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Are Termites In Owensboro Harmful To Humans?

termites destroying some wood

If termites can chew through solid wood, does that mean that they can bite humans, too? Are these pests responsible for spreading disease and parasites? What sort of health hazards do termites cause?

For people in Owensboro suffering from termite infestations, there are a lot of questions. Of course, you know that termites are bad news for homes and businesses. But it’s important to know just how dangerous termites can be. So, the question is, are termites in Owensboro harmful to humans?

What To Know About Termites

Termites are bad news. These voracious insects feed on cellulose (the material that makes up plants and trees), and can quietly destroy your property without you even noticing. In the wild, termites can be found living in decaying logs and fallen trees, or even in large termite mounds, depending on the species. But these pests are just as fond of infesting homes as they are living outdoors. If you’ve got a dark, humid area full of tasty wood in your home, you can bet these little bugs will find it.

Termites live in massive colonies made up of thousands, if not millions, of members. Termite workers can gnaw through wooden structures nonstop, day and night. And when an infestation reaches a significant size, the damage can be devastating. 

A termite queen can lay up to 30,000 eggs in just one day. When a colony has reached its maximum capacity, reproductive termites, called termite “swarmers,” will fly from the colony in attempts to establish colonies of their own. The sight of winged termite swarmers should be cause for alarm, since their presence indicates a well-developed termite colony nearby.

Are Termites Harmful?

Termites pose a real danger to the safety and structural integrity of your home or business. An unimpeded infestation can actually cause floors and walls to completely collapse over time. But compared to other pests like cockroaches and rodents, termites present relatively few health hazards.

Termites are obsessively hygienic insects that spend their time grooming and cleaning. They aren’t known to transmit any harmful diseases to humans. However, as an infestation goes on, termites can cause allergies.

As they feed, termites emit small particles of waste that fill the air. These microscopic flecks of debris can irritate skin, eyes, and even the lungs. If a termite infestation is severe enough, some people may even develop asthma as a result.

How To Prevent Termites

The first step to preventing termites is to be aware of the warning signs. You can spot signs of termite activity such as:

  • “Termite tubes” made of mud where soil and foundation meet
  • Discarded insect wings around outdoor lights or windowsills
  • Flying termite swarmers, indoors or outdoors
  • Bubbling wallpaper resembling water damage
  • Hollow-sounding wood around the property
  • Piles of sawdust-like powder 

Spotting any of these signs means it's too late to take more serious preventive measures. If you haven't spotted any of these signs, there are a few things you can do to defend your property from termites:

  • Do some landscaping. Make sure that woody bushes and hedges aren’t making contact with any buildings. Consider moving any gardens or organic landscaping features at least 20 feet away from your home or business. Switch to a cellulose-free mulch.
  • Reduce moisture. Clear all gutters and drains to prevent water from accumulating around the property. Open windows in basement areas to encourage ventilation and try installing a dehumidifier.
  • Eliminate yard waste. Dispose of any lawn clippings, fallen trees, dead stumps, or decaying logs around your property. Keep firewood stored as far away from your home or business as possible.

If you spot signs of termite activity on your Owensboro property, prevention might not be enough. That’s why you should get in touch with the termite control experts at Action Pest Control. We’ve been solving termite troubles since 1946 and have the know-how to eliminate your problem once and for all. Our experienced technicians will get rid of your termites safely and effectively. Contact us today for your free inspection.