What type of wood do termites eat?

What type of wood do termites eat?

We’ve all heard the horror stories. Chomping sounds in the middle of the night. Walls that fall apart or collapse. Tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to a house you call home. The main character in the centre of this terror inducing tale is of course the humble termite.

Small in stature but big in the amount of damage they can do if left unchecked, termites damage and treatments costs Australians 3.9 billion (yes, with a B) every year.

It’s estimated that in the past 5 years over 650,000 homes have been infested with termites at some stage. Given the average suburb has around 650 dwellings in it, this means around 40 homes in the average Australian suburb will have issues with termites at some stage.

Now that we know the prevalence of termites is wide ranging in Australia, particularly in suburban areas and on the east coast, it’s important we also delve into how they damage homes and the types of woods and materials they eat.

What types of wood do termites like to eat?

We all know that termites like to munch on wood, but are they picky eaters or will they chow down on pretty much anything? The answer to this is yes, they will eat anything as long as it has one main ingredient; cellulose. Cellulose is the main ingredient of pretty much all plants including all the wood and wood products that have been used to make your home.

Cellulose can be found in wood, fibre, paper, cotton and pretty much anything that’s made from a plant. So your worst nightmares can come true in that termites will eat floorboards, bannisters, furniture and any other wood in your home that’s not treated.

They’re particularly fond of eucalyptus as this is their natural habitat (most didgeridoos are made from termite hollowed eucalyptus for example), but you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this as this type of wood is hardly ever used for construction as it twists and splits very easily.

Is there a type of wood termites don’t eat?

There are very few woods that termites won’t eat. The most common type of building material that termites will actively avoid is bamboo. It’s not that they won’t eat it, it’s the outer shell they find it difficult to get through to get into the inner cellulose rich part.

Wood that’s been pressure treated like treated pine or treated hardwood is also not likely to be attacked by termites however if the wood is very old and starts to decay, termites can and often do start making a meal out of it.

What to do if you’re concerned about termites

If you think you may have a termite problem, the best solution is to call in a professional termite pest control company. Not only will they conduct a thorough inspection of your home and surrounding land, they will report to you with what they’ve found and a plan with which to deal with any infestation issues.

If you would like to talk with Abolish Termite and Pest Control, please feel free to call us on 1300 057 067.


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Abolish Termite & Pest Management
Unit 4 / 54 Paisley Drive
Lawnton QLD 4501
Phone: 1300 057 067