Termites Are a Health Hazard

October 28, 2022by Kristin Herron

No one wants termites in or around their home. The damage they cause to wooden parts of the building and the furniture, fabrics and cellulose-based materials in the home can be massive, both in terms of the financial and other losses and the hassle of getting the damage repaired. Everyone has heard horror stories of people who have suffered termite infestations. What is often overlooked is the impact a termite infestation can have on the health of the occupants of the home. In fact, most people are unaware of the health dangers these insects pose.

Termite Bites Are a Health Risk 

Termites are social insects that live in large colonies. Their main objective is to find the food (wood and other cellulose-based materials) and water they need to survive. Termites are not directly a danger to humans or pets, but when disturbed or in danger, they can sting the source of the danger. The sting can cause extreme pain, itching and swelling. These stings, although rare, are bad enough, but for those with serious allergy issues, a termite bite can trigger a strong allergic reaction.

Also Read: How Do I Know I Have A Termite Infestation?

Other Health Concerns 

  • Myiasis is an infection of the tissue that occurs when insect larvae get under the skin. Although not common, the risk of myiasis does exist for those living in a house with termites if and when they have an open wound or inadvertently inhale the larvae which could lodge in the nose, mouth or throat.
  • Termite pellets, of droppings/poop, can be found near a termite nest. The pellets are so small it is easy to not notice them. If the pellets come in contact with the skin, they can cause contact dermatitis which appears in the form of a skin rash. Allergic reactions are also known to happen in people with sensitive skin.
  • The decomposed wood that termites leave behind can result in the development of mold and fungus. These release spores that become airborne and are easily and unknowingly inhaled by humans. If the spores settle on the skin, severe irritation can occur. Inhaling the spores can cause coughing, runny nose, migraine attacks and other conditions. If the spores come into contact with the eyes, conjunctivitis could develop. In the case of children, research suggests that even if they do not show any signs of respiratory problems immediately, these could develop in the future when the respiratory system is subject to other stresses. Asthma is one of the most common of respiratory ailments. There is evidence available that exposure to mold and fungus from decomposing wood can either be the cause of the onset of the condition or play a significant role in exacerbating an already existing condition.
  • Another rare but serious health risk is that of electrocution. It may sound ridiculous to think that termites can electrocute a human, but it has happened. Termites have been known to bite through the insulation on electrical wires in the hope of finding cellulose inside. Once the insulation is damaged, the possibility of short circuits is serious and this could result in electric shocks.

Also Read: How Termite Inspections Can Save You Money

Never think that termites are just unwanted insects in your home. Besides the damage to your home and furniture, they can also cause health problems for the occupants. The only way for a family to stay safe is to have professional termite inspections and preventive measures done and if any infestation is found, have it removed by an expert termite control company. A professional termite control company will know how to deal with termite infestations in San Diego. If people in the house are sensitive to chemicals that are used in fumigation, they can opt for non-fumigation termite control in Orange County.