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What do Termites do to Humans? Can they Harm or Bite People?


With a highly evolved soldier caste, termites can do a lot of damage to your home, but will not bite humans. They are equipped to combat invading insects such as ants and other termites but unless they feel threatened by a human there is no reason to bite them. They have the ability to bite but don’t. The overall damage that termites do to humans is the destruction they cause to the structure of their homes. Learn how to recognize them so you will be able to get rid of them.

Learn Termite Characteristics

As they play a vital role in the ecosystem by breaking down rotting wood and other cellulose materials, they also destroy homes that are barely hanging in there. Sometimes they could destroy some strong structures that have a little rotten wood which causes the problem. They help balance nature overall, but in the meantime, they find homes that are being occupied by individuals and are unaware of the damage they have between their walls.

As termites are cryptic insects they can be hard to detect until they have already done a lot of damage to your home. Once you see them flying around then chances are they are needing to spread out and start up another colony. They are made up of royalty, workers, soldiers and non-winged reproductive termites that don’t leave their area where they hide and eat. The winged termites are those that fly to start up a new colony in your walls, ceiling and floors.

Notice the Difference Between Termites & Ants

Termites can often be confused with various types of ants including carpenter ants and drywood ants who eat up wood. Termites are tube-shaped and have four wings of equal size that are shades of white. Ants have two sets of different size wings and are typically brown in color. Carpenter ants, in particular, will enter a home during the Spring time in already built tunnels usually made by termites.

With five different termite groups, you may be able to tell the difference just by looking at them.

Dampwood termites

They reach 25mm long and have a large head with mandibles. There are no workers as immature termites will do all of the work. They are brownish in color with light brown wings.

Drywood termites

They are whitish in appearance and have a front set of wings that have a pattern of veins.

Swarmer drywood termites reach 12mm long and prefer to colonize away from the ground or soil.

Formosan termite

These termites prefer to stay in warmer climates and are mostly found in southern parts of the United States including Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. The head of the termite is oblong in shape and they are rather aggressive in comparison to the other types of termites. They will release whitish liquid when disturbed.

Subterranean termite

These termites can get as long as 6mm and are extremely small. They are light colored and build mud tunnels within the walls causing even greater damage than other termites.

Conehead termites

These dark shaded cone shaped head termites build large wide tunnels and can typically be seen in the open depending on where they choose to build their nest. They like rotting trees and will build an oval shaped ball like nest.

The difference between these termites will help you determine the possible cause of the termites. For example, if you have a leak in the foundation of your home this could draw dampwood termites while if there is some rotting wood towards the outside of your home then you could attract drywood termites.

Calling upon an exterminator to get rid of these termites is your best opportunity to rid your home of these pesty creatures. They can do a lot of damage to the structure of your home and it’s best to get rid of them as soon as you discover you have them.

About the Author

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and attempt to share everything I learn at NeverPest.com to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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