What Termites Do to Humans: The Horrifying Truth

Most people are familiar with the destructive power of termites.

These tiny insects are capable of causing massive amounts of damage to homes and other structures. However, what many people don’t realize is that termites can also be harmful to humans.

Termites can cause health problems for humans in a number of ways such as allergic reactions and respiratory issues.

They could also bring about emotional damage and it can be devastating. The thought of tiny insects slowly eating away at your home is enough to send anyone into a panic aside from the stress of the repair costs.

The stress of dealing with an infestation can take a toll on your mental and emotional health.

termite crawling upside down a stick

If you think you may have a termite problem, it’s important to contact a professional as soon as possible.

Termites can cause serious damage to your home and your health, so don’t wait until it’s too late.

Are Termites Harmful to Humans

Termites are one of the most feared pests in the world and for a few good reasons.

These insects are not just harmless little creatures. They can surely cause serious problems for humans and their homes.

Home Safety Issues

The structural integrity of residences infested by termites is one of the most obvious concerns. If termites have already damaged the foundations, beams, and other supports of a structure made out of wood, it may no longer be safe to inhabit.

These tiny creatures consume cellulose in wood and as a result, they will look for any construction built from this material. It’s a serious safety concern once a sound solid wood construction turns brittle and breaks down.

Health Risks

These pests have been known to cause a variety of health problems in people who are exposed to them such as allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

Allergic Reactions

One of the most common problems associated with termites is an allergic reaction.

This can occur when someone comes into contact with the insects or their droppings and this can trigger allergic reactions. Symptoms of an allergy include itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.

In severe cases, anaphylactic shock can occur, which can be fatal.

The spread of mold and mildew is another health concern termites may cause in your home. Mold and mildew prefer warm, wet, and humid conditions.

They thrive in many parts of the home, particularly in locations where termites infest and may cause severe allergic reactions because of the spores being released.

Respiratory Problems

In addition to allergies, termites have also been linked to a number of respiratory problems. This is because the insects release fine dust when they chew on wood.

This dust can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause respiratory infections in people who breathe it in. This substance can irritate the lungs and cause problems such as asthma and bronchitis.

blonde human struggling to breathe

The chemicals that are used to eliminate or repel termites may also be a health hazard for most people and not just termites.

These chemicals are designed to kill insects and other pests. However, they may also be poisonous to humans if not used properly. Improper use of these pesticides can lead to a number of respiratory health problems and even death in extreme cases.

Termites can spread mold in your home. Mold thrives in dark places, where several types of termites prefer to live.

Mold is dispersed when termites bite, chew, or crawl across the wood. After that, it has the ability to travel and be breathed in by anyone who passes through. Aspergilloma is a lung illness caused by mold inhalation.

Skin Diseases and Fungal Infections

Because termites can aid in the spread of mold in the air, different types of skin diseases and fungal infections can also be triggered.

These infections can cause rashes, itching, and swelling.

Mental and Emotional Health Problems

Termite infestations may cause extensive and serious property damage that can be costly and they can be difficult to control once they have established their colony in your home. 

In fact, US homeowners spend around $5 billion each year on termite damage and treatment.

Dealing with a termite infestation can be very stressful and can inflict serious mental and emotional health problems.

Do Termites Bite Humans

Termites seldom bite people. While you may have a termite infestation in your home, they do not target humans or other living creatures like parasites, which feed on blood.

Termites consume wood and other plant-based materials. Their main diet includes cellulose and not blood.

There are several castes in a termite colony and a termite with the potential to bite you is the soldier, but again this is very unlikely.

Termite soldiers are capable of biting people because of their pincers, but they would only do so if handled. Termites undoubtedly bite wood and attack other insects, however, they do not aggressively attack humans.

human mid section full of insect bites

Unlike other insects that carry potential diseases with them when they bite, termites do not transmit any diseases to humans when they bite.

The only health hazard that termite bites pose is the potential to cause an allergic reaction, as mentioned earlier.

A termite bite is rare and would be very mild because of the size and biting ability of the insect.

How to Avoid and Prevent Termite Harm

The best way to avoid the harmful effects of termites is to prevent them from infesting your home in the first place.

Watch out for signs of infestation and call a professional exterminator as soon as you spot them.

You can also take some steps to make your home less attractive to termites, such as reducing moisture in and around your home, eliminating wood and other cellulose materials from around your property, sealing cracks and crevices in your foundation, and walls, and storing firewood away from your house.

With these simple steps, you can help protect yourself, your family, and your home from the harmful effects of termites. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Final Thoughts

While most people are aware of the damage that termites can do to their homes, many don’t realize that these same creatures can also pose a threat to human health.

Termites can cause a number of respiratory problems, skin diseases, and even emotional damage. It’s important to be aware of the dangers they pose and take steps to prevent them from infesting your home.

If you think you may have a termite problem, don’t hesitate to contact a professional right away. They will be able to help you get rid of the problem before it causes any serious harm.