Do Termites Eat Wood

Do Termites Eat Wood?


Known as silent destroyers, termites can damage wood and can take your house down without you noticing. Termites can silently attack your attic, walls, basement, ceiling, or anywhere wood is present.

You can never tell that wood has been destroyed by termites unless you open it to reveal the terrible damage.

This article will help you get to know what a termite is and how you can prevent wood damage because of termite infestation.

What do termites eat?

Termites are hungry for cellulose. This is the most abundant organic compound in nature and is the material that makes up plants as well as most of the things we use every day.

Termites feed on different materials like paper products, plant byproducts, and wood just to extract cellulose. Termites turn cellulose fibers into a nutritious material that they can eat all year round.

Subterranean termites prefer to eat soft fibers of Springwood. Wood eaten by subterranean termites will become like a honeycomb with sections that may contain dirt and fecal materials.

On the other hand, drywood termites love to eat dry wood like the wood found in most homes, wooden furniture and wooden floors. These termites do not make contact with the soil. They get water from the wood where they reside and eat.

Compared to subterranean termites, wood damaged by drywood termites looks smooth. There are also dampwood termites that like to eat dead or decaying tree stumps and logs. This kind of termite does not infest homes and buildings.

How quick can termites eat wood?

At the rate a single termite eats wood; it could ace one termite 3,144 years to eat the wood in a 1,000-square-foot home. But don’t celebrate yet, termites don’t live alone and can infest wood together in a colony.

The most common species of termite in the United States is the eastern subterranean termite. This type of termite prefers to live underground in soil and create mud tubes so they can easily move about. This species of termite live in colonies and the number of termites in one colony can be up to 15,000,000. A termite colony can survive for years.

A single termite worker can live for about two years. The total amount of wood consumed in a day for one termite is not very much but when these attack wood as a colony then you will surely find significant damage. Termites often hide when they attack a home.

You may think that your home looks fine and pristine but as the days, months and years pass by, the damage made by a termite colony would be so huge.

Termites eat slowly but with insatiable hunger at the wood inside your home. Termites can cause severe damage to structural integrity. The rate of destruction of wooden furniture depends on the type of wood and how many termite colonies are present.

Termite damage to property

It is very difficult to determine just how much damage to property a termite infestation can give. There are factors to consider like the value of the home, the part of the home or area of the home that was damaged and the severity of the damage. The only one that can help you determine the actual damage termites have inflicted in your home is a professional pest control expert.

The most vulnerable areas in your home

You can count on termites to attack any structure in your home that is made of wood. It is also any wood that was not treated by chemical to control termites. This includes slab foundations, any wood that touches the dirt in the home and inaccessible crawlspaces that are susceptible to termites.

Preventing termite damage in a home

There are numerous termite control chemicals available. You can use termite bait or liquid treatments to prevent termites from getting into your home and causing a lot of damage. The best course of action is to contact a professional.

If you have a wooden home or most of your home’s foundation is made of wood then you must act fast. If your home is untreated, there is a huge chance this may be infested with termites.


Termites eat wood for its cellulose content. This material is transformed into a nutritious meal by termites to feed their young and for energy to eat more wood. If a termite infestation is left unchecked, you may find significant damage. It’s best to act fast and contact a professional right away.

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