Does the lowly termite have a palate? People have their favorite foods… as do our pets. But does it hold true for termites? Is there a specific termite wood that they consider a delicacy? It would probably be a good thing to know, especially if you suspect the presence of termites in your house.
Termites will eat most types of wood, and most wood attracts their attention. Once a suitable food source has been identified, termites will set about making a feast of it. But they do prefer some types of wood over others. Any wood with high moisture content or signs of decay will usually top their list.
Agricultural Research Service entomologists Mary L. Cornelius and Weste L. Osbrink have been researching the termite diet as part of their research to develop termite-resistant structures. According to their research, termites found southern yellow pine and spruce the most palatable and teak the least palatable. Spruce is a softwood along with pine, pine, yew, cedar, and other evergreen or coniferous trees. Teak is a hardwood from deciduous trees – specifically a tropical hardwood. Softwoods are typically used as a building material, while hardwoods (like teak, maple, oak, walnut, etc.) are used for high-quality cabinetry and furniture.
Surprisingly, there are a few kinds of woods that can actually kill termites. In Dr. Cornelius’ research, when given no choice in diet except for one variety of wood for six weeks, six types of wood — redwood, Brazilian jatoba, Peruvian walnut, Honduran mahogany, Alaska yellow cedar, and teak — showed varying levels of natural resistance and produced termite mortality rates of 75 percent.
Pressure-treated wood and plywood resist moisture, which may provide a slight edge over regular wood in terms of attracting termites. However, that moisture resistance may only last as little as a year, or even less, which means pressure-treated plywood and lumber are not reliable deterrents to termites.
Termites cannot eat concrete, but all concrete eventually cracks. A termite only needs a crack about the thickness of a business card to gain entry to your home and any delicious woods contained within.
As you would imagine, termite-proof building materials are mostly those that are not wood… such as:
However, using any of these termite-resistant materials does not guarantee immunity because – as we noted – termites can still use a crack to get into your house to find any wood beams or similar items. Regular inspections and maintenance programs are essential. There are also a number of actions the homeowner can take to deter termites.
Worried that termites have taken up residence in your home? Want to avoid potential termite damage? Thankfully we have what termites crave the most, and it’s in our Sentricon bait system! And once they get a taste of it, the whole colony goes down.
Call Fox Pest Control for a free, zero-obligation estimate. We will be at your home promptly to provide the services you need! To get started, Contact us today!
*Call us today before 2 p.m. (Monday-Friday) for a same day, zero-obligation inspection and estimate or to provide Connecticut pest control & extermination services near you.