Which ants bite humans?

Did you know that nearly all ants can bite or sting? However, very few of them cause a reaction to humans. Here is a list of ants you want to avoid because their bites or stings will hurt! We’ve also included where they typically nest so you can avoid potentially painful ant bites.

Fire Ants        

Fire ants will bite when their nest in disturbed. A person stung by a fire ant typically receives multiple stings from more than one ant. Their stings result in a raised welt that becomes a white pustule. Some people can also have a severe allergic reaction to their bites.

Where they nest: Fire ants nest in soil near structural foundations or in landscaping. The nest is large but flattened, irregular in shape and between two and four square feet in size.

Velvet Ants

Only female velvet ants sting. You can tell them apart from the male because they do not have wings. Female ants typically escape when encountered but will sting if being handled.

Where they nest: Female velvet ants are typically seen running erratically on the ground, especially on bare or sandy areas in the warm summer months.

Harvester Ants

Harvester ants will sting when their nest is disturbed. They have very painful stings and it’s recommended that people who have allergic reactions to insect stings should be particularly careful of harvester ants.

Where they nest: Harvester ants typically nest in lawns. They can be three feet deep. The mound surface is sometimes covered with small pebbles, charcoal or fragments of dead vegetation.

Field Ants

Field ants typically bite when their nest is disturbed. Some will spray formic acid into the wound when they bite which can make them particularly painful.

Where they nest: Field ants usually nest around trees, shrubs and near fences or foundation walls. Their mounds are made of grass or other plant materials.

How do I prevent ant bites, besides knowing about their habitats?

One way to protect yourself, your family and pets from these types of stinging ants is to ensure your property is free from their nests. It’s critical to have your property routinely looked at by a professional who can detect signs of an infestation or spot a nest. If you are walking your property and come across a nest, do not attempt to remove it on your own. The colony can become defensive and attack en masse.

What should I do if I have an ant bite?
  • Avoid scratching it. By scratching the bite, you increase the histamine response.
  • Wash the bite(s) with warm water and soap and apply a cold washcloth to stop the venom from spreading.
  • It’s recommended that the best remedies are antihistamines, anti-inflammatories and one percent hydrocortisone cream.
  • If you continue to have a reaction or experience a severe reaction, seek medical care immediately.

It’s critical to know about the types of ants that bite or sting. If you want to take the extra step in protecting your home from biting ants this summer, or all year-round, click here to schedule a free, no-obligation inspection to have one of our experts inspect your property and eliminate any biting ant threats.