Do Termites Bite?

The short answer: Yes.

Termites can and will bite humans. But they generally won’t.

Termites have a caste system, and within this caste are soldiers whose primary purpose is to defend the nest.

Soldiers have large mandibles they use to protect their colony from other insects, usually ants.

But they will use their mandibles to bite humans if threatened or disturbed.

If you’re worried that the termites in your home will bite you, don’t be.

Termites do not feed on human flesh or blood. They will not seek to bite you.

Can termites hurt me?

Soldier termites have large mandibles used to protect the termite colony.

These mandibles are meant to fight other insects rather than humans.

To us, they are tiny and cause no harm.

When termites bite, you’ll barely feel it.  

It will most likely feel like a light pinch. 

And while it may cause some redness, the injury will be insignificant.

Unlike other insects, termites are not poisonous and do not carry diseases.

So, you don’t have to worry about getting sick if they bite you.

What do termite bites look like?

Termite bite may cause some redness and leave a small bump.

They tend to look a lot like mosquito bites.

You may experience itching, but nothing significant.

In rare cases, the bump might get irritated and swell. 

This reaction may happen if you have sensitive skin.

In general, both the bump and the itch from termite bites will go away in three days.

Do Termites cause health problems?

Yes.

Termites leave behind droppings and saliva that can cause allergic reactions to some.

They also produce dust when creating their nest, which can irritate your lungs when inhaled.

These excrement’s and dust are even more dangerous if you or your family have asthma.

That said, the most significant health risk from termites come from the chemicals used to terminate them.

Pesticides contain chemicals that can be harmful to your health if not handled with care.

If you are treating your home with pesticides, make sure to take the necessary precautions.

Read the label and follow instructions.

Wear protective gear such as masks, goggles, and gloves when dealing with toxic chemicals.

How do I treat a termite bite?

Unless you have an allergic reaction or infection, the redness and irritation from a termite bite should clear up on its own.

Complete healing typically happens within three days.

There are, however, ways you can alleviate the itchy feeling that comes with the bite.

Here’s how:

  • Apply Ice pack: A termite bite, like most insect bites, can be itchy.
    To alleviate the itchiness, place an ice pack on the bite.
  • Get over the counter Medicines or Creams: If you prefer not to use an icepack, over the counter antihistamines are great alternatives to soothe the itchiness. 
  • Visit a doctor: if your bites get worse over time, visit your doctor.

Your doctor will be able to address any excess inflammation or infections with proper treatments.

Before treating a termite bite, make sure that it was a termite that bit you.

Do Termites Bite Dogs, cats, or pets?

Yes. Termites can and will bite pets. But it’s highly unlikely.

Termites have a caste system.

Within this caste are soldiers whose primary purpose is to defend the nest.

Soldiers have large mandibles they use to protect their colony from other insects.

They typically use their mandibles against their rival enemy–ants.

However, they will use their mandibles to bite pets if threatened or disturbed.

But as mentioned, that rarely happens.

Termites are usually hidden inside wood or deep into the soil. 

So, it’s unlikely that your pet will encounter them.

If you’re worried that the termites in your home will bite your pet, don’t be.

Termites do not feed on flesh and blood. 

They will not actively seek to bite your pet.

How to Prevent Termite Bites in the Future?

The best way to prevent termite bites is to avoid engaging with them without protective gear.

You can also apply repellent around your home to keep them from coming close.

Some of the most effective essential oils for termites are:

  • Orange Oil
  • Garlic Oil
  • Clove Oil

You can spray these oils directly at the termites and areas where termite infestations are present.

And finally, you can guarantee that termites won’t bite you by eliminating the infestation you have.

The type of treatment that will work best for you will depend on the species of termites and the level of infestation.

If you are looking for natural ways to kill termites, check out this article.

Do Termites with Wings Bite People?

Flying termites, also known as swarmer or Alates, may bite you. 

But this is not typical.

Also, their bites are negligible.

Unlike soldier termites, flying termites do not have large mandibles.

That’s because their primary purpose is to reproduce, not to protect the nest.

As such, flying termites cannot physically harm you.

That said, they are dangerous in other ways.

Flying termites are the future kings and queens of termite colonies.

They fly to leave the nest to start new colonies.

These future colonies will feed on the wood structure of your home from the inside out.

By doing so, they leave your floors, ceilings, and walls prone to collapse.

Which kinds of Termites Bite People?

All species of termites can and will bite people.

But the level of injury they’ll inflict varies.

There are species of termites that are capable of drawing some blood.

Termites, such as Mastotermes or Formosan, are much bigger and can, therefore, inflict more damage.

Also, certain types of termites are likely to bite you more than others.

Termites have a caste system, and within this caste are soldiers whose primary purpose is to defend the nest.

Soldiers have large mandibles they use to protect their colony from other insects, usually ants.

But they will use their mandibles to bite humans if threatened or disturbed.

While other types of termites can bite you, soldier termites can inflict the most significant damage.

That said, soldier termites are only equipped to fight other insects rather than humans.

So, although their mandibles are relatively large, to us, their jaws are tiny.

When soldier termites bite, it will feel like a pinch. 

If I’m Not Being Bitten By Termites, What Is Biting Me?

Because termite bites look very similar to most insects, it can be challenging to identify if you have genuinely come from a termite.

The easiest way to be sure if a termite bit you is if you catch them biting you.

Or at least see it crawling off your body.

If you consistently see bite marks, it’s unlikely that termites are doing it.

Below are some common pests that could be biting you:

  • Ants
  • Bed Bugs
  • Mosquitos
  • Fleas
  • Chigger mites
  • Scabies
  • Tick bite
  • Lice
  • Spiders

Can termites get in your bed?

Yes. If you have a bed frame made of wood, then termites may infest it.

They won’t infest your mattress only the wood around it.

Termites can also infect other furniture in your home that’s made of wood.

How will I know if i have termites?

Unfortunately, there are no standard devices that make it easy to detect termites.

The most common way to inspect for termites is to look for visual signs.

Here’s what you should watch out for:

  • Flying Termites or Swarmers

Flying termites signify a termite population is ready to expand into new colonies.

  • Mud Tubes

Mud tubes could be a sign of subterranean termites.

A mud tube is made of small pieces of soil and wood.

These tubes help protect termites from predators.

They also protect termites from dry environments when gathering food.

  • Uneven or Bubbling Paint

Uneven or bubbling paint could be a sign of termite damage.

  • Frass / Droppings

If you find a small pile of what looks like pellets inside or outside the home, it could be a sign termite infestation.

Other than visual clues, you can also listen for evidence of termites.

Termites are noisy eaters. Sometimes you’ll be able to hear them eating if you place your ear against your walls.

You can also tap the wood with your knuckles or a tapping tool and listen for hollow sounds.

Termites devour wood from the inside out, leaving a weak shell.
As such, when you knock on an area that has termite damage, it will sound hollow.

Do termites go away on their own?

No. Once termites find a way into your home; they will stay.

While most pests need to find a source of food and water to survive in your home, termites do not.

Termites feed and thrive on wood.

And your home is enough to feed them for years to come.

To eliminate termites, you need to take action.

If your infestation is small, you may be able to eliminate termite on your own.

However, large infestations require the help of professional pest control.

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