Termites are sometimes called a “silent destroyer” because they can secretly thrive in your home or yard without any immediate warning signs. Wood is the number one item on the list of things termites eat. This is due to the abundant amount of cellulose found in wood and wood materials, like tree roots.
Termites use cellulose as a fuel resource, so it’s easy to understand why these pests are drawn to it. But wood is just the start when it comes to these destructive pests with huge appetites! Here are ten surprising things termites eat.
Paper is made from wood and contains cellulose, making it a likely food source for termites. Unfortunately, many people learn this the hard way when their stash of favorite books in the attic are destroyed. Termites love paper nearly as much as they love wood.
One way to deter termites is by using pressure treated wood. The chemicals used to treat the wood make it less appealing. However, this preventative measure isn’t 100% effective to avoid termite damage.
Many homeowners are shocked to learn their drywall has sustained significant termite damage. Termites are notorious for eating the paper encasement that surrounds sheetrock. These destructive pests will continue to tunnel through your drywall in search of more cellulose that may be on the other side. As termites eat their way through the drywall, the integrity of the material is severely impacted, causing major damage.
Termites love cardboard. Their insatiable appetite for cellulose will show no discrimination when it comes to this common material. Like all paper materials and items, termites will devour as much as cardboard they can on their never-ending quest for fuel.
Cotton is another a surprising source of cellulose that termites eat. Nothing is more disappointing than to find your favorite curtains, tapestries, clothing, and other cotton-based favorites destroyed by these destructive invaders.
As disgusting as it sounds, termites eat fecal matter. When termites eat poop, they’re preparing their digestive systems for the wood they eat. The termite queen will feed the young her pheromone-laden poop to dictate which role they will grow into within the colony.
6. Particle Board
A number of different wood materials combine to make particle board. These include sawdust, wood chips, and other wood materials. Unfortunately, this makes a tasty treat for termites.
7. Hardwood Floors
Unfortunately, your beautiful, well-kept hardwood floors are no exception when it comes to things termites eat. They can destroy baseboards, furniture, and even banisters! This type of damage is generally from the drywood termite.
There are many misconceptions when it comes to concrete’s place on the list of things termites eat. Some people believe that termites eat through concrete to get to the wooden interior of a home.
Termites don’t actually eat concrete. However, they’re so small and so determined they can fit through tiny cracks in the concrete. This can make it appear as if they ate through the concrete to get inside.
9. Garden Mulch
As lovely as it makes your yard look, and regardless of the benefits mulch provides for plants, mulch is a high-ranking item on the list of things termites eat. To help protect your home, keep plants and mulch away from your foundation.
10. Regurgitated Meals
“Worker termites” have a special job in the colony. They regurgitate the cellulose from the wood they eat, so the other termites in the colony can feast on it.
Call the Professionals
Since termites don’t sleep, they’re constantly on the search for food to fuel them. While you can try to take steps to deter them from entering your home, sometimes it’s too late by the time you notice they’ve arrived. Scheduling a termite inspection is as easy as filling out a form. If you’re ready to learn how to protect your home from these silent destroyers, contact the professionals at Budget Brothers Termite and Pest Elimination today.