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Are Termites Dangerous?

What do you think makes a pest dangerous? Is it its ability to bite you? If so, you don't have to be concerned about most termites. While worker termites have the ability to chew through wood and would be more than capable of chewing through skin, their jaws are too small to bite humans. So you don't have to worry about worker termites coming out of your walls by the thousands and biting you while you sleep—unless, of course, you're made of wood. But even Pinocchio doesn't have anything to fear from the termites we battle in our service area. Subterranean termites don't prefer to feed on hardwood. They prefer softwood.

You may have noticed that we said "most" termites don't bite. In a termite colony, there is a caste of termite called the soldier. The job of the soldier is to protect the colony from threats, like invading ants and other insects. They do this by using strong mandibles on their heads to crush their enemies. With these mandibles, soldier termites are more than capable of biting you. If you pick up a handful of termite workers and soldiers, you could get bitten. But even this is rare. Those soldiers can't easily perceive you as a threat to their colony because of how big you are. If you are bitten by a soldier termite, there are a few things you should know:

  • A bite from a soldier termites isn't likely to even leave a mark on your skin.
  • Termites don't climb around in dumpsters, sewers and other dirty places, so they aren't likely to have harmful bacteria on them.
  • The gut of a termite is not an ideal environment for the development of human pathogens. For this reason, termites are not considered a disease threat.
  • Termites do not use venom to subdue their prey. You do not have to worry about being envenomated by one of these insects.

So, are termite harmless to people?

While the bite of a soldier termite is mostly harmless and termites are not known to spread diseases or inject venom, they are not entirely harmless. They can impact your health in an indirect way. Subterranean termites cause damage that can promote mold issues in your home. This can result in mysterious health problems and frustrating health costs. If you or someone in your home is experiencing chronic nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, wheezing, coughing, eye irritation or skin irritation, you might have a mold problem. If you do, you could have a termite problem as well.

The real danger termites present

Property damage is the real threat termites pose. Subterranean termites cost U.S. property owners over $5 billion annually. These insects come up from the ground and feed on the inside of the wood in man-made structures. Over time, this damage can create serious structural issues. Walls can begin to bulge. Floors can begin to sink. Ceilings can begin to dip. And your doors and windows can begin to stick or open and close without resistance. If not caught early, these insects can total a home. That might not be dangerous to your health but it will definitely be dangerous to your savings account.

Won't my home insurance cover termite damage?

A big mistake many homeowners make is believing that their home insurance policy will cover termite damage. Most policies do not. This is because termite damage is considered to be preventable through routine maintenance. If your home is destroyed, the insurance company is likely to consider it to be your fault.

How do I protect my equity from subterranean termites?

The solution is to invest in professional termite control service. Termite control is better than insurance. It doesn't wait for your home to be destroyed and pay you after the damage is done. Termite control is proactive termite damage prevention. We think that's the better way to go.

If you've been considering termite protection and you own a property in our extensive Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky service area, take action and get Action. At Action Pest Control, we use the most advanced and trusted termite control methods to protect properties from wood-destroying pests and our service is backed by a $250,000 termite damage warranty. Don't trust your equity to anything less. Reach out to us today for a consultation.

 

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