What Can Termites Do to Humans? Protect Your Family

Termites are small, hard-working creatures that often go unnoticed until they have caused significant damage to a home or building.

While their presence may not always be cause for alarm, it is essential to know what they can do to humans and what we can do about it.

While termites are not known to transmit diseases to humans, they can cause a number of health problems.

The most common health problem associated with termites is an allergic reaction to their bites. Some people may experience a mild reaction, while some people with asthma or other respiratory problems may have a more severe reaction.

Termites: Are They Harmful to Humans?

Termites are often viewed as destructive pests, consumed with the single-minded goal of chewing away at wood structures to create their nests. However, this image of termites as little more than woodworms is actually quite misleading.

In reality, these small insects can pose little to no threat to humans. A termite’s diet mainly consists of wood, leaves, and grass. It is only when termites invade human homes and other structures that they become a problem.

group of termites inside a block of wood

While termites are not harmful to humans, they can cause significant damage to property. Termites are known to eat through wood, drywall, insulation, and even concrete. In some cases, they have been known to eat through wiring, which can pose a serious fire hazard.

Do Termites Bite?

Termites rarely bite humans – but if they do, it can sting and is often painful. Termite bites can cause swelling, redness, and itching.

Typically, termites who bite humans are doing so because they are defending their nests. Unlike other pests such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, and rodents, termites don’t bite simply because they’re looking for a meal.

Instead, they bite as a form of self-defense. Either you’ve disturbed their colony, or they feel threatened in some way. If you find yourself on the receiving end of a termite bite, it is important to wash the area with soap and water to prevent infection.

You should also apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If you experience any difficulty breathing or other severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

With that being said, it’s important for people to remember that termites don’t bite humans on purpose. They would happily feed on your wood and other structure, a termite bite is the last thing that you should worry about.

What you should be concerned about is the amount of damage that these insects can do to your home.

Possible Health Issues with Termites

While most people think of termites as nothing more than a nuisance, these tiny insects can actually pose a serious threat to human health.

Termites are known to cause respiratory problems, as their presence in a home can lead to an increase in dust and pollen levels. This is not mainly because of the presence of termites, rather, it’s the result of their eating and nesting habits.

As termites feast on wood, they create small holes and tunnels in the process. These tunnels allow dust and other allergens to enter the home, which can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. In some cases, people with severe allergies may even experience anaphylactic shock.

Additionally, its wood-eating habits can release harmful particles into the air, and with long-term exposure, these particles can lead to lung cancer.

While the health risks associated with termites are serious, they can be avoided by taking some simple precautions.

If you suspect that there may be termites in your home, it is important to contact a professional pest control company immediately. A qualified exterminator will be able to identify the problem and take steps to eliminate the infestation.

Termite Infestation and How it Affects Homeowners

When a termite infestation takes hold in your home, it can affect you on multiple levels. As mentioned earlier, a termite bite can’t do anything serious to humans. However, the effect it can leave on our homes can be devastating, affecting us emotionally, mentally, and financially.

Emotional Trauma

Termites can be one of the most frustrating pests to deal with as a homeowner. These tiny insects can cause serious damage to your home over time, eating away at the wooden structure and weakening it in the process. Even worse, termites are difficult to detect until there is already considerable damage done.

termite infested wall

By the time you realize that you have a problem, your home may be under attack on multiple fronts by these tiny invaders.

The emotional toll that termite infestation can take on homeowners can be just as devastating as the structural damage. Having to stay up at night, anxious and worried about the state of your home, can be a nightmare.

Mental Health Concerns

The mental health concerns that come with a termite infestation can be just as debilitating as the emotional ones. The worry and stress of dealing with an infestation can take a toll on your mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

Many people feel significant stress and anxiety when faced with the threat of these destructive pests in their homes, experiencing symptoms such as sleeplessness and nightmares. 

In some cases, the mental health concerns that come with a termite infestation can be so severe that they lead to physical illness. The anxiety and stress of dealing with an infestation can cause headaches, stomachaches, and even chest pain.

Financially Draining

Whether you are out thousands of dollars in repairs or having to deal with the shame and humiliation of having your house overrun by bugs, termite infestations can be deeply unsettling experiences for homeowners.

In addition to the cost of repairing physical damage caused by termites, homeowners often face sky-high extermination costs in order to eliminate active colonies and prevent future reinfestations.

a man looking into his empty wallet

As such, a termite infestation can be extremely financially draining for homeowners, leaving many feeling frustrated and helpless. This is why it is crucial to take action as soon as you suspect that you may have a problem.

How to Prevent Termites from Affecting Your Daily Life

The best way to deal with a termite infestation is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are a few simple steps you can take to deter these pests from taking up residence in your home:

  • Keep your gutters clean and free of debris. Clogged gutters provide a perfect breeding ground for termites.
  • Remove any wood that is in contact with the ground around your home. This includes firewood, tree stumps, and lumber.
  • Eliminate moisture problems in and around your home. Termites are attracted to damp conditions. Fix any leaks in your roof or plumbing, and make sure that your gutters are draining properly.
  • Immediately contact an exterminator before things get worse.

Final Thoughts

While termites may seem small and harmless, they can actually cause a lot of damage to both humans and our homes. If left unchecked, a termite infestation can quickly destroy wooden furniture, floors, and even walls.

In addition, termites can also bite humans, leaving behind painful welts. While their bites do not transfer or carry diseases, their eating habits can leave dust and debris in their wake, which can trigger allergies and asthma attacks.

Additionally, termites can also leave a devastating mental, emotional and financial impact on their victims. Stopping the spread of these pests should be a top priority for anyone who suspects an infestation.