Termites, like other insects, have to defend their colonies and they therefore can bite especially when threatened. Read on to find more about termite bites, pictures and treatment remedies in case you’re bitten.
Can termites bite Humans? Why
Whether or not termites bite is not very clear. There are some people who say these insects can while others say they do not bite.
Some note that termites not only cause damage to the furniture at home but also some cause harm to you. There are people who even think that the bite can be dangerous.
If you are allergic, the reaction may range from mild to even severe or even fatal. It is thought these bites might lead to pulmonary edema.
There are some people who have reported that they have caught the flying termites in the act of biting. This is however very uncommon. This is not likely to be the case because the flying ones do not have anything they can use to bite with, unlike the soldier termites.
Some not that termites eat wood and, in the end, leave the wood weakened. The insects then go ahead to cause a lot of damage to the floor and ceilings of your house. The termites therefore do not cause any direct damage to you.
In as much as termites have the soldier caste, the soldiers are mandated to invade the insects like the ants and rival colonies of termites.
These termites have the ability to bite you but do not because their mouth parts are meant for defense and protection of the colony. They therefore spend their entire time biting and destroying wooden material.
There is however a likelihood that the desert termites can bite. This offers an explanation why people in the desert should never walk barefoot but put on light shoes.
They rarely but can bite and if this happens, never scratch the bitten area. These termites spend more of their time under the surface but can come out from time to time.
The Formosan have the mandibles and pincers that they can use to pinch your skin. This is especially if you disturb or interfere with their colony and surrounding.
It is rare to find the termites biting if nor interrupted despite having the mandibles.
Even if they do, they are not likely to cause any harm to you. You should never take chances but rather avoid any cases that can lead to you coming into contact with the termites.
Picture of termite bite on human-How does it look like?
The bite by the termites make you your skin to have itchiness and after some time, you will have a red sore.
The intensity of the itch depends on how many times you have been bitten. Further, the intensity of the redness and how long the itchiness lasts depend on the number times you get the bite.
Different skin colors will also show how the bites look like. For instance, the red sore is more pronounced or visible on the white or brown skin as compared to the dark skin.
What happens if a termite bites you
The first indicator of the bite can be the pain. Although slight, the pain is present.
Your response to the termite bite may be different from what another person exhibits.
One instance is when you present with allergic reactions to the bite.
In this case, your body can swell and you may also have some itch that does not seem to subside. This reaction is in most cases not serious but can get worse with time.
If the condition affects your breathing to some extent, ensure you see your doctor for an immediate attention and treatment. Breathing difficulty is a sign of a serious allergic reaction.
How to Treat & Prevent Termites Bites
Before the commencement of the treatment, be sure that the bite is from termites. Termites are creamy white in color.
It is common that you will have pain and irritation at the area bitten.
In most cases, the pain will die off without having to look for any treatment. It will take about two or three days to clear out.
Apple Cider Vinegar.
It has been in use for a long time because of its antiseptic properties. You can use it at home to treat itch from any type of pests, termites being one of them.
What you have to do is: soak a sponge in the vinegar and then dab on the bitten area for some time till the itch goes away.
Tea Tree Oil
It has rich anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties. It has been in use for over 40 years. You take some drops of the oil and then gently apply to the bitten area for as long as the itch exists.
If bumps form from the bite, this can be your relief. It has tannins that have astringent properties (skin constricting) properties. This is the property that enables them to draw fluid from the bump. A damp tea bag provides some coldness that relieves the itch.
This can be used to do the cold compress. Soothing the skin with the ice pack around the area helps to stop the itch and return your body to its original temperature. This encourages the flow of blood and effects of the bite are alleviated.
Peppermint and oil.
You can use both the crushed leaves and the oil. When you apply it to the bitten area, you will get some cooling sensation. The itch from the bite also goes away in the course of the application.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is mild base that can neutralize the pH of your skin. This buffering effect created will help give you relief from the inflammation on the surface of your skin. Take some water and mix it with the baking soda to make a paste. Apply the paste to the area of bite.
It has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Squeeze out the sap from the Aloe Vera leaves. Apply the sap around the bitten area to provide a soothing effect.
Find something to do.
You are likely to feel more itch if you keep thinking about the bite. If you have tried all other methods and they have failed to work, try this and your body will use the natural mechanisms to wage off the pain. Do something like watch a movie or video that will take you attention away.
Do warm compress and take warm showers.
Let the showers be warm and not hot. The warmth provides some relief to the itch and pain. A hot shower on the other hand is likely to provide temporary relief because the body returns to initial temperature once out of the shower. A warm compress is thus more preferable.
In the event that the pain and irritation does not subside, you should apply some hydrocortisone cream to the area affected.
To prevent coming into contact or being bitten by the termites, you have to:
- Exterminate the termites using professional exterminators. Experienced professionals will get rid of 100% of the termites in your home. This will also prevent the potential damage that they can bring to your home.
- Also, keep the wood piles and other debris away from your home. This should also apply to the remaining stumps trees that are cut. Ensure that you keep any firewood at your home about 5 inches above the ground and 20 feet away from your home.
- To avoid the bite by the desert termites, you should ensure that you have shoes on. These termites are always burrowed in the soil and come out when the soil is interfered with.
- If your home is infested, you can avoid the bites by moving out of your home. Vacate the house with your family until the termites are completely cleared from your house. Once you vacate, you can hire the professionals to rid your house of the pests
- Put on clothes that cover your body entirely whenever you walk into tall grasses and wooded areas. You should put on preferably a long sleeved and light colored shirt enables you to spot the termites.
- Make sure there are no trees and shrubs grow nearer or closer to any wooden surfaces of your house.
- Repair the gutters and the pipes that leak in the foundation of your house. The leakage produce moisture and this attracts the Mediterranean termites.
- Always keep the soil around the foundation of your house dry. You can do this through proper grading and drainage of excess water. The maintenance of the gutters is also crucial.
- Set up baits that are made of cellulose and then laced with insecticide. The cellulose will attract the termites and then the insecticide kills them.
- Inspect your house and around the house to ensure that termite colonies are not established in your homestead.
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