Can Termites Bite You? Prevention & Eradication Of Termites

Evidence Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr Lara Mokhtar, MD Written by - Dr. Shaheen Shah



Termites are white-brown insects with sharp antennae that exist in groups. They eat the decaying plants and wood. Termites prefer living in moist, gloomy areas, and the termite colony size might vary from hundreds to thousand numbers. The termite colony has a king and queen who are more significant than the tiny worker termites. Termites usually are not dangerous to humans. Although infrequent, they might sometimes bite humans. Many times, people can handle the termite bite with home care without the need for medication.

Termites are white-brown insects with sharp antennae that exist in groups. They eat the decaying plants and wood. Termites prefer living in moist, gloomy areas, and the termite colony size might vary from hundreds to thousand numbers.

Termites are hazardous for people because they cause tremendous damage to the house by eating the wood in windows and doors. The different kinds of termites in the United States are damp wood, subterranean, and dry wood. They exist in forests and woods in houses. Globally, there are around 2600 termite species. Once people realize that the home has termites, most people wonder if the insect bites them, if it is hazardous to the entire family’s health, or how to get rid of them 1 Overview | Researched based study from ScienceDirect . The article will answer all the queries people are curious about and summarize termite bites, symptoms, and some home remedies to handle them.

Do termites bite you?

  • Yes, termites can bite you, but it is very infrequent. Termites are not parasites, so they don’t feed on blood. Instead, they eat decaying plants and wood.
  • Within the termite colony, soldier termites defend the entire territory from enemies, viz, ants. The soldier termites are wingless brown colored and have developed mouth parts larger heads, and are more potent than the worker termites.
  • So, the only termite that can bite humans is the soldier termite, but that can happen only in sporadic cases.
  • The termites are very slow-moving creatures, so if someone encounters one, they can easily remove them rapidly from the place before the termite tries to attack them.
  • Regarding biting and illness, termites pose no health concerns to humans and pets. But termite colonies are a very menacing species for people’s houses because they destroy the entire house structure, making it hollow, unbalanced, risky, and requiring enormous renovation 7Overview | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .
  • Matured termites have wings and move around rapidly. They also are not a concern for humans in terms of biting because they prefer living in house foundations and walls, so people generally do not meet them.
  • So, bug bites that people usually get might be by some other insects viz; mosquito, tick, bedbug, flea, chigger .2 Overview | Researched based study from ScienceDirect

Winged termites and risk to human

  • Winged termites aren’t hazardous to people in terms of biting.
  • Specific black or yellow matured termites in a colony develop wings to flock in hot temperatures to copulate and form new colonies.
  • The termites have straight antennae and identical wing sizes, but usually don’t attack humans 3 Overview | Researched based study from ScienceDirect .


What Happens when Termites Bite Humans?

The termites have minute jaws, and they usually don’t bite humans or pets. The bite may be likely due to other insects, such as bugs.

Some symptoms of bug bites are:

  • Skin irritation
  • Pain in the bitten site
  • Itchiness
  • Skin redness
  • Skin swelling

If the symptoms do not improve over time, the bite might be from a dangerous insect, and one should approach the physician for prompt treatment.

Some common symptoms of termite bite are:

  • Skin tenderness
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itching and pimples (in case of sensitivity reaction) 4Symptoms | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

 What do termite bites look like?

  • If one gets a termite bite, he might feel squeeze or itches in the bitten area with little post-effect.
  • The area might look reddish and swollen. It generally does not cause any illness and might subside within two to three days.
  • Termites are not germ-carrying insects, so they do not cause any diseases if they happen to bite.
  • A termite bite is unusual and mild due to the jaw size and the insect’s low biting capability.
  • However, continually monitor the bite area, and if someone experiences fever with no improvement in the bitten area, they must consult the doctor without further delay 5Symptoms | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

When to seek medical help for termite bite?

Individuals must visit a health care professional if he is doubtful about the kind of insect that has bitten and notice the following symptoms-

  • Fever
  • Skin condition deteriorates with time
  • Intense itchiness
  • Skin redness and swelling
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath


How to Treat Termite Bites on Humans?

