Are Termites Harmful to Humans? Let’s Find Out!

Termites are often considered to be pests, as they can cause a great deal of damage to homes and businesses. However, what many people don’t know is that termites can also be harmful to humans.

Termites, though small, can cause big problems for humans by damaging property and costing homeowners a lot of money. In addition to causing physical damage to homes and other structures, termites can also contaminate food and cause allergy attacks, and respiratory problems in some people.

Different Types of Termites (Not All are Harmful to Humans)

There are many different types of termites, each one with its own unique appearance and behavior.

close up of termite

Some termites, such as damp wood termites and dry wood termites, feed on decaying wood. These species typically live in forests or other areas that are rich in decaying plant matter.

These termite types rarely cause problems for humans, as they do not typically infest homes or other structures.

By contrast, other species of termite, such as subterranean termites and Formosan termites, live in close proximity to humans and often infest buildings.

These types of termites are known for creating extensive networks of underground tunnels and can do significant damage to structural foundations. When this happens, these termites can, directly and indirectly, cause harm to humans.

With that being said, not all subterranean termite species are considered to be pests. Some, such as the Florida damp wood termite, actually help to decompose fallen trees and other plant matter.

How can Termites be Harmful to Humans?

Termites are associated with disruption and destruction so they should be seen as a serious problem. These insects can truly endanger your home and your health, and it’s important to be aware of the hazards they pose.

Termites Damage Properties

photo of termite infested wood

The most obvious way that termites can be harmful to humans is by damaging properties. Termites are known for causing extensive damage to homes and other buildings, and the repair bills can be very costly. In some cases, the damage caused by termites can even make a building uninhabitable.

Termites and the Spread of Mold and Mildew

Another way that termites can be harmful to humans is by spreading mold and mildew. When termites infest a building, they create conditions that are ideal for the growth of mold and mildew. When spores are released in the air, they can trigger allergies and respiratory problems in people who are sensitive to them.

In addition, mold and mildew can also cause serious health problems in people with weakened immune systems.

Termites Contaminate Food

Another way that termites can be harmful to humans is by contaminating food. Termites are attracted to stored food and will often infest pantries and cupboards. They can leave body parts and cast skins or wings within the food that is stored.

Additionally, termites can also transmit harmful bacteria and other pathogens that can cause food poisoning.

Termites Cause Respiratory Problems

woman struggling to breathe

Termites can cause respiratory problems in people with allergies. Coming into contact with their droppings and inhaling dust can cause respiratory problems for some people, especially those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Allergic Reactions

These pests can do a lot of damage in many different ways. They can also cause a number of different allergic reactions, ranging from mild to severe. The dust from termite droppings can trigger allergies.

Some of the most common symptoms of an allergy to termites include constant sneezing, watery eyes, swelling, itching, and redness at the site of the bite. In some cases, people may also experience difficulty in breathing, chest pain, and anaphylactic shock.

Skin Irritation

Coming into contact with termites or their droppings can cause skin irritation in some people. This is because termites produce a number of different chemicals that can be irritating to the skin. While most people will only experience mild skin irritation from contact with termites, some people may develop more severe reactions, such as rashes or hives.


Another potential health hazard posed by termites is infection. While most termites don’t actually bite humans, there are some species that will bite if they feel threatened. These bites can be very painful and may even lead to infection. When termites bite humans, they can introduce harmful bacteria into the wound.


Termites can also transmit diseases to humans. In some cases, these diseases are passed on to humans through contact with their droppings. In other cases, termites may carry the disease themselves and pass it on to humans when they bite them.

Some of the diseases that termites can transmit to humans include malaria, dysentery, and salmonellosis.

People Who are More Likely to Get Affected by Termites

While everyone is at risk of being affected by termites, there are some groups of people who are more likely to be harmed by them. This includes young children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems.

People with allergies or respiratory conditions are also at a higher risk of being affected by these pesky critters. They’re also more likely to develop severe reactions to termite bites or stings.

In short, if you have any type of medical condition that makes you more susceptible to infections or other health problems, you should be extra careful around termites.

While most people won’t experience any serious health problems from contact with termites, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. If you think you may have been exposed to termites,

Final Thoughts

While termites are typically considered to be nothing more than pests, they actually pose a serious threat to human health.

These insects can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems in some people apart from stress from the damaged properties. It’s important to be aware of these dangers and to take steps to protect yourself from these insects.

If you think you may have come into contact with termites, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in preventing serious health complications.

And if you think you have an infestation in your home, don’t wait to take action. These pests can cause serious damage to your home. Contact a professional pest control company today to get rid of the problem before it gets any worse.