No, flying ants typically don’t bite humans and pets. But they’ve got the potential to bite.
Bites occur when they accidentally land on your skin. But even when they do, their standard response isn’t to bite.
They’ll fly away within moments of landing on your body.
Flying ants can bite you if you try to handle them, if you press them against your skin, or if they feel threatened.
The primary purpose of flying ants is not to bite humans. Their aim is to mate.
Upon reaching their destination, flying ants will mate, lose their wings, and they’ll hide to start a new colony and lay eggs.
Flying ants are ant reproductives. There are no separate species of ants known as flying ants.
Ants with wings are a lifecycle stage of ants. And ants belonging to the lifecycle stage when they grow wings and are ready to swarm are known as alates.
Alates leave their current colonies and swarm after the rains or during the late spring or early summer.
Their primary purpose for swarming is to find a new place, which can be your home and property, to establish a new colony.
Do Flying Ants Sting?
No, flying ants don’t sting because, unlike wasps and bees, flying ants don’t carry a sting.
Flying ants have mandibles in their mouth that they can use to bite.
Some species of grown ants have stings. And they bite and sting too.
Fire ants are one of them.
Fire ants bite and sting at the same time. And a single fire ant can do it multiple times.
That’s why the bites and stings of adult red fire ants are the most painful. And their bites and sting give an intensely itchy, burning sensation.
Can Flying Ants Bite Through Clothing?
No, flying ants can’t and won’t bite through clothing.
It’s because mature and flying ants are not parasites that survive on human blood.
Mature ants bite to protect themselves and their nests. And flying ants are not aggressive at all.
So, flying ants won’t bite you through your clothing despite having mouth parts that can penetrate the fabric.
What To Do If Flying Ants Land On You?
Flying ants will not land on you unless you’re on their flight path.
In some rare cases, they can land you, especially when the swarms of flying ants get inside your home through open windows.
The flying ants can crawl inside the house through the gaps and cracks on the windowsills and frame.
If flying ants sit on you, don’t panic. Don’t try to squash them like a mosquito.
It’s because flying ants are not as tender as mosquitoes, and they may not die if you smash at them.
Smashing them will press them against your skin. That may cause the flying ant to bite.
So, the best thing to do is to be still and gently knock them off from the skin with your finger.
Are Flying Ants Harmful?
Flying ants bites are not harmful at all. In the worst case, you’ll feel a slight pinch.
That pinch can be so light that many of you won’t notice.
Flying ants don’t carry any pathogens. So, their bites won’t cause any diseases either.
What Do Flying Ants Bite Marks Look Like?
If your skin reacts to flying ants’ bites, you’ll notice a tiny red rash on your skin.
Unlike bites from mature ants, flying ants’ bite don’t itch too much.
The bite mark doesn’t stick around on your skin for days and goes away within a day or two.
However, some people can show some allergic reactions to flying ants bites. In that case, they’ll need medical attention.
What To Do If Flying Ants Bite You?
If you’re feeling itchy on the bitten portion, which is quite unlikely unless you’re allergic to bug bites, use peppermint essential oil on the bitten wound.
It’ll alleviate the itching.
There are many over-the-counter bug bite balms and ointments that you can also buy to apply the bitten wound.
What To Do If You’re In The Flying Ants’ Flight Path?
There are instances, especially when you’re outdoors, you accidentally get into the flight path of flying ants.
It can look like they’re flying at you.
Flying ants will hover over your hand, and if the swarm is too dense, then some of them can even land on your face or try to get inside your nose and ears.
The best thing to do is move away without trying to quash them.
If you’ve got a cap or hat, wear it, and move away from the swarm as fast as possible.
The flying ants won’t follow you to bite you as you’re not a threat to them.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.