Are termites dangerous? If you’re asking yourself this questions, here’s why you shouldn’t wait to schedule an extermination in your home.
Usually accompanied by a yell of sorts, the termite (otherwise known as the silent destroyer) is more than meets the eye.
The name is a reflection of exactly what the insect that’s less than an inch long does — it destroys your home. Although they’re silent in nature, you’ll notice the new creaks and cracks of your home over time. As it progresses, these insects will create noticeable damage. But before this happens, are termites dangerous?
Deciding the answer to that question is not a one-step process. It could take months for these destroyers to infiltrate and ruin your home. What are the early signs of termites, how bad are termites, and are termite harmful to humans?
You want to know the answers to these questions and do so fast. Determining are termites dangerous could save your home.
Let’s dive into the facts.
What Do Termites Eat?
You have an idea in your head of what termites eat, but it’s more than wood.
If your house is made of plaster, metal or concrete, don’t listen to the old adages. Your home is not safe from destruction.
Termites can eat more than wood, in fact, they destroy those materials as fast as wood and lumber and sometimes even faster. If this isn’t enough of a meal for them, your furniture is next.
Coming from in your walls to your furniture, termites will take their hunger to open spaces once they get a taste. Just as they consume the timber and wood outside your home, termites can do the same once they’re inside.
It’s especially heartbreaking if they get to any antique pieces you may own.
By far the most concerning aspect of termites is that they never stop eating. Termites will eat you out of your house. Although this won’t happen immediately, determining are termites dangerous can be answered when sagging floors and ceilings begin appearing in your home.
Are Termites Dangerous to Humans
Termites can bite and sting you like other insects, but they aren’t toxic. This might make you think your health is safe when it comes to dealing with them, but termites that have infested a home can cause allergic reactions and even asthma attacks.
Those bites and stings can swell, itch and burn. They’re especially annoying and painful if you have predisposed reactions.
Dust from termite nests being spread around your home from the heat or vents can add to the risks. The airborne contaminants of the nesting are what creates irritation for health issues. These colonies can even generate what is known as pellets that are referred to as frass.
Frass looks like sawdust and is a common aspect of a termite infestation causing dermatitis. There are even some individuals who are allergic to their saliva or droppings. For people who are not allergic or asthmatic, odds are termites won’t cause negative effects.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Mold spores are formed from the wooden structures that are beginning to decompose. The fungus then generates spores and can create more health problems if inhaled. Odds are you won’t see these spores as they’ll be located in your walls and toxic compounds will follow.
Even without harm to yourself or your family, the cost alone of termite damage should make someone realize how bad are termites.
Cost of Termite Damage
An investment in your home can be nullified when it comes to termites and their detrimental nature to your home value. If you’ve waited too long to find out are termites dangerous, odds are you’re too late.
Most homeowners pay an average of $556 for termite treatment after the damage is done. Treatments with fumigation and tenting can rise into the astronomical numbers of $1,500 or more depending on the severity of the situation.
The cost of termite treatment is less in the long run than the $8,000 on average individuals have paid for structural damage. Yearly, termites cost about $5 billion worth in damage and treatment costs.
There are two different types of termite treatment options — non-chemical and chemical treatments. Both have gotten rid of termites in the past, but the choice is made by the homeowner. Using minimum risk pesticides, only chemical treatments that are safe for humans are used.
In a chemical treatment atmosphere, pest management professionals use liquid soil termiticides, termite balls, wood treatments and more. On the other side, non-chemical treatments could feature a barrier of sorts.
These barriers would be made of steel mesh or biological control agents (nematodes and fungi) to push back the termites. Unfortunately, these are not regulated by the EPA and chemical treatments are almost always preferred.
In the long run, the cost of an initial inspection could save you thousands.
Prevent Termites Beforehand
There are dozens of do-it-yourself methods to prevent termite infestations.
Protecting your home has never been easier, but making sure your home has the right protection takes some steps.
- Keep shrubs trimmed away from the exterior of your home leaving a foot or more of space in between
- Ventilate any crawl spaces
- Maintain the exterior of your home cleanliness
- Ensure water leaks from shutters or siding doesn’t impact exterior
- Use pine needles or other forms of mulch instead of wood to influence the lack of termites
These are a few of the simplest ways to make termites stop in their tracks before reaching your home and causing sometimes irreversible damage.
Educate Through Information
If you’re hoping you’re prepared to answer the question, “are termites dangerous,” you have to absorb information.
From construction to land development and pesky termites, being well-researched can save you money and time in the long run. Don’t let time pass you by without valuable information at your fingertips.
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