There are approximately 1,000 different species of ants; thankfully you won’t see most of these during your lifetime. In fact, the majority of these won’t come near your home.
But, that still leaves the question of whether ants are dangerous.
The good news is that, in most cases, the answer is no, because you live in North America. However, there are some species of ants which are a threat; it’s important to be aware of what the risks are.
The Garden Ant
These small black creatures won’t generally bother you. In fact, they don’t carry diseases, but they could carry bacteria and other microscopic material on their feet; which may be an issue if they are walking into your home and over your food.
Of course, keeping your countertops clean and food locked away will make your home less attractive to ants. But, if you do start to see them in your home it’s a good idea to use this link; exterminator near me and get the problem professionally resolved.
All species have the capability to bite you. If you’re bitten then you’ll feel the sensation of pain and will itch, but you probably won’t be able to see the bite. However, some ants, such as the fire ants, can also sting. When you get stung they will induce venom into the wound which can result in blisters and swelling.
The answer to whether ants are dangerous is generally no; as most ants will avoid human contact. But the more aggressive species, such as the fire ant, pavement ant, and even carpenter ants are more likely to bite you; especially if they feel you are threatening their territory.
Fortunately, most bites shouldn’t concern you as they are simply uncomfortable. But, if you do have an allergic reaction you’ll need to use topical creams or even seek medical treatment; and avoid those ants in the future.
While the bite is usually just painful, it is also important to be aware that carpenter ants have strong enough pincers to go through wood. Carpenter ants will actually latch onto you after biting to ensure they can spray their venom.
The other danger associated with these ants is their ability to destroy wood; they often live in old tree trunks, but the wood of your home can be an attractive proposition.
General Safety Precautions
A few ants are not an issue, but, if you come across a nest then you should proceed with caution. Most ants will become aggressive if they think you’re going to attack their nest. If you find a nest it is best to contact a professional to have the problem dealt with.
In the meantime you should take a few precautions:
- Keeping your house clean and free of food. Don’t forget food waste that is removed from your home should be sealed in a bag.
- Keep any wood piles at least 6 feet from your home.
- Visually inspect your home at least twice a year, any weakness in your foundations will allow these pests in.
- Add door sweeps to your doors, preventing access to ants through these small cracks.
- React straight away when you discover an issue; prevention is better than cure!