Termites are often considered pests because of their ability to cause significant damage to buildings and structures. But are termites harmful to humans too?
While termites are not necessarily harmful to humans, their presence and activities can lead to other health hazards.
In this blog, we will explore how termites can impact human health and what you can do to protect yourself and your property from these pests.
Whether you’re a homeowner, property manager, or simply curious about these insects, proof.’s here to provide you with valuable information about the potential dangers of termites and how to safeguard against them.
How Can Termites Damage Homes
Attracted to the cellulose found in wood and other building materials, termites cause major structural problems in buildings. These pests can swiftly tunnel through wood, eating away at the lumber inside your house.
Over time, the tunnels and galleries created by termites weaken the structural integrity of a building, making it more susceptible to collapse. Each year, termite damage collectively costs homeowners across the country a billion dollars in new construction expenses!
Termites also can damage insulation, drywall, and flooring, leading to more costly repairs. But these pests won’t stop there. They can also damage furniture, books, and other household items.
In some cases, termites can compromise electrical wiring and cause malfunctions. Because termites often go undetected for long periods, it is essential to regularly inspect your home for signs of termite activity, such as mud tubes and discarded wings, and take action if an infestation is suspected.
Are Termites Harmful to Humans?
Termite damage can be extensive and costly, with the average cost of repairs per homeowner estimated at around $3,000. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage caused by termites, costing you a fortune when the bill comes back around.
So, are termites harmful to humans?
Termites are not dangerous in the conventional sense; they do not bite or sting whenever you interact with them and can’t spread diseases.
However, they can cause significant damage to buildings and significantly impact your wallet. Their nesting and foraging activities compromise the stability of structures, making them potentially dangerous to inhabitants.
Some termites are equipped with defense mechanisms against predators, but you’ll unlikely ever be on the receiving end of a bite. Soldier termites have mandibles as a defense mechanism to protect their colony from predators and other threats.
These bites are not harmful to humans and do not cause significant pain or injury. If a termite has bitten you, clean the bite wound thoroughly with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection.
Over-the-counter antiseptic creams and lotions can remedy symptoms like redness, swelling, itching, or pain. You can also take an over-the-counter antihistamine to relieve itching and swelling.
Any persistent or worsening symptoms are concerning and require a doctor’s expertise. While you shouldn’t experience any side effects from a termite bite, visit your primary care provider for symptoms like fever, increased redness, or discharge.
Signs of a Termite Infestation
Termites aren’t traditionally dangerous pests like wasps, bees, or ants. However, their voracious appetite can still put you and your home at risk. Several signs can indicate the presence of termites in your home or property; check out this list to better understand what you need to look out for during a termite infestation.
- Winged swarmers: During certain times of the year, termites will swarm in search of mates and new nesting sites. If you see large numbers of winged insects inside your home, it could signify a termite infestation.
- Mud tubes: Subterranean termites create mud tubes to travel from their nests to their food sources. You may have termites indoors if you see small, dirt-covered tubes along your walls, foundation, or floor.
- Hollow-sounding wood: Hollow wooden surfaces could also indicate termites have eaten away the interior of the wood.
- Cracked or bubbling paint: If you notice paint that is cracked, bubbling, or peeling, it could be a sign that termites are eating away at the wood underneath. Check out this guide for more information on repairing cracked and peeling paint.
- Frass: Frass is the term for termite droppings, which look like small piles of sawdust or wood shavings. Drywood termites remove this debris from their inner-wood tunnels by kicking small holes through your walls and floors.
If you suspect you have a termite infestation, it is essential to contact a professional pest control company like proof. for an inspection and treatment. We can accurately identify the type of termite and recommend the best action to eliminate the infestation.
Starting with a free assessment, we’ll check your home for any signs of termites, looking in common areas for signs of activity. After we find damage or other indications of pests, we’ll develop a plan unique to your home and situation.
Contact us today to schedule your next termite treatment!