Do Black Ants Bite and What Are The Symptoms?

Do Black Ants Bite and What Are The Symptoms?

It is well known that fire ants can be dangerous for human beings, especially if someone stepped on their nest. Besides having firm bites, their venom is also strong enough to cause a big amount of discomfort. People who are allergic to this venom can be seriously endangered and should attend immediate medical treatments. They might be small beings, but fire ants can cause severe damages. However, there’s a question arising if black ants have the same power.

Well, there are several species of black ants that can actually bite. Although their venom and bites are way less dangerous, this is how they protect themselves. Usually, if you’re bitten by a black ant, you won’t be required to consult a doctor. Nevertheless, they can also cause itching and welts.

Have in mind that a fire ant doesn’t have to be red or brown. Although they’re not so common, there’s a species of black fire ants that have venom as strong as the one red and brown ants possess. Therefore, be sure to avoid these insects regardless of their color.

Carpenter Ants

These ants vary from ¼ to ½ inch long and can be found in a lot of households. Because of their size and ability to cut through wood, carpenter ants can easily be mixed up with termites. But, the difference is that carpenter ants do it only to make a pathway to their nest.

Although they’re usually black, these ants can be also red or brown, since there are many varieties existing within the group. Their ability to cut through wood indicates the fact that they have a strong bite and can dig deep into the skin. Their jaws also deliver a small amount of formic acid. This means that your wound might burn for some time, so make sure to treat it as if it’s the bite of a fire ant.

Pavement Ants

These ants are a little bit smaller, reaching the size of 1/8 inches. They’re called pavement ants because they are usually found in building foundations, cement slabs and along sidewalks. A common place to find them could also be underneath stones boards and wood.

Pavement ants are rather black but can be found with a brownish body as well. Although they don’t have a tendency to be aggressive, they’re sometimes capable of biting and stinging. Therefore, it is not recommended to handle them without any protection.

Interesting fact about pavement ants is that they can rarely be baited. The only way to conquer them is to find their nest and thoroughly exterminate the colony. This could be done either by hot water or ant killers. If you have trouble with such species, make sure to inform yourself of how to effectively get rid of them.

Black Imported Fire Ants

Very similar to red fire ants, this species is able to do severe damage as well. They are as small as red fire ants and can reach the size of 1/8 inches. The main difference between these two species is aggressiveness. While red fire ants are known to be pretty aggressive, the black ones are not. Common places where you can find these ants are grassy areas like pastures and lawns.

Besides that, every other characteristic is nearly the same. Fire ants attack by using their stinger to implement their venom into the predator. This venom can be quite dangerous for some. It can cause allergic reactions to susceptible victims that should be treated right away. This venom also creates a white pustule at the bitten spot.

Symptoms of Black Ant Bites

Symptoms of black ant bites can vary, depending on the species and human reaction to their venom. Since black fire ants are the most dangerous of them all, we will be talking about symptoms that can occur from their bites.

Fire ant venom contains a mixture of over 40 proteins which causes the itching. Besides proteins, their venom also contains poison. Recent studies showed that this poison can affect the human nervous system. As they attack usually in groups, the amount of poison can reach a high level. This is the reason why hallucinations are one of the symptoms for people who become victims of black ant bites.

Blisters that occur due to a bite are kind of an allergic reaction. These reactions can be quite severe for some people. They feel sensations of itching, burning and swelling way stronger than people who can endure the bites well.

One of the most severe symptoms for people who face strong allergic reactions to ant bites is anaphylaxis. Although this case isn’t so common, the symptoms may appear within minutes. Fortunately, we are informed of which symptoms can lead to such states, so here’s the list:

  • Confusion
  • Tongue and throat swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Troubles with inhaling
  • Loss of consciousness

If you are a victim of an ant bite and you feel some of these symptoms within few minutes of the bite, there’s a big chance that you’ll need immediate medical assistance in order to save your body from going into the state of shock.

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Other symptoms that are more common include:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Allergic reactions

However, these symptoms usually don’t require medical assistance since they are not life threatening. Nevertheless, there are people with weak immune systems that aren’t capable of fighting against ant’s venom. People who already use epi-pens in order to prevent allergic reactions should take a shot as soon as they are bitten.

If you’re bitten by an ant and feel some of the symptoms above, be sure to inform yourself about remedies that can help you treat the affected site with ease. There’s a bunch of remedies that could be found in every household. Some of them are:

  • Raw Honey
  • Baking Soda
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Toothpaste

Do Sugar Ants Bite?

Do you have trails of tiny black ants crawling through your kitchen? You’re not alone!

An extremely common species in the Pacific Northwest, odorous house ants are those tiny black creatures that invade every spring. Also known as sugar ants, these nuisance insects cause alarm across kitchens throughout Washington. But while they may seem harmless, do sugar ants bite?

There’s no need to worry about odorous house ants biting or causing pain in any way. However, no one wants ants in their home! Read more to find out how the experts deal with sugar ants.

