We all know that termites love wood, and they can be incredibly destructive because of it.
However, there are many different types of foods that termites will eat other than wood. In fact, they are not very picky eaters and will consume a variety of materials. This can include anything from dead plants and leaves to cardboard and foam insulation.
As long as it is something that contains cellulose, termites will likely eat it! Knowing what these foods are can help you keep your home or business safe from these pests. Keep reading to learn more.
Termites are insects that are considered one of the most destructive in the world.
They are small, wingless insects that are often mistaken for ants. While they may resemble their more popular cousins, termites are actually quite different.
For one, termites live in large colonies that can number in the hundreds of thousands. They also have a diet that consists mostly of wood, which is why they are considered such destructive pests.
In fact, termite colonies cause billions of dollars in damage each year by eating away at the structural support of homes and buildings. While they are primarily found in warm climates, termites can be found all over the world.
Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire way to get rid of them once they’ve infested an area. The best defense against these voracious pests is to prevent them from getting access to your home in the first place.
What do termites eat? Mostly wood.
In the wild, termites break down dead wood and return its nutrients to the soil. Clearly, termites play a vital role in the health of both individual trees and entire forests. Unfortunately, their destructive habits often put them at odds with humans.
Dampwood termites are a type of wood-destroying insect that is attracted to moist wood. These termites are commonly found in areas with high humidity, such as near sources of water or in damp basements.
Dampwood termites typically live in colonies that consist of both winged and wingless adults, as well as nymphs and larvae. The winged adults, known as swarmers, are responsible for reproducing and starting new colonies. The wingless adults are responsible for feeding the colony. Nymphs and larvae are not yet capable of feeding themselves and must be cared for by the adults.
When colony founding occurs, the swarmers will mate and then shed their wings. The female will then find a suitable piece of damp wood and burrow into it. Once she has established a nest, she will begin laying eggs. The eggs will hatch and the nymphs will mature into wingless adults. These adults will then start to feed on the wood, slowly destroying it from the inside out.
Dampwood termites typically cause moderate to severe damage to structures made of wood. In some cases, they can even cause structural instability. If you suspect that you have dampwood termites in your home, it is essential to contact a professional exterminator immediately.
As their name suggests, drywood termites thrive in any type of wood that is dry. In fact, they are often attracted to wood that has low moisture content. This is because drywood termites need very little moisture to survive.
As a result, they are often found in types of wood that have been exposed to the elements, such as fence posts and decking boards.
Drywood termites are also attracted to wood that has been damaged by fire or water. This is because the damage can cause the dry wood to become even more dried out, making it an ideal habitat for these pests.
If you suspect that you have a drywood termite infestation, it is important to contact a pest control professional as soon as possible. These insects can cause serious damage to your home if left untreated.
Termite damage to wood can be difficult to spot, as the insects tunnel their way through the wood from the inside out. However, there are a few telltale signs that can indicate the presence of termites.
One is the presence of small pinholes in many types of wood surfaces. These holes are made by termites as they create passageways through the wood.
Another sign of termite damage is bumpy paint or wallpaper. This is caused by termites pushing against the surface from within their tunnels.
Additionally, termites can leave behind dented areas in wood, as their tunnels create weak spots. You might notice your hardwood floors buckling.
Finally, termites often leave behind narrow pathways of fine sawdust. These pathways can be a clue that termites are present and active in an area. You may notice mud tubes as they cause extensive damage to your home as well.
Because of this, property owners should take a rapid course of action to get rid of termites, no matter how small the infestation may seem.
Some common foods for termites are fruits, vegetables, and other plant matter. Termites need a constant source of food to survive, so they gravitate toward these types of food sources. If you have a termite problem in your home, it is important to be aware of these sources and take steps to protect your home from these insects.
Although wood is most commonly associated with termites’ diet, they are also attracted to the following foods.
In addition to wood, termites also consume plants, cardboard, paper products, fabric, carpet, and insulation. They will even eat books or cotton fabrics! The main reason these social insects prefer these materials is the substance cellulose, which is easy to consume and digest.
Cellulose fibers are found in plant cell walls and are a major component of wood. It is also present in lower concentrations in other materials such as cardboard, plywood, particle board, paper, and fabric. As a result, termites are able to extract a significant amount of nutrients from these materials.
While most termites feed on wood, some species of termite are known to prefer other food sources. For example, eastern subterranean termites and others feed primarily on softwoods such as pine, while the Formosan termite prefers hardwoods such as oak.
As a result, the diet of a given termite species can vary depending on the availability of food sources in its environment. This can make it extremely challenging to get rid of them.
The short answer is that termites are not harmful to humans, but they can cause significant damage to your property. Termites are small, wood-destroying insects that feast on cellulose-based materials like wood, paper, and cardboard.
Termites will rarely attack or bite a human. They are not venomous, nor do they transfer any diseases.
While they don’t directly threaten humans, their voracious appetites can wreak havoc on your home or business. Left unchecked, a termite infestation can destroy wooden structures and cause serious financial damage.
If you suspect you have a problem with active termites, it’s important to contact a professional exterminator to get rid of the problem. With prompt treatment, you can keep your property safe from these destructive pests.
While you may have known that termites enjoy eating wood, there are other common foods they love to snack on. If you’re looking to keep these pests away from your home, it’s important to understand what they like to eat and take preventative measures.
Most professional exterminators will use chemicals to rid your home of termites, and they’ll have the experience necessary to target the specific type of termite that is causing you and your family so many problems.
Remember—your home is an investment. Being proactive can help protect your investment and avoid costly repairs down the road.