Termites are often related to a lot of concerns. They wreak havoc on your furniture, can cause structural problems, and more. One such problem that you might be worried about is whether or not they can harm you.
Our team at Jamison Pest and Lawn are well versed in how termites and many other pests harm your home. We have been working in the Tennessee and Mississippi areas and have gained a lot of knowledge about these creatures. In this blog, we will answer the question of whether termites bite or not, and whether they are harmful.
Can Termites Bite You?
Without wasting much time, let us jump straight to the question. Yes, termites can bite you. However, the chances that these little pests will harm you and your family are pretty small. Termites do not have the natural tendency to bite humans. The insects depend on the cellulose present in the wood for nutrition.
Termites are a type of insect that can cause significant damage to homes and other structures, but not all termites are a threat. Termites are broadly classified into different categories, such as the following:
- Worker Termites
- Soldier Termites
- Reproductive Termites
Out of these categories, only soldier termites have the ability to bite. Let us find out more about them in the section below.
What Are Soldier Termites?
Soldier termites are a stronger class of termites that fall higher on the hierarchy. They can be found in large colonies, and they protect the colony from predators and other threats. Soldier termites have large, bulbous heads, and teeth that help them fight off predators. They only bite humans and pets as a defense, but this is a very rare occurrence.
These termites also have a thicker exoskeleton and very long, sharp mandibles that they use to defend their nest if and when other insects, such as ants, attack their colony. They will detect the vulnerable areas of the colony, and start their work so that other termites remain safe.
Since their primary purpose is defense, they are not involved in tearing through the wood of your house for nutrition. They rely on other termites to bring them food.
What Are Flying Termites?
While most termite species are wingless, some termite species have wings. These winged individuals are called swarmers. You will likely face these termites more than any other kind since they are the most common.
Do Flying Termites Bite?
The answer is not very often. Flying termites can cause harm, but are not known to bite humans. Since this type of termite colony only contains winged individuals, these swarms can be spotted easily because you won’t see any non-flying termites around them (unless you’re looking for them).
Flying termites are known to focus on their work, but they may harm you if you keep aggravating them. These types of termites live in colonies with other wingless insects. At first glance, you might mistake them for ants. However, flying ants and termites are different from each other.
They take off from the ground when their colony is disturbed by predators or changes in temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions occur. Once airborne, they’ll land on a nearby surface where they will mate and start new colonies by laying eggs underground. These eggs hatch into new worker termites which build tunnels for them to live in. Make sure you hire a professional pest control company if you see large swarms of termites visible in your home or around its foundation.
What Should You Do If A Termite Bites You?
Termites are very small in size and as we’ve noted previously, they do not bite humans often. If it does happen, it’s not a huge cause of concern. If a soldier or a winged termite bites you, you most likely wouldn’t even notice.
However, if your skin is sensitive, or the termites bite a tender area, you will most likely feel a pinch on the body. The saliva from a termite’s bite is not harmful. After the bite, your body will heal itself after a few days. Follow these precautionary tips:
- Ensure that you keep the area clean.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment if necessary.
- Apply a cold compress to control the effect of stinging.
When Should You Be Worried?
Though there are no health dangers, you should be worried if there is termite activity near you that can damage your home. Their entry into your home could be one of the early signs of termite damage. So as soon as you notice that a termite has bitten you, call a professional termite expert to curb the infestation immediately.
Be Cautious: Bites From Other Insects Can Be Harmful
Other insects can bite you too. If you notice a red, itchy bite that comes with other problems such as fever, then chances are that you may have been bitten by another insect that looks similar to a termite. The major difference is that these bites will cause you more pain.
These can include insects such as bed bugs, ants, mosquitoes, and lice. They are more common and have a higher possibility of invading your home and hurting you.
Protect Your Home From Termite Infestation Now!
Though a termite bite is uncommon and not likely to harm you or your pet, these pests can still cause a lot of damage to your property, and furniture. They love to eat the wood in your home, which is why you need to stay alert if you find termites, or their eggs in your area.
Jamison Pest and Lawn provides termite control services to homeowners like you, in Mississippi and Tennessee areas. We know how important it is to have peace of mind, and we make sure to provide that for our customers. We’ve been in business for years, and our team of highly trained professionals has helped thousands of people like you get rid of their termite problem once and for all. Contact us today if you’ve had an infestation, or are looking for protection, at (901)-452-1505.