Termites are a nightmare to deal with, and to make matters worse, some people can develop serious allergies in response to the byproducts that they produce.
If you’ve been feeling sick lately and you’ve recently noticed some wings or frass on your house, then it might be time to consider the possibility of a termite allergy.
5 Termite Allergy Symptoms
Here are the top five symptoms of a termite allergy.
- Excessive coughing or sneezing
- Asthmatic episodes or difficulty breathing
- Irritation of the skin or itchiness
- Tearing up
- Red spots on the skin
As you can see, termites can do a lot more than just damage to your home. Some of these symptoms, especially asthma-related issues, are serious and should be addressed with medication or a visit to your physician.
The rest of this article will walk you through how to diagnose termite allergies and other conditions.
1. Coughing or Sneezing
If you’re wondering why your pollen allergies seem to have kicked off at the wrong time, then it might be worth considering whether it might be related to termite allergies.
Termites produce a byproduct of wood called frass when they feed, which can cause irritation when breathed in. Their waste products are also hazardous to humans.
If you have termites somewhere along your air duct, it’s quite likely that your first warning sign of a termite infestation will be someone coughing or sneezing in response to an irritant like frass or termite droppings.
2. Asthma or Difficulty Breathing
Respiratory issues as a result of the distribution of frass or waste products via the air ducts in your home will usually be worse if you have asthma. You may notice a tightening of the chest or increased difficulty breathing in response to the irritants in the air.
Termites can also create conditions leading to mold, which are toxic when inhaled. Mold can cause a variety of respiratory issues, compounding the nightmare of having termites in your home.
3. Irritation of the Skin
Exposure to allergens or irritants can cause the skin to be inflamed. With sensitive skin (or a particularly ill-placed colony of termites), rashes may form, causing red patches to form on the skin.
Dermatitis can occur within 24 hours of exposure to the irritant and generally begins when irritants in the air land on your skin.
4. Tearing Up
The eyes are a very sensitive part of the body, and although you may not notice it directly, frass and termite waste products can cause some irritation in your eye, causing you to tear up.
Even if you don’t have termite allergies, odds are that frass in your home will lead to some degree of eye irritation. For those who are allergic to termites, it’s likely that the tearing up will be accommodated by itchy skin, red spots forming on the body, and coughing or sneezing.
5. Red Spots on the Skin
A lot of other symptoms of termite allergy might easily be explained away as seasonal allergies or even just the common cold, but if you start developing a rash or red spots in response to a termite infection, it’s likely that you are allergic.
The red spots are caused by dermatitis and can cause rashes and itchiness all over the body. You’re also more likely to start coughing and sneezing if the allergen gets in your airways.
Dealing with Termite Allergies
In most cases, termite allergies are mild. Annoying, but not life threatening. Allergic reactions to termites or mold produced by termites can generally be addressed with a decongestant prescribed by your doctor.
If you have an asthmatic reaction to termite allergies, take quick action to purge the termites from your home quickly.
Difficulty breathing and tightness in the chest are extremely uncomfortable and can be dangerous. Anaphylaxis, a condition causing a sudden drop in blood pressure and a closing-off of the airways, is life-threatening.
If you have a history of anaphylactic reactions to allergens, take extreme precautions and ensure that you have an Epi-Pen on hand just in case.
Termites can take a long time to deal with properly, and if you don’t even know that you have an issue, allergenic symptoms can linger for a long time before you diagnose termites as the cause.
In general, termites cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and respiratory system through a byproduct of their feeding (frass), as well as the waste that they produce.
You may develop dermatitis, itchiness, or red spots on the skin in response to a termite allergy. If you’re coughing, sneezing, and tearing up in your home, then it’s quite possible that termites have made themselves at home in your air ducts.
Perhaps most dangerous, termite allergies can cause your airways to close up, creating uncomfortable and even severe health concerns.