Termite infestation is perhaps a homeowner’s biggest nightmare. Termites are insects that feed on plant-based food. As they grow in colonies, they can spread rapidly, and in great numbers, which is why curbing their growth is very challenging.
A commonly found and most popular source of food for termites is wood. Your furniture, flooring and other wooden structures are all vulnerable to attack by termites. Considering that an average female termite can live up to 50 years, termites need robust extermination efforts.
Termite damage to the property is expensive to treat, especially since they tend to get ignored. However, while most people are aware of how termites cause monetary loss, its ramifications on health are largely ignored.
How are termites dangerous for human health?
The presence of termites itself is not dangerous for humans. They are more involved in finding themselves food, and human flesh is not a source of nutrition for them. They do not carry any toxic material on them. Their bite also does not have any toxins or otherwise serious chemicals in it.
However, their presence causes mostly secondary complications that are dangerous for human health.
Termite Droppings or Saliva
While termites do not release any poisonous substance, however, their pellets or droppings might induce allergic reaction. These are wood colored and are also known as frass. Like the pellet, termite saliva is also dangerous.
They both can cause contact dermatitis. It manifests in the form of a red rash, followed by severe itching. However, only the particular area that got exposed shows the sign of rash.
Similarly, contact with termite excretion also causes allergic reactions. Repeated exposure to the allergens can lead to greater risk of inflammation and other similar issues.
If you have had an episode of termite attack, and are experiencing such skin conditions, it is best to contact a doctor right away. Consult a dermatologist in Lahore and be sure to inform them of the termite situation as that is extremely important background information for sound diagnosis.
Mold and subsequent complications
Termites do not just cause trouble themselves; they bring with them other sorts of nuisances too. Termite infestation leads to the occurrence of mold. A type of fungus, its spores suspend in air and settle on surfaces, including skin.
Fungal infections can ensue as a result of this mold. For people already suffering from asthma, it causes severe reaction and makes their symptoms worse. Research has shown that early childhood exposure to mold can lead to the development of asthma.
Other symptoms of fungal infections include watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezing and similar respiratory problems. Moreover, it also causes dry skin.
Some people with strong immune systems are still better equipped to deal with fungal infections. However, others are at a great risk; immunocompromised individuals are not able to defend their bodies against these fungal infections.
Likewise, those with a family history of asthma, or have a history of allergies, or have lung disease, chronic or otherwise, are more susceptible to suffering from mold infections. Hence, if you are suffering from mold related respiratory issues, contact a Pulmonologist in Lahore to get this issue sorted out before it progresses further.
Potential harm from the pesticides
Many people fail to realize how powerful the pesticides are and do not account for its harmful effects on their health. The chemicals present in the pesticides to kill the termites are very toxic.
The symptoms of pesticide exposure include irritation to the eyes, weakness, nausea, dizziness, headaches etc. In chronic cases, it also leads to liver and kidney damages. Therefore, it is vital to wait out the pesticide spray and move into the house only when it has been completely dissipated. This timeline varies from brand to brand, however, the container should mention the amount of days necessary for complete dissipation.
Also, it is highly not recommended to take on the task of extermination by oneself. Call on professionals who have sufficient protective gear and use only the approved chemicals to clear away the termites.
Structural issues that put human health into peril
Termites can eat away at the wood and make it extremely weak. Therefore, all wooden structures like walls, foundations, roofs etc. made of wood and similar plant-based material and have been attacked by termite, are not safe anymore.
Therefore, these structures put people’s lives into peril as the integrity of the structure gets compromised. They thus carry the danger of collapsing anytime. Such buildings and places need to be vacated immediately.
Likewise, some termite bite through the protective layering that surrounds the electric wires. This thus causes the great danger of electrocution, which can even lead to death in certain circumstances.
The biggest issue with termites is that they can grow and grow, unbeknownst to the residents of the place. Hence, it is vital to be extremely vigilant about your homes. Watch out for the mold. Do not ignore any respiratory issues that do not have a logical reasoning otherwise. If you live in an area that is susceptible to termite attack, then perhaps it is best to have yearly inspections from experts.
Catching termites early on is the key, in order to not just save money but health as well. However, it is also perhaps the most difficult part in this entire ordeal.