The Health Dangers Of Termites: Can They Make You Sick?

July 13, 2022

The Health Dangers Of Termites: Can They Make You Sick?

Termites are some of the most destructive pests out there. They can compromise the structure and quality of your home by feeding on your wooden floors, ceilings, furniture, and all other items made of wood. Since they are tiny insects that usually swarm into the hidden parts of a house, it is often challenging for anyone to notice and get rid of termites right away.

For this reason, a number of individuals engage in pest control in Singapore whenever the presence of termites has become overwhelming. But apart from damaging your beautiful abode, are there any health risks that would prompt you to eliminate termites immediately? Can these tiny insects make you sick? Or do they simply pose a nuisance to your life?

To answer these questions and help you understand the effects of termites on your household, here are some of the safety and health issues that a termite infestation poses.

Are termites harmful to humans? 

Compared to other types of house pests, such as mosquitoes and cockroaches, termites are not so dangerous and do not directly affect humans. Since they do not carry or transmit diseases harmful to humans, termites are not usually considered a health hazard.

However, some types of people are still likely to suffer from a few health concerns due to termite infestation in their homes. These health concerns are commonly associated with allergies and respiratory issues. Particularly, those allergic to wood dust can find it challenging and uncomfortable to stay in a house crowded with termites. In essence, these are the indirect effects of termites on human health.

Do termites bite and sting?

Aside from causing allergies and respiratory problems, termites can also bring you the pain of a bite or sting, especially if they feel threatened. While termites do not usually have a tendency to bite, they might do so if you have threatened or handled them.

Nonetheless, you do not have to worry so much if you have been bitten or stung by a termite. Their bites and stings are not toxic, and they do not carry disease-causing germs. Hence, you will not likely suffer from infection if you have come in contact with them. The worst thing that a termite bite can give you is an itchy, burning, and swollen red spot that typically goes away within a day or two. 

Health issues associated with termites

As discussed, termites do not attack humans and are usually harmless to human health. However, their presence can still bring possible health problems to a select few who may experience complications to their already existing health conditions. Here are some of the common health risks associated with termites:

  • Skin allergies

Skin irritation and allergic reactions are the most common issues that people face after being bitten by termites. Those who have a skin type that is prone to allergies and are sensitive to termite saliva are the ones who are likely to experience an agonising allergic reaction from a termite bite.

Aside from termite bites, allergic reactions can also be caused by the pellets generated by termite colonies called ‘frass’, wood-coloured with the appearance of sawdust. If it touches your skin, it can lead to allergic reactions and contact dermatitis.

  • Fungal infection

Mould typically appears in houses where termites have caused wooden structures to decompose. These small insects thrive in damp and humid environments where mould also tends to grow. When termites crawl or swarm across wood items, they spread mould as they go, and such mould creates spores that collect in your indoor air and pose health issues when inhaled.

Some of the health problems that mould spores can cause are a migraine, sore throat, cough, burning eyes, and runny nose. Certain mould spores can also result in fungal infections such as histoplasmosis. If you already have an open wound or chronic infection, the wood dust generated by termites can worsen it.

  • Asthma or respiratory infection 

The presence of termites in your house can turn mild asthma into a persistent illness. This is because these tiny pests disperse wood dust and irritable particles that can spread throughout your home via your air conditioning systems. These airborne contaminants are often vexing to those who have asthma. Hence, if you have asthma, you might experience recurring attacks, especially if the termite infestation in your home has already become widespread.

Conclusion

In the conventional sense, termites are not as dangerous as other pests such as mosquitoes and cockroaches because they do not spread diseases and rarely bite. Nonetheless, they can still pose several health issues that affect your skin and respiration. Additionally, the stress of realising that these tiny, pesky insects are destroying your precious home can give you a tremendous amount of stress, which is harmful to your health. To prevent termites from further damaging your home, it is highly advised to call a professional company specialising in termite control in Singapore to solve your termite problems.

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, PestClinic is fully equipped with the right tools to help you get rid of various pests your house shelters to bring back its solid structure and high quality. To learn more about our safe and efficient pest control solutions, do not hesitate to contact us at +65 6397 5677.