Are Termites In Alexandria Harmful To Humans?

termites chewing on wood

Regardless of the pest in question, none of them are considered to be a good thing for property owners in Alexandria, VA. However, some pests are especially troublesome because they either harm the people or the property itself. One such pest is the termite. Known for its potential to cause severe property damage, termites inspire nearly unmatched dread in people.

While there are over 40 different species of termite in the United States, they all look pretty similar. As a rule, they measure between 1/4 to 1/2 an inch long with soft bodies and straight antennae. However, queens and kings do grow to be slightly larger. At first glance, they closely resemble ants, but their different coloring can help identify them further.

Termites like to live in wooden structures, timber, soil, and decayed trees when in nature. As they enter the home, termites can be found within the very walls and floors of the home. Due to their reproductive cycle and ability to remain undetected, termite infestations represent a serious problem for homeowners every year. Termite swarming season marks the beginning of the reproductive cycle and once fertilized, the winged termites land and shed their wings to go form new colonies. These termites then become the queen and king termites thereby starting a whole new cycle.

Are Termites Harmful To People?

The termite's ability to damage properties is well documented, but it does beg the question, "are termites harmful to humans?" In short, termites don't present a direct threat to a person's health or safety. However, there are some important factors to keep in mind such as:

  • Frass: Closely resembling sawdust, frass is termite feces. Unsafe handling or contact with this material can lead to skin irritation with small bumps and itchiness.
  • Mold Problems: Termites like rotted wood, which can also mean there is mold on the property. Due to their constant moving and chewing, termites can aggravate the mold spores and cause them to spread. So while not a direct threat, termite infestations can lead to this secondary concern in some cases.
  • Asthma And Allergies: While they don't transmit diseases, termites do trigger asthma and allergies in those susceptible to such concerns.
  • Bites: This pest doesn't possess a stinger, but they do have strong pincers to eat wood. If these pincers grab your skin, the bite could certainly hurt. However, the wounds aren't toxic or too deep, making this a relatively minor concern.

Signs Of Infestation And Preventing Them

The key to preventing and staying on top of a termite infestation is to understand the common signs of a termite infestation. Next to witnessing a termite swarm itself, the following signs help detect an active infestation:

  • Discarded Wings: Found after termite swarms are over, discarded wings are a strong indicator of a termite infestation. These are often near windowsills and doors.
  • Wood Damage: If any wood that makes up your property sounds hollow, it's a strong sign that you have an active infestation on your hands. If so, immediate action is necessary.
  • Mud Tubes: These will be near the foundation of your building as part of their travel method.

The key to preventing infestation in the first place is to do two things. You need to remove moisture problems like leaking faucets, clogged gutters, and blocked vents among other things. The other thing is to remove food sources like firewood, stumps, and other wooden materials near the home.

Termite Control With Matar Termite & Pest Control

Termite infestations can make things worse for everyone no matter what species of termite has invaded. They can go undetected for a long time and cause extensive property damage. That's why our team at Matar Termite & Pest Control is here for our Alexandria area residents from termite inspection to treatment and beyond.

Family-owned and operated we offer comprehensive residential and commercial pest control treatments. If you need termite prevention services call our team at Matar Termite & Pest Control to get started on making sure your home remains termite-free today and in the future.