Can a Termite Sting You?


One of the most common questions we’re asked is if termites can sting or bite humans. Parents especially worry about the possibility of their children being bitten, and then if they are bitten what kind of disease might be transferred and what kind of symptoms might be suffered.

Termites don’t sting

The answer to the question is that termites can bite humans but they can’t sting as they have no mechanism to do so. They have the equipment to bite: mandibles that are as big as a third of their entire body size and the strength to munch their way through any number of materials to get to their food source of wood.

Fortunately, though, termites do not like to come out into the open. They travel through tunnels, mud tubes and hollowed out wood, always taking care to be well concealed as they need moisture at all times. The majority of human ‘termite bites’ are actually caused by ants, mites, fleas, or bedbugs.

Termites are non-aggressive

In the event that you discover active termites, it is important to leave them alone and contact a pest control professional to deal with them.

However if you come across termites, they will not bite a human unless they are handled or feel threatened (such as putting your hand into a termite nest). If you are accidentally bitten by one, you’ll find the sensation is like any normal insect bite – there will be a little irritation for a few days, which will then subside and disappear. This irritation might include a very slight burning from the termite saliva that is used to break down the wood they eat through. It is a minor irritation and nothing to be alarmed about.

If you’re worried about any insect bite you’ve received, and you’re not sure what caused it, then it may be worth seeking medical advice in case the bite is from a poisonous insect. When it comes to termites, though, the most damaging bite they’ll give is the chunk they can take out of your wallet.

The financial termite bite

The real damage that termites do with their bite is to your home. If left unchecked, a termite colony will eat its way through your joists, ceilings, floors… in fact, anything wooden. The average cost of termite damage to property in Australia is more than $7,000. If you see any signs of termite infestation in or near your home, then you don’t need to worry about getting bitten on your hand or leg. You need to protect your pocket and call a professional to inspect and protect your home.

Make sure you keep a close eye on the area surrounding your home, your garden fence, shed, and under your building. At the first sign of termites make that emergency call, before the damage caused becomes a real emergency.

Mal Trotter

Mal Trotter

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