Do Black Ants Bite People?

Sancho McCann/CC-BY-2.0

According to, black carpenter ants can bite people. Typically, black ants are considered more docile than red ants. However, when black carpenter ants feel threatened, they deliver a sharp bite.

The jaws of the black carpenter ant are strong enough to bite through plant matter and wood. When carpenter ants bite, they dig their jaws deep into the flesh. Many people feel a lasting burning sensation after receiving a black ant bite, and this is due to the formic acid released from the ant’s jaws. Other types of black ants, such as the imported black fire ant and the pavement ant, do not bite but rather sting as a form of defense.