As a homeowner, you’re already aware of the damage a termite infestation can bring to your home. That’s usually the reason why people want to know how to get rid of termites. But some people also wonder about this question.
“Are termites dangerous to your family members?”
Do termites bite people, and do they spread diseases? Are my children safe? How about my pets?
The short answer is, yes, termites are harmful pests, but probably not in the way you think. They don’t pose a direct threat to your health. However, some health issues and other problems can show up due to their presence.
Why should you be vigilant about keeping these pests away from your home? Here’s what you should know about the dangers of a termite infestation.
Are Termites Dangerous to Humans?
Like any other insect, termites are capable of biting. They can and will bite, but it’s not a common occurrence. They’re only known to munch on human skin on purpose when they’re defending their colony.
Among the castes of a termite colony, only the soldier termite have the jaws to bite, which they mostly use to crush their enemies. But these bites aren’t toxic, nor are they envenomed.
It’s unlikely that they’ll even leave a mark; you’ll only likely experience mild pain or irritation.
Termites also don’t frequent sewers, garbage dumps, and other unsanitary places. The termite’s gut is also not an environment where human pathogens thrive. Therefore, termites aren’t generally considered a disease threat.
How Are Termites Harmful to Humans Then?
Just because they don’t pose the same dangers as a typical pest, like carrying diseases, doesn’t mean that they’re entirely harmless. Termites can cause health problems in various ways.
Termites shed and produce droppings (known as frass) and dust, all potential allergens. Formosan termites are even known to produce proteins similar to what cockroaches make. If you’re allergic to these proteins, you may experience skin and respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or asthma.
Termites Promote Mold Growth
What’s another good reason to have a pest control inspection for termites? It’s because termites attract mold.
You should know that both termites and mold are at home in the same type of environment that’s dark and humid. Also, when termites feed on wooden structures, the wood they’re snacking on will start to decompose. Decaying wood is vulnerable to molds.
As you’re well aware, molds can cause various health issues. People sensitive to molds may develop allergy-like symptoms such as a stuffy nose and red eyes. Immunocompromised family members are susceptible to life-threatening fungal infections.
Termites Are More Harmful to Human Health Than People Think
Just because they don’t pose the same dangers as rodents or cockroaches doesn’t mean termites are less harmful. Their bites are indeed nothing to be worried about. However, they may cause health problems from their droppings and by promoting mold growth.
So, are termites dangerous? Yes! Besides making your home an unsafe place to live in, their mere presence may be harmful to the health of your family members and pets.
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