Individuals can try home remedies to treat termite bites. Some tips for treating termite bites are listed below-

  • Clean and wash the bitten area with soap and water
  • Apply cold compression to relieve any skin irritation
  • Apply anti-allergic ointments to decrease puffiness and itching
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication if necessary 6Treatment | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

It is doubtful if the insect bite is from the termite. However, if an individual is close to the termite colony and encounters symptoms, he might apply the following as home remedies.


Can Termites be Permanently Removed?

  • One cannot remove termites permanently, but one can adopt specific measures to prevent them from entering the house and damaging the wooden framework.
  • A skilled termite removal professional can better recognize and understand the termite behavior and manage the pest.
  • Based on the level of pest infestation, the skilled individual might use more than one approach to control the pest. He might also utilize specific apparatus and methods and do soil treatments to handle the pest.
  • Although skilled professionals do not advise home treatments to remove pests from home, there are certain tricks that one can try at home to get effective results for termite removal to some extent 10Eradication| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Some of the tips for termite removal are listed below-

Clove oil

  • Mix half a cup of water with 4 to 5 drops of clove oil and put it in a sprayer. Apply the mixture in the infested areas to destroy the termites quickly.

Orange oil

  • Orange oil possesses d-limonene as the active compound that effectively destroys the pest.
  • Apply diluted orange oil spray on the affected areas to control termites and other pests.

Neem oil

  • Neem oil is an insect repellent that kills mosquitoes, bed bugs, and wood insects.
  • Apply neem oil on the wooden framework’s interior to destroy the termites without any detrimental effects.

White vinegar

  • Prepare a mixture by adding lemon juice (14 mL) and white vinegar (5 mL) with 100 milliliters of water and apply it to the termite-affected house area.

Boric acid

  • Boric acid is a strong chemical that destroys the pest’s nervous system and is very effective in getting rid of termites, including other pests.

Table salt

  • Mix salt in water and put the salty water in a spray bottle. Spray it in the affected areas of the house to dry out the termites to kill them and eventually get rid of the notorious termites.

Petroleum jelly

  • One can use Petroleum jelly to eradicate the termites.
  • Petroleum jelly has phenol that chokes the termites and ultimately makes them die.

Hot air treatment

  • Apply hot air in the affected termite-infested area for around 30 minutes to enhance the temperature and destroy the termite pest effectively 10Eradication| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Preventing Termite Outbreaks

Some tips to alleviate termite outbreaks are listed below-

  • Enclose the wooden structures in the new building
  • Erect an obstruction between wood and soil in the new building
  • Keep a proper drainage system in the house area
  • Prevent water accumulation around the house area
  • Preserve the house exterior and repair any cracks immediately if they appear.
  • Plant trees a little away from the house
  • Avoid piling wood near the house area
  • Hire an individual to check termites or their wood perforation frequently 8Prevention| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Frequently Asked Questions About Termites

Q. What makes termites enter the home?

  • Termites feed on the wood and take shelter in the houses and other constructions for easy food.
  • It empties the wood’s interior structure, making it uneven and unsafe.

Q. What happens if termite bites you?

  • Termites are not germ-carrying insects and have small jaws with low biting capability, so if a termite bites a human, there will be only a mild rash, which clears up within a day or two.

Q. Do termites make you itch?

  • Yes, termite bite might be itchy with mild skin redness and irritation. However, the bites are non-hazardous and do not cause any illness in normal adults, but there is the possibility of getting a sensitivity reaction in some sections of people.

Q. How do we get rid of termites naturally?

  • Individuals can eliminate the termites by constituting an obstruction to prevent the termite entry into the house’s wooden structure or by capturing them.
  • Hire a skilled pest removal individual to remove home termites and prevent further deterioration.
  • Individuals might give chemicals over the overall house and treat the affliction.
  • However, termites might reenter the house, so one must inspect the area periodically and keep it enclosed and moist-free to prevent the termites from further entering 9FAQs| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Termites Bite: Visit a Doctor if Symptoms Persist

It is unusual for humans to get a termite bite, but it can happen sometimes. Termites dwell in moist, gloomy habitats and feed on wood and decaying plant materials. Any perceptible bite is from an unusual insect rather than termites. Scrutinize the bug bite area and try to handle it with home remedies. However, if the symptoms do not subside with time and only worsen, visit the health professional immediately for appropriate treatment.

Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

Related Articles

subscribe drcure
subscribe drcure
Thanks for subscribing
Look out for our email. Follow our social pages