What do sugar ants look like?

One of the tiniest species of ants, sugar ants are no bigger than ⅛ inch in length. They can be dark brown or black, and when they’re crushed, they emit a smell. Some people describe this as smelling like rotting coconuts, while others report smells of blue cheese or even piña coladas. This is why they’re called “odorous house ants”.

Odorous house ants utilize a complex system of pheromones, including the rotting coconut smell, to signal their nest mates toward food, away from danger, and back to the nest. This trail-making is central in the process of eliminating sugar ants. They can have multiple colonies, and these trails can connect a wider network of thousands of ants.

What do odorous house ants eat?

Odorous house ants are also known as sugar ants for a reason! These tiny nuisances are known for their proclivity toward sugar, but they’ll also eat a variety of proteins, fats, and carbs. Sugar ants are opportunity scavengers, and will feed on crumbs, garbage, the contents of unrinsed glasses, and just about anything else they can find.

Sugar Ant Prevention

Keeping your kitchen and living space clean of any food that might attract odorous house ants is the first and most crucial step toward preventing them. Remember: they’ll eat almost anything, but they’re especially attracted to sugar. Even if you leave a single dirty glass that held apple juice, these ants will be all over it in a matter of hours.

Storing your food properly, sealing garbage cans and areas, sweeping the floors frequently, and always keeping dishes clean can go a long way toward preventing ants, but it’s not the whole story. We also recommend sealing any potential ant entry points, including the caulking around doors and windows.

If you have a serious sugar ant infestation, you may want to consider having a professional ant exterminator inspect and treat your property. If ants are attracted to your home, you can bet that other pests will also be attracted to your home! Contact United Pest Solutions, your local source for expert pest control.



Do Small Ants Bite?

When you’re out enjoying nature, there’s almost nothing more frustrating than suffering an ant bite. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of which ant species are prone to attack. While most people are aware that several species of large ants are prone to biting, few people know that small ants can also bite many times as painfully as their larger counterparts.

If you want to make sure you avoid ant bites as fully as possible, you need to learn more about small ant species that bite and where they’re likely to be found. So, the answer to the question “Do small ants bite?” is a definitive, yes.

Mandibles and Aggressiveness

The most important thing to understand is that all ants have the potential to bite. All species of ants have mandibles, meaning they have the ability to inflict painful or aggravating bites. The determining factor in whether an ant will bite or not is the aggressiveness of the species.

Some ant species prefer to avoid interacting with humans, meaning they’ll run away instead of attacking. On the other hand, other types of ants are extremely aggressive, and they will bite humans when they feel threatened. Knowing which ants are more likely to bite can help you prevent an unpleasant interaction with these extremely common pests.

Are Bites the Same as Stings?

Before you learn about which small ant species may bite, it’s important to learn the difference between biting and stinging. While they may seem similar, there are several differences between the two, including how your body may react.

Ants can be both biting and stinging insects, depending on the species. Fire ants, for example, can both bite and sting, making them a species that you should be sure avoid. When an ant bites, it pinches your skin with its mandibles, which is like its mouth. While you’ll definitely feel the effects of the bite, including itching and pain, you probably won’t be able to see the wound.

Certain ant species will also spray venom when biting, which can exacerbate the bite. Formic acid is the main component of ant venom, and when your skin is exposed to this substance, it can result in blisters, swelling, and other uncomfortable effects.

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Fire Ants

Image via Flickr by Marufish

One ant species that can cause a very painful bite is the fire ant. In addition to their red color, these ants are well known for their burning stings and are also famous for stinging multiple times as they bite. If you are stung by a fire ant, you will see a blister that is surrounded by red spots. The effects of fire ant bites and stings can last as long as a week, meaning you should be aware of this species if you want to avoid a few uncomfortable days.

Pavement Ants

There are several small ant species you may see in your home that can bite, including the extremely common pavement ant. Generally, these ants are a tenth of an inch long and they can be recognized by the lines that run the length of their body.

Pavement ants can both sting and bite and are a very aggressive species. In addition to biting humans when provoked, pavement ants have been known to attack other ant colonies if they believe that their territory is being threatened.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are another ant species that you should be on the lookout for if you’re at all concerned about bites. These ants have very strong mandibles that are able to pierce wood, meaning they’re more than capable of breaking human skin when they bite.

Carpenter ants can be found in a variety of colors, including orange, yellow, and red. You can also see carpenter ants in different sizes as they can range between three-tenths of an inch and an inch. You will usually find carpenter ant colonies located in wood, such as old tree trunks. This means they can pose a big threat to your home if you’re not careful.

Unlike other ant species, which will run away after biting, carpenter ants will latch onto you so that they can spray venom.

Acrobat Ants

Like fire ants, acrobat ants are known to bite and sting. However, they will generally only sting prey, meaning humans should be more concerned with their propensity to bite. Acrobat ants are attracted to food that’s been left out in your kitchen, particularly sweets, so if you’re not careful about cleaning up or putting your food away, these ants may enter your home.

