Do Termites Bite Humans? What You Need to Know About Termite Bites

Termites don’t bite humans because their diet only consists of wood and cellulose materials. They have no need to feed on humans or animals. It is quite rare for people to be bitten, even if they reside in the same house as these pests.

What Do Termite Bites Look Like?

Termite bites result in a small red bump which may cause swelling, itchiness, and raised skin if an allergic reaction occurs. These bite symptoms typically disappear on their own within 1-3 days.

Termites thrive in areas that are dark and damp. Within the termite family, the king and queen are the largest, while the workers are the smallest. They can be light brown or white, with over 2600 species found around the world.

In the United States, there are three common types of termites: drywood, dampwood, and subterranean termite. Check out our guide for more information!

Termites live in colonies and have a fondness for cellulose based materials. While they rarely bite humans, their bites pose no threat to our health.

The threat of termite bites may not be a concern, but their ability to damage wooden structures in homes certainly is. Without proper control, these pests can wreak havoc and cause significant destruction.

Termites in a colony can be categorized into four groups including worker termites, the queen, reproductives and soldiers. Among these groups, the soldiers are the most likely to bite humans, although this is still unlikely. Worker termites are the smallest of the termite family and are responsible for the majority of the damage to wooden structures. Soldiers have strong mouthparts that are well-suited for defending the colony.

Curious about baby termites? Check out our blog “What Do Baby Termites Look Like & How To Get Rid Of Them” to learn more!

Soldier Termite Bites: Rare Occurrences Due to Self-Defense

You’d only get bitten by a soldier if you were in its path or threatened the colony. Because of the diminutive size of their mouthparts, soldiers can bite, but the bite likely won’t cause much discomfort.

The Formosan and Mastotermes species are larger and have the ability to draw blood from humans. Bites from these termites can be quite agonizing and may look similar to small razor cuts.

Do Flying Termites Bite?

Flying termites are a type of termites that swarm to create a new colony. They are also called winged termites or reproductives. While they might be intimidating, it’s important to understand that they are not dangerous to humans.

These termites have wings that make it easy for them to travel between different places. Flying termite bites are uncommon, but it’s a good idea to be cautious and watch for signs of their presence.

Termite Bites and Allergies: Do Termite Bites Itch?

Pests can bite and cause itching and swelling, but only those with allergies might feel these effects.

Symptoms of allergies may include shock, unconsciousness, abdominal discomfort, and dizziness. It is important to note that these symptoms are specific to individuals with allergies, and not everyone will experience them. Fortunately, these incidents are rare and few in number.

Understanding and Treating Common Reactions

Termites can cause significant damage to wooden structures in your home. However, conducting regular inspections and implementing proper pest control measures can minimize their impact. Termite bites are not dangerous as they do not spread diseases or life-threatening illnesses. However, identifying the infestation’s severity can help you prevent bites from occurring.
If you suspect a termite infestation, seek professional help immediately. If a bite occurs, don’t worry too much. Simply apply first aid or go to the doctor if you have an allergic reaction.
Identifying the culprit responsible for your bite is crucial to determine the necessary treatment. It is best to seek professional help to prevent infection. The bite may be from other pests like bedbugs, fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes.

Dealing with a Termite Bite

Termite bites are rare, but if they occur, they may cause a slight pinch and a small red mark. After this, you may develop a mild allergic reaction to the bite, resulting in itching, swelling, and possibly some inflammation. To feel better after a bug bite, wash the area with soap and water. Then, use hydrocortisone cream to soothe the skin.

How to Treat a Suspected Termite Bite

It’s unlikely that you’ll get bitten by a termite, but you can take steps to protect the bite site. A few examples are shown below:
  • Clean the wound with soap and water.
  • Reduce discomfort by applying a cold compress.
  • Check for any signs of swelling in the affected area.
  • Alternative medications for treating itching, swelling, or pain can be found over-the-counter, like antihistamines or acetaminophen.
Termite bites are extremely rare since they primarily feed on wood structures and do not bite people. If you notice a bite, it’s unlikely to be from a termite and probably caused by another insect. Keep an eye on the area, apply first aid, and seek medical attention if it worsens.

Other Common Insect Bites That Resemble Termite Bites

If you are bitten, it’s likely that some other annoying insect got you instead. Insects like this are probably the ones responsible for the bite.

  • Ants
  • Mites
  • Bed bugs
  • Fleas
  • Lice
  • Spiders

Since these bites are so uncommon, if you are experiencing a bite, it is more likely caused by another insect.

To learn more about termites in Florida, check out our blog “Termites in Florida: The Complete Guide to Identification and Control”.

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