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Is It Possible To Get Sick From Termites?

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Termites are known as the silent destroyers of homes, causing millions of dollars in damages every year. These small insects may seem harmless, but they can cause serious damage to the wooden structures of a building.

This raises the question: can termites also make us sick? In this article, we will explore the potential health risks associated with termites and how to protect ourselves from them.


Health Risks Associated with Termites

Termites are not known to transmit diseases directly to humans. However, they can indirectly cause health problems through their ability to damage the structural integrity of a building.



One of the main health risks associated with termites is their ability to trigger allergies in some individuals. When termites are disturbed, they release a chemical called formic acid which can irritate the skin and respiratory system.

People who are allergic to this chemical may experience symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and skin irritation when exposed to termites.



Termites can also worsen asthma symptoms in individuals who already have the condition.

The dust and debris created by their tunnelling and chewing can irritate the airways, triggering an asthma attack. Hence, people with asthma should take extra precautions to avoid exposure to termites.


Termite Bites

One common concern about termites is their potential to bite humans. While termites do have strong mandibles (mouthparts) that they use to chew through wood, they are not known for biting people.

These insects primarily feed on cellulose found in wood and do not see humans as a food source. In rare cases, termites may bite if they feel threatened or are handled roughly, but their bites are usually harmless.


Preventing Termite Infestations

To protect yourself from potential health risks associated with termites, it is important to take preventive measures against termite infestations. Here are some tips to keep your home termite-free:

  • Eliminate Moisture: Termites thrive in damp environments, so fixing any leaks or moisture issues in your home can help prevent an infestation.
  • Remove Food Sources: Keep firewood, mulch, and other wood debris away from the perimeter of your home to reduce the likelihood of termites finding their way indoors.
  • Seal Entry Points: Termites can enter a home through even the smallest cracks and crevices. Seal any potential entry points, such as gaps around doors and windows, to prevent them from getting inside.
  • Consult a Professional: Regular termite inspections by a professional can help catch infestations early and prevent extensive damage to your home.



While termites may not directly make us sick, they can pose potential health risks through their ability to damage our homes and create a conducive environment for mould growth.

It’s important to take preventative measures to protect ourselves from these pests, as well as regularly inspect our homes for any signs of infestations. By staying informed and proactive, we can minimize the impact of termites on our health and homes.