bit by one of these ants is also rare.

Note: If the wound itches, do not scratch the area. Scratching can lead to the wound reopening, or you may cause an infection in the process.

Carpenter Ant Bite Prevention

Carpenters ant only bite when their nest gets disturbed. Moreover when they feel the threat of death. To avoid the bite one should not exhibit this bravery. Try not to go near to those dangerous carpenter ants. If we follow each step for their prevention at home, they can be out of our sight, and we along with our precious home wooden structure can remain safer.

【Read more about Carpenter Ant】

Was I Really Bitten by a Carpenter Ant?

Carpenter ants only bite when they’re disturbed, so if you woke up in the morning with a bite, it’s more likely a spider bite than a carpenter ant bite. The best way to tell if you have been bitten by this species is to know what the species actually looks like.

In the United States, there are 24 species of the carpenter ant, so identifying this ant species can be difficult.

A few methods of identification include:

  • Sizes of 3.4 mm to 13 mm, and the size varies greatly from one ant to another in the colony.
  • Coloring is just as confusing, as these ants have a red and black color, yellow color, orange color, brown color, red color or even black color.

When the carpenter ant swarms, you may even think that they’re termite swarmers. Males and females will have wings when they swarm. One way to tell whether you’re dealing with an ant or a termite is to look for elbowed antennae. The front wings will also be larger than the back pair of wings.

I wouldn’t recommend picking up the ant that you think bit you out of fear of being bitten again. But since you can treat all ant bites relatively the same way, the cleaning of the wound that we recommended earlier will work well for most types of bites.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ant at Home

If someone has a busy schedule, he should go for the pest control expert for immediate result and if you are concerned about the permanent and effective reduction of this tiny and aggressive creature. You must be exhibiting following steps for the complete destruction of their nest.

Carpenter ants in house

First of all, we need to identify the area where carpenters ant is living. It requires a slight calmness to identify the ants to set out bait track the ant trail to uncover their dangerous nest. There are two methods for their elimination. Method one is when you use some toxic and poisonous material near to the trails of the ant for 3 to 4 times in a day. This method is also termed as Trojan horse strategy. Method two involves locating and taking direct action on the ant nest. For identification of their nest, one should know they do not eat wood they rely on some other insect species or some food left in the kitchen. Their favorite food is honeydew. We should place the spoon of their favorite food near the suspected area to attract them. To have knowledge about their nest.

Boric acid is a well-known ingredient that has been shown to work as an insecticide. You can find this ingredient in liquid or dry powder form in most stores.

Place the boric acid around the nest, and the ants will eventually die from coming in contact with it.

The ants will get the dust on their legs and will ingest it when grooming themselves. If they make it back to their colony, they may leave dust particles behind that could kill other ants in the colony.

The final and most challenging step are to target the queen. Once the queen is there; the number of Carpenters ant will never stop. They will keep on multiplying. It is difficult to identify the queen. Once the ants have seized the bait, it allows three days for it to get distributed in the colony again and again. ONCE the nest and queen get identified one will sprinkle the nest with dusty and toxic substance for almost 4 to 5 days. The toxic substance should not of two to three types. Try to have only one type of noxious material.


Carpenter ants are a tiny creature known for their habit that is wood destruction. Their bite is painful yet not risk inducing for health. Their venom is poisonous free. It possesses formic acid which causes severe pain and irritation. The ultimate remedy for the bite is to wash the wound with water and soap and to apply some ice cubes to the affected area or using topical creams for the bite.

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