Growing up, I lived in a sprawling farmhouse in the country. This beautiful home was constantly filled with the sounds of laughter and the smells of delectable food being prepared in the kitchen. Unfortunately, our home was often invaded by some unwanted guests, ants. Pesky ants would welcome themselves into our living room, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, and bathrooms. One night, I crawled into my bed only to discover I wasn’t alone. Ants had somehow climbed onto my bed! These destructive ants even ate holes in some of the clothing hanging in my closet. Is your home filled with unwanted, biting ants? On this blog, you will discover the latest methods pest control specialists use to rid homes of pesky ants.
When people think about a termite infestation, they think about the damage that termites can do to their homes, because termites eat wood. But termites can also cause health problems, particularly to the lungs. Termites, through their habits, can spread mold throughout your home, which can easily get into your lungs. If you (or a family member) have a chronic lung condition, it is very important that you know the dangers of termites and the mold they can spread, and what to do if someone gets ill. Here's what you need to know.
Termites need water, which can contribute to mold growth
Termites, like most other living creatures, need water. Not only does it help them stay hydrated, it also helps them to chew wood and make pulp from it, which is how they pack the sides of the tunnels they use to travel from deep underground to your home. Unfortunately, whenever there is a constant source of moisture, including from chewed up wood pulp from termites, there is a huge risk of mold growth.
As termites move through the home, they tend to drag mold spores with them. Any time the mold spores get kicked up, such as when the heating, air conditioning, and/or ventilation systems kick on, the spores can easily travel through the air.
Mold can get into your lungs & may cause an aspergillosis
With mold spores traveling through the air inside your home, you and your family members are at risk of breathing the mold spores into your lungs. The mold spores can grow inside your lungs and cause an infection or an allergic reaction called aspergillosis. Typically, people with healthy lungs and immune systems don't tend to develop aspergillosis. It mostly affects people with weak immune systems and poor lung health, such as those who have conditions like asthma, emphysema, and cystic fibrosis.
There are several types of aspergillosis: pulmonary, invasive, and allergic bronchopulmonary. The one main concern about allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is that the symptoms of it mimic symptoms of asthma and cystic fibrosis, which can make it difficult to detect. The symptoms of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis that mimic cystic fibrosis include coughing up mucus or blood, and increased mucus secretions. Symptoms that mimic asthma include wheezing and exercise-induced asthma.
Aspergillosis is diagnosed through medical tests that include skin and blood tests, chest X-rays, CAT scans, lung biopsy, and sputum culture. However, unless the individual or his or her family member is concerned about the possibility of their symptoms being caused by something else, aspergillosis may go undetected.
Treatment is necessary for the patient and the home
Aspergillosis can be treated successfully with medication, but sometimes surgery is necessary to remove the mold spores from the lungs. When aspergillosis is not caught soon enough or it is misdiagnosed, it can be quite serious and, unfortunately, can lead to death, because it can cause the lungs to fill with blood and lead to suffocation.
For this reason, it is vital that you regularly inspect your home for signs of a termite infestation and/or mold growth, especially when you or someone in your family has a chronic lung condition such as asthma or cystic fibrosis. If someone does develop aspergillosis, you'll need to treat the house and property to remove the termites and mold.
After the house is treated and the termites and mold are gone, have the pest control service return at regular intervals in the future to inspect your home for subsequent infestations. The frequency of this will depend largely on your area and how common (or not) termite infestations are in your neighborhood.