Termites do not generally bite humans. But they do have the ability to bite and there are instances where a termite will deliver a bite to a human being to protect itself or its colony.
Like most ants, termites live in a caste system that comprises of highly evolved soldiers as well as queens. The soldier termites are rarely a menace to humans or pets for as long as they are not bothered with.
The physiology of the soldier is equipped with a big head and bigger mandibles for the purpose of cutting food into tiny pieces for easy transportation. But those pincers also serve as weapons to offer protection and defend the colony against ant invasion or fend off rival termite groups.
The bite of a termite can be equated to a mosquito bite. You might feel it most of the time by you might miss it all together depending on where their bite is at.
If they bite on a fleshy part of the body, you may not even notice it, however, if they take a bite on a section where the skin is thin such in the middle of the toes, you will definitely know that you have been bitten.
These insects are fairly slow unlike ants. So it is more difficult for them to get to you for a bite. Termites will grow wings at maturity and this makes them a bit faster and may be quite confusing if a winged termite bit you as you would not be sure whether it is a termite or something else.
But home owners who spot termites in the yard or in the home should be less concerned about bites from termites as they rarely happen. Their attention should shift to where the termites are and what are the chances that they have entered your home.
Other than biting humans and other mammals, termites would rather feed on the cellulose on wood. They often make tunnels in the wood also known as ‘galleries’ which makes it difficult to spot them. If you happen to see one or several termites, it’s often a sure sign that you may have loads of them in the house already chipping away at the wooden structure of your home.
How can you tell that you have termites?
Signs of termite infestation will vary and may depend on the type of termite you have. Most common indicators may be a bite from them when disturbed inadvertently.
Termite poop on wood may be another sign. The most obvious sign is seeing them physically mostly on damaged wood.
Muddy tunnels on wood are a sure sign that you have termites in the home. A common indicator of a termite infestation can also be a sagging floor or ceilings.
While termites will occasionally bite people, the bite is more like a mosquito bite and may result in red spot on the skin that will disappear in a few days. What should concern you more should than the bite when you spot termites in the house is the structural safety of your home. Termites can literally eat your home to destruction. Calling in a licensed pest official to access the extent of a termite infestation and advice on how to deal with it, would be the best way forward.