Do Termites Bite People?

Technically, yes. Termites can bite people. That being said, they don't have a reputation for doing so, which is why you don't hear much about termite bites being a major concern. In most cases, termites only bite other insects when being threatened and, of course, wood.


What happens if a termite bites you?

If you find yourself handling termites, there's a chance they can bite you. It's possible you might not even notice if a termite bites you. But like many insect bites, allergic reactions can range from mild to more critical. If you're bitten by a termite and experience difficulty breathing, swelling lips, dizziness or other similar symptoms, you should seek emergency care immediately, according to the Mayo Clinic.

What do termites look like?

If you or someone in your home has been bitten by an insect, it's most likely not a termite bite. However, regular bites could be caused by fleas, bed bugs or other pests. When trying to figure out the source of the bite(s), it might help to know what a termite looks like.

Termites can look different, depending on their species and role in the colony. For example, swarming termites — which are responsible for the reproduction of the colony — have wings, while soldiers or workers do not.

What damage do termites cause?

While you may not need to worry about getting bitten by termites, these insects can cause major structural damage to your home that can cost nearly $10,000 to treat and repair, on average.¹ In fact, termites cause more than $5 billion in damage every year.² To help avoid infestations and the potential significant expenses associated with them, it's crucial to take preventive steps by maintaining a regular termite control plan.

1 *Average repairs: $8,566 according to 2018 survey of independent contractors in the Terminix network. Estimated treatment: $1,419. Every home is different; repair and treatment costs may vary.

2 According to the National Pest Management Association, termites alone cause over $5 billion in property damage annually, a cost not covered by most homeowners insurance plans.