Learning About Termites’ Behavior & What Types of Wood They Prefer

Termites are insects that commonly eat our wooden homes and possessions. However, there are different kinds of termites and some are attracted exclusively to certain types of wood. Knowing this is crucial if you have a termite infestation.

Having a termite pest is pretty frustrating and upsetting. Getting rid of them is the first step, but something that goes hand-in-hand with this is learning about termites’ behavior, why they choose certain types of wood to infest, and what is immune to them.

A Glendale pest control company shares below what types of wood termites prefer and which ones they ignore.

Termite damage in a house in Arizona

Why Do Termites Eat Wood?

Although many people think termites eat wood, what they eat is cellulose, the nutrient they convert to energy to stay alive. Wood is a good source of cellulose, which is why it tends to be the best target for termites.

Can They Smell Wood?

Termites have a response to chemical odors, so yes, they do smell wood. Anything plant-based offers a positive chemical response to termites, so it will draw their attention. They are often looking for additional food sources.

How Do They Eat Wood?

Termites may be small compared to other bugs, but they have extremely strong mandibles. They use the mandibles as pliers, hydraulic jaws, and scissors to scrap across the wood in many directions. This process softens the small area they are eating, splintering the wood into small fragments so they can digest them more easily.

The fragments must be soft and pliable enough to break off. This way, the termite can swallow the resulting fragments. These fragments will make their way to the termites’ guts.

Termites are strong and difficult to eradicate without professional help. Contact a Gilbert pest control company if you have termite pests at home.

Do Termites Prefer all Kinds of Wood?

Wood is the most popular food for termites, but they eat many things. As for wood, some appeal to them more than others.
Termites will primarily look for non-live wood because they are attracted to cellulose in dying vegetation. Some termites prefer live trees, although they may not be a problem for your house (they are not common in neighborhoods).

What Wood Do Termites Prefer?

  • Untreated Softwood – It is attractive for termites, especially springwood.
  • Untreated Hardwoods – For the same reasons as softwood, although they prefer the later one.
  • Gumtree – Termites prefer gumtree because it is their natural habitat.
  • Dry, smooth wood – Hardwood floors, banisters, wainscoting, and wood furniture are attractive food sources for many termites.
  • Particle board – If you have damp and swollen boards, be careful! It is attractive to certain termites.
  • Paper-based materials – Plasterboard lining papers are also attractive to termites.

What Wood Do Termites Like But Do Not Prefer?

These are secondary wood types termites like. They still prefer the ones we mentioned before, but you should still keep an eye on these wood types. Do not forget to contact licensed pest services in Queen Creek if you have a termite infestation at home.

  • Cedarwood – It is not their first choice, but termites will succumb if it’s old enough and they don’t have other food sources.
  • Cypress tree wood – This wood contains a natural resistance to termites, especially bark and heartwood.
  • Redwood – It also has a natural deterrent to termites.
  • Teak – Another common termite-resistant wood
  • Plywood – Termites can also infest this wood unless it has been pressure treated.

What Type Of Wood Is Not Targeted By Termites?

  • Bamboo – Termites are not attracted to bamboo. Many experts think it is because the brittle outer shell is a natural deterrent for termites and they prefer easier meals.
  • OSB – It is heavily fragmented with wood strands, so termites would not target it.
  • Pressure Treated Lumber – It has many preservatives, anti-pesticides, and antifungal components. Therefore, termites will not eat it.

Do Termites Only Eat Wood?

Unfortunately, no. They are on the search for cellulose, so they will eat anything with it. Wood and other plant-based components have this nutrient.

Cellulose is present in many foods we eat, including corn, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, etc. Plus, it is a basic building block for many plants. In short, termites can also eat numerous plants and vegetables.

Top-Rated Pest Services In Phoenix

At Varsity Termite & Pest Control we can guarantee a termite-free environment thanks to our years of experience. We make accurate judgments to use the best treatments so you do not stress with termites anymore.

If you are looking for termite specialists, contact us today. We will be happy to help!

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Published By:
Varsity Termite and Pest Control – Gary Dobert
6056 E Baseline Rd #122
Mesa, AZ85206

Office: 602-757-8252
Email: service@varsitytermiteandpestcontrol.com
Website: https://varsitytermiteandpestcontrol.com/

Gary Dobert

Gary is the co-owner of Varsity Termite and Pest Control, a family owned and operated company in Arizona with over 21 years of experience. They specialize in termite and scorpion control services.

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