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Are Termites Harmful to Humans and Our Pets?

termite problem in home
Unlike most other types of pests you can encounter around your home, termites take an indirect approach to harming humans and our pets. They like living in the dark and damp areas of the home where we cannot get to them. As such, when a termite problem begins, you will probably have no idea these tiny invaders have moved into your home.

It is when you start to see signs of termites in your home that things will start to change. You might notice what appears like small piles of sawdust around windows or baseboards. This is called frass and is essentially the termites’ feces. If you touch it with your bare hands, it can cause skin irritations with itchiness and small bumps, similar to allergic reactions.
Another health issue termites can aggravate inside the home is the spread of mold and mildew. Mold and mildew like warm, damp, and humid environments. Most homes have several different areas that can be favorable for mold and mildew, especially in the same areas termites infest.
As the termites eat the wood inside the home, they can disturb the mold and mildew, causing spores to be released into the air. This causes the spores to be spread to other areas of the home. As the spores move through the air, they can trigger asthma in some people and aggravate allergies.
In addition, when breathing the spores into the lungs, it can trigger other types of reactions, depending on the overall health of the individual, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Runny Eyes
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Runny Nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Sore Throat

Some people mistakenly assume they are sick because they are exhibiting cold and flu-like symptoms when, instead, the problem is being caused by mold and mildew spores.
Do Termites Sting?
One misconception about termites is they will sting people and pets. Termites do not have stingers like bees, wasps, and scorpions. Rather, termites have rather strong pincers they use to help eat wood. If a termite is picked up or handled without protective gloves, they could essentially bite you using their pincers.
Bites can be rather painful and unpleasant. Yet, the occurrence of termite bites is very rare in humans and their pets. Rather, the biggest threat to homeowners and their furry friends is the damage they are doing to the home. Termites never sleep, and they work around the clock in the dark areas of your home. House

What slowly begins as a colony of a few hundred termites can quickly grow to thousands to tens of thousands. By the time a homeowner notices an infestation, there could be multiple colonies inside the house with millions of termites gobbling down their home!
While there are some minor health concerns with a termite problem, the biggest one is protecting your home from extensive damage. To help protect your family and pets as well as your home from termites, it is recommended to have an annual termite inspection performed. Please feel free to contact MightyMite Termite Services at 408.335.7053 to schedule a home inspection today!