If your home has already suffered a termite or carpenter ant infestation, you have an increased risk of an acrobat ant invasion.

Crazy Ants

If you’ve ever seen a group of small ants that are running around with seemingly no direction, you’ve seen crazy ants. Named for their unpredictable movements, these small ants will bite to defend themselves. Usually, if you stay clear of these ants, you shouldn’t have to worry about being bitten.

Field Ants

Field ants are another ant species that will usually only bite when they feel threatened. As you might expect from their name, field ants are mostly found outdoors, although they can make their way into your home if they identify it as a source of food, water, or shelter.

What to Do After Ants Attack

In most cases, ant bites or stings are nothing to be concerned about. Mostly, they will cause some uncomfortable itching or mild pain, both of which should disappear after a short period of time. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, such as allergies, then ant bites can be very dangerous, possibly causing anaphylactic shock.

If you’re allergic to ant bites, you should be sure to have access to topical creams and antihistamines. These items should effectively treat the bite or sting. If you have a severe allergy, then you may need to seek medical treatment after a bite.

Avoid Ant Bites

As you can tell, there are several small ant species that can bite or sting, meaning you should be sure you’re keeping these pests out of your home. Seeking advice from an ant professional will help you keep your home pest-free so that you never have to worry about you or your family suffering bites.

Do All Ants Bite?

While many people picture fire ants when thinking about ant bites, the assumption that they are the only ants that bite isn’t always correct. There are more than 12,000 species of ants and each differs in how they defend themselves. Do all ants bite?

Yes, all ants can bite. But the answer isn’t that simple, because many ant species have differing defense mechanisms. Fire ants, for example, typically bite and then sting by injecting chemicals that can cause allergic reactions, but this response is usually only reserved for situations in which their nest or nest-mates are in danger. Some also use this defense mechanism for acquiring food from predators.

It is possible to determine whether an ant will bite or sting by observing its physical properties. Ant bodies have three parts. These include the head, thorax and abdomen. Their bodies also possess nodes, which connect their thorax to their abdomen. One of the first steps in identifying ants is to see if they have one or two nodes. Another identifying characteristic is whether or not they have a stinger.

Ants That Bite and Sting

Red imported fire ants

A fire ant sting is supposed to burn like fire. A unique characteristic of these ants is that they not only bite the skin, but they also sting the perceived threat multiple times. Their stings usually produce a cluster of swollen red spots that develop a blister on the top. Stings hurt, itch and some resulting blisters may last up to a week. Some people have a dangerous allergic reaction to stings and will need immediate medical attention.

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Acrobat ants

Acrobat ants usually sting their prey for food. They enter homes that have sustained previous damage by other pests, such as carpenter ants or termites. These ants feed on sweets and proteins, which can be found in areas such as the kitchen or pantry.

Harvester ants

Harvester ants are aggressive and sting their prey multiple times, similar to fire ants. The sting causes minor pain, which usually subsides within a few hours. The sting site might become swollen and red.

Ants That Bite

Field ants (Formicinae)

Field ants can give a painful, pinch-like bite to people and pets when threatened.

Crazy ants

Crazy ants get their name because of their erratic movements. Similar to other Formicine ants, they have only one node and bite in defense.

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants are one of the largest species of ants. The worker ants can bite when they feel threatened. Their bite can be painful due to their large size.

There are other types of ants with different behaviors and characteristics. You can learn about them here.

Do Earwigs Bite?

If you shudder a little when you think about earwigs, you’re probably not alone. They’ve developed quite a nasty reputation, thanks to urban legends (mostly false) that have been circulating for years. But are they harmful?

The Lifespans of Insects With Short Lives

Many insects, such as butterflies, have a lifespan that occurs in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Other insects, such as grasshoppers, do not have a pupal stage and instead go through three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The length of each stage can vary based on many things, from the insect species to the temperature outside—but what some insects share in common is a very short adult stage. Keep reading to learn about five insects with some of the shortest adult stages in their lifespan.

The Return of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The change of seasons from summer to fall means many things: leaves changing colors, dropping temperatures, and—depending on where you live—stink bugs sneaking into your home. Stink bugs were named for their distinct ability to emit an unpleasant odor when they are threatened or disturbed by predators like lizards or birds. This also means that if stink bugs enter your home and feel threatened, you’ll be faced with dealing with their strong smell in your house. As we head into fall, you might find yourself with more active stink bugs than usual, so it’s important to know the basics about these smelly insects.

What are Earwigs?

Most people have probably heard of earwigs at some point or another. These creepy-looking insects are associated with some urban myths. Learn the truth about earwigs, including what attracts them and how to help get rid of them.


The majority of ticks will deliver painless bites without any noticeable symptoms. However, some ticks can carry a variety of bacteria and pathogens for disease. Although not all ticks are dangerous, you don’t want to risk coming into contact with these blood-sucking insects.


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