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Do Termites Bite?

Whenever a pest control or wildlife issue arises, such as a termite invasion, a barrage of questions may run through one’s brain. How did this happen? Where did they come from? Why are they here? How soon can a professional extermination service, like Eliminate ‘Em, address the issue? Are we in danger of being bitten, stung, or attacked?

Since even the sight or idea of bugs can make some people feel itchy, their discovery only increases the suffering. However, knowing the actual damage that specific pests, like termites, can cause may alleviate some of the initial concerns. Although their size may not make them seem visually scary, seeing the damage that they can do to a wood structure may make termite bites seem like a particular threat. Let’s investigate exactly what termites do and do not bite.

What Do Termites Bite?

There are many different types of termites, but they typically feed on wood and other cellulose-containing products. The mouthparts and the digestive processes of termites are designed to consume and break down this material. Although use of their mouths is especially essential for feeding, their bites and mandibles serve these other 6 functions that help them grow and expand their colonies:

  1. Termite mandibles can help them defend their colony from threats like predatory insects and may release chemicals when under attack.
  2. Mandibles can also help termites create tunnels within nests or colonies for protection and shelter.
  3. For construction and maintenance, termite mouthparts are used to carry building materials like chewed soil or wood.
  4. Some termite species use mandibles to feed other members of their colony.
  5. Additionally, specialized worker termites may use their mandibles to tend to the overall health of their fellow termites.
  6. Termites can vibrate or otherwise move mandibles to communicate.

What Makes Termites Want To Take a Bite of Your Home?

Even seemingly harmless wood sources around your home may be particularly appetizing to termites. After all, the amuse bouche of a rotting tree trunk at the edge of your property may eventually turn your home into the main course. Termites are not the type of pest who will dine and dash. Instead, they’ll not only eat their fill but also continue to invite others to the feast.

What attracts termites may vary slightly by type of termite, but here are some of their favorite food sources:

  • Dying or rotting trees or shrubs, as well as moist mulch that is breaking down
  • Untreated wood, especially that which is damp or water damaged
  • Warm, moist areas with food sources like wet beams or soggy paneling
  • Wet paper or plastic

If left unchecked, termites wreak havoc within the structure of a home. When a termite infestation is suspected or identified, you may not only be worried about your home but also about your loved ones. After all, looking at the kind of damage termites can do, you may wonder if termites can take a bite out of your puppy or your child.

Do Termites Bite Humans and Animals?

Although any buildings on your property are in danger and can become unsafe for inhabitants if termites are present, it is highly unlikely that your family members or visiting guests will be subjected to termite bites. Again, the termite’s mandibles are designed for a variety of purposes, but it is extremely uncommon for them to bite people and animals nor do they seek out opportunities to do so. However, other pests like bed bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks do bite, those bites can endanger those who reside in your home. Accordingly, preventative maintenance, like routine inspections, is crucial in avoiding any harm to people, pets, and property.

Even though termites may not pose an immediate threat to your loved ones, their damage to your property and sheer presence can take a mental and emotional toll. If you see or suspect a termite problem, contact an experienced termite exterminator, such as contact Eliminate ‘Em for immediate service or if have any questions about prevention services or any pest or wildlife control needs.