Termites are the most feared household pests. They are known to cause damage that they can do to homes. Termites are detritivores or detritus feeders who live and feast on wood, causing extensive damage to properties.
We all know that termites eat wood, but how do they get the nutrients to survive?
Let’s understand the diet of termite and their wood preferences according to the termite species.
Wood Preferences of Termites
Termites feast on wood because they get cellulose that keeps them alive. Cellulose is one of the most common and important organic compounds found in abundance in nature. It is also the building block of plants. You can find cellulose in wood, cardboard, grass, paper, cotton, and much more. Therefore, apart from devouring wood, you can also see termites tunneling holes in books or cardboard boxes to access the source of cellulose.
That said, it is interesting to know that not all termites prefer the same type of wood. Different termite species seek out different wood varieties. Let’s take a look at the wood preference of termites.
- Subterranean: These termite species are picky eaters. They prefer to feed on softwood, leaving the harder wood behind. Their love for softwood forms a distinct “honeycomb” pattern. They prefer wood that is already damaged. You may see dirt and droppings within the galleries. One of the common signs of a Subterranean termite infestation is seeing mud tubes. Subterranean termites tend to live underground, and therefore, they depend on the soil to get moisture. When Subterranean termites go in search of a food source, they create mud tubes to maintain a connection to the soil.
- Drywood: The name of this termite species speaks for itself. Drywood termites eat dry hardwood, which is often found in manmade structures such as furniture, wooden cabinets, structural timbers, door and window frames, and floors. Drywood termites also feast on softwood. The damage caused by Drywood termites is difficult to detect as they leave behind a smooth appearance. Moreover, they do not maintain any contact with the soil, so no mud tubes are seen.
- Dampwood: Dampwood termites seek out wood that is decayed, moist, and rotting. They love to live and feed on old rotting tree stumps, old woodpiles, rotting logs, and any wood that has begun to rot. While buildings are not commonplace for Dampwood termites, they will not hesitate to invade if they find moisture damage in the premises.
Tips to Prevent Termites from Eating wood
- Reduce humidity and moisture in your home
- Prevent contact of wood from the soil in your property
- Always keep your furniture clean and dry
- Remove old, rotting, and untreated wood around your house
- Watch out for early signs of termite infestation.
Termites can invade, infest and damage your property without your knowledge. Before you know, the damage done is huge, and the repair cost will burn a hole in your wallet. If you identify any early signs of termite infestation, contact a certified pest control company to address your termite problems immediately. Also, consider year-round termite inspection to prevent any infestation and keep your home safe from termites and other pests.