It can be a little unnerving to think about hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of termites inside your West Palm Beach property—not just because termites are destructive insects, but because they are able to consume the wood that keeps your home structurally sound.
What if they were to decide to start biting you? Have you had this thought? If so, here are a few things you should know.
Will termites bite you?
You can find comfort in knowing that termites live almost exclusively inside their tunnels. The only time they come out is when reproductive alates (swarming termites) are created. These insects, which are often called swarmers, do not have the ability to bite you. They don't have biting mouthparts.
These swarming termites actually die very easily, and we recommend spraying them with something as simple as Windex while you wait for one of our termite inspectors to arrive.
If you happen to be doing some renovations to your home, you may open up tunnels that are in your walls and become exposed to worker and soldier termites, which can bite you.
But, even in this rare circumstance, you may still not get bitten. As long as you don't handle them, you should come away without a bite.
What happens when termites bite you?
If a termite bites you, the wounds they cause can be mildly painful and irritating, like most insect bites. There is no concern for medical symptoms because termites don't have venom and they are not known to transmit disease.
Are termites completely harmless to humans?
Not quite. If termites get into your home, especially drywood termites, you could experience respiratory discomfort. There is evidence that the saliva and feces of termites can cause an allergic reaction. How bad will your symptoms be? Well, that depends on how allergic you are.
Some recent studies have shown a link between cockroaches and termites in terms of their ability to cause allergic reactions. If you have termites and cockroaches in your West Palm Beach home, you're likely to have a lot more issues than if you have one or the other.
What danger to termites pose in West Palm Beach?
The medical implications are nothing compared to what termites in West Palm Beach can do to your bank account. Termites destroy wood on the inside. There are two ways this is a serious threat to your property.
First, you're not likely to see them doing it. They're sneaky insects—and, depending on the species, they can be incredibly sneaky. Second, the damage they do weakens timbers and this can have a cascading impact on the structures of your home.
Together, these can create a ticking time bomb for your finances. After years, or even more than a decade of sneakily feeding on your home, you can uncover termite damage. When you do, it might be in the season of your life when you're looking to retire. If you're counting on your equity to be your safety net, or nest egg, these insects could cause you to be very disappointed.
Are all termites created equal?
Not by a long shot. The most destructive termites in the United States are classified as subterranean termites. This type of termites cost U.S. property owners billions of dollars a year. When the damage from all other termites is added up, they only cost property owners hundreds of millions. That's a big difference.
Why are subterranean termites so destructive?
One reason is that they are the sneakiest of all termites. They don't produce frass, the way drywood termites do, and they don't create obvious damage in damp locations, like other termites that attack rotting wood. If subterranean termites tunnel into your yard and find wood-to-soil contact, they can eat you out of house and home without giving you any warning signs.
Are there any ways I can protect my property from termites?
Yes. There are a few preventative steps you can take. Here are some tips:
Remove wood sources from your yard.
Never bury wood in your yard.
Address moist conditions around and inside your home.
Seal entry points in your exterior.
Do routine inspections for wood damage, frass, shelter tubes, and the presence of swarmer wings.
What is the best way to protect a home from termites?
Termite damage can be prevented if proper termite control products are applied in an effective manner. This is where we can help. The licensed termite control professionals here at Native Pest Management help home and business owners in West Palm Beach protect their investments from the threat of termite damage. We can help you protect yours. Reach out to us and schedule an inspection today. Don't let sneaky termites destroy your home.