Carpenter ants are one of the few species of ants that does real damage to a home. While their close relatives can be annoying and unsightly, carpenter ants will actually tunnel through the wood structure of a home and form colonies inside them. They are similar in this way to termites, and since they can chew wood, you might be wondering if they bite humans and how dangerous is their bite.
The good news is that while carpenter ants can bite humans, they rarely do, and it’s usually in self-defense. On top of that, the bites are not dangerous and they do not even leave a mark, outside of a little redness in the area. The species that can be dangerous to humans are the fire ants.
Carpenter ants nest inside wood, and they are either red, black, brown, or a combination of red and black in color. They usually range between ¼” and ¾” in length. Fire ants tend to be very small, reaching ¼” at most. They have a reddish brown coloration and they nest inside the ground, with a raised mound near the entrance of their colony.
Fire ants have painful stings, and they are known to swarm when they attack. The bite leaves a raised, pimple-like area on the skin, and it may lead to infection or an allergic reaction. Fire ant bites are quite common, with one study finding that 79% of Texas’ residents experienced a bite.
However, while their bite may be harmless, the carpenter ant can do a lot of damage to a home. Just like termites, they infest wooden structures, but they do not eat the wood, they just nest inside it. They are generally attracted to moist wood and the fungus inside it. If you have excessive moisture or leaks in the home, your property may be a prime target for these pests.
If you start to see ants in the home, it’s best to call a pest control specialist right away. While most ant species are nothing more than a nuisance, carpenter ant infestations have to be taken seriously. Other signs of an infestation include the presence of shavings or sawdust and small holes in the wooden structures of the home. You may also notice tiny pieces of insulation and dead insects near the wood. If you have noticed any of these signs, contact us right away.