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Can Termites Hurt You or Animals?

Termites can hurt you or other people in your home however it is unlikely.  Termites prefer to spend their time munching on plant-based material containing cellulose.  However, they are little creatures who are looking out for their survival and will defend themselves when they feel threatened.  They have a caste of termites with more powerful jaws known as soldier termites.  It is the duty of these termites to protect the rest and they can certainly pinch you which may hurt a bit.

However, you really don’t need to worry too much about this happening because termites mostly stay hidden.  They prefer the darkness for one, and two they enjoy staying within the confines of the small burrows in wood they create for shelter.  So the likelihood of you getting bit by a termite is very small unless you were to find some in a log that you overturned, stirred up the next so to speak, and got some on your skin.  They would likely feel threatened and attempt to defend themselves by pinching your skin with their relatively powerful mandibles.

Termite Bites

This would feel similar, to an ant bite (the normal kind, not fire ants) so would not be too bad and the little bit of pain that you may feel should subside within 5 to 10 minutes max.

If for some reason you experience swelling or an allergic reaction to a termite bite you could apply an antihistamine cream to the area to help stop the swelling or itching and take a Benedryl seems to be getting worse.  Of course, also call or get to the doctor if you think you are having a severe allergic response to a termite bite.  A termite bite may not be the only thing termite related that could spark allergies.  It is also what termites leave behind can cause allergies in some people.

Allergic Reaction To Termite Dust

Although termites are not known to carry any diseases that can be transmitted to humans like other insects such as flies and mosquitoes are commonly known for, they can wreak havoc on our allergies.

In homes or buildings with severe termite infestations, excess dust and particles can be released into the heating and cooling ventilation system over time.  These particles can trigger asthma or allergies in some individuals which creates a health concern if left unchecked.

Further Reading about Termite Hazards:

  1. Are There Over the Counter Chemicals That Kill Termites?
  2. Dr. Don’s Termite FAQ
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