Termites are often called the silent destroyers because they can damage your home without you noticing. Learn more about the types of wood termites eat.
Termites silently attack your basement, attic or any other part of your home where wood is present, without it showing immediate signs of damage. Your house provides the food, moisture, shelter and ideal temperature termites need to survive.
Here's what you need to know about a termite's favorite meal:
WHAT DO TERMITES EAT?
Termites seek out cellulose, the most plentiful organic compound found in nature. It is the main building block of plants and found in many materials humans use every day. Termites feed on many of these materials to get the cellulose they need: plants, plant byproducts, cotton fibers (your t-shirt, for example), paper products and, of course, wood.
WHY DO TERMITES EAT WOOD?
Termites eat wood to derive the cellulose and nutrients they need to live. Termites have protozoa and bacteria in their gut that allow them to break down the cellulose fibers in wood, which is difficult for other creatures to digest. These organisms turn those cellulose fibers into a nutritious meal and allow termites access to a food source that's largely ignored by other species.
WHAT TYPES OF WOOD DO TERMITES PREFER?
Subterranean termites like to eat the soft fibers of springwood and leave the harder summerwood behind. Wood eaten by subterranean termites resembles a honeycomb, and many of its galleries contain dirt and fecal particles.
Drywood termites seek out dry wood such as the wood in your home's framing, structural timbers, hardwood floors and furniture. They do not make contact with the soil and are able to glean the water they need directly from the wood they inhabit. When drywood termites are eating wood, the damage looks smooth.
Dampwood termites like moist wood and often can be found eating dead or decaying tree stumps and logs. They rarely infest buildings.
Do you think termites may be eating the wood in your house? Call Terminix today to schedule a termite inspection.