A termite invasion is never a welcome sight for any homeowner. This problem has been present for as long as humans have been living in houses, and it continues to be prevalent today. The hostile relationship between termites and humans is evident because of the number of methods we’ve developed to kill or repel these insects. Still, termites manage to invade our homes and do damage. To avoid this, we need to be aware of what termites eat in our home, as it attracts them the most.
The general answer is that termites eat anything that contains cellulose. This is mainly found in wood, grass, leaves, and most other vegetative materials, so expect any wooden materials in your house to be munched on in the presence of termites. But it’s limited there. To learn what things in your house are being preyed on by termites, keep reading!
Since they’re more vulnerable, let’s start with things that you may find in your front or backyard. Unattended wood piles are neon signs for nearby termites that food is plentiful. Leaving a wood pile outside for a long time will most likely attract termites. And since they’re already near your home, there’s no stopping them from going the extra mile (or a few feet in human terms) and settling down in your house.
Mulch may be good for gardening, but it’s also a big cellulose buffet for termites. This could turn into a termite haven quickly. And many people let their garden mulch directly touch their house, giving the termites direct access to all the cellulose-rich parts of your household. If they reach your house’s walls, it would be no problem for them to slip through small cracks and crevices and make a nest in your wooden walls.
A large majority of furniture is made of wood. If not, it would at least have wooden parts that termites could feast on. If left unchecked, drywood termites can penetrate deep into the wood and cause enough damage that the piece of furniture will be unusable. You can see the first signs of termite infestation if you find powdered wood around furniture. It should be a warning sign that you need to take care of the infestation before they cause more massive damages.
The type of roofing you have can be a huge factor in the severity of the termite infestation. Although it’s rare, a wooden roof would obviously suffer the most from the onslaught of termites. Most modern roofs still use wood as foundations, which means it is still vulnerable. Once termites start eating the wood on your roof, it could cause leaks, holes, or if the damage is too extensive, complete collapse.
Also, if the roof touches some low-hanging branches from nearby trees, termites could use that as a bridge to invade your home.
In some parts of the world, it is common for houses to have unfurnished basements. These basements are almost always made of wood, and it holds moisture very well. That fact makes it more vulnerable to termite infestation, especially to subterranean termites. This could cause a bigger problem when the termites start eating important structural support for the house. If you spot some mud tubes in your basement, then you should start doing what you can to repel or exterminate the termites before the infestation spreads.
One of the best ways to prevent termites from eating your roofing or basement
Books, being made of paper that was once wood, are prime targets for cellulose-hungry termites. Widespread termite infestation is a book collector’s nightmare. Once a termite colony has made your house their home, they will most likely eat your books or other papers. Paper is basically a thinner version of wood, a thinner cellulose source, that termites could devour easily. Think of them like potato chips for termites. As long as termites are in the house, your books are not safe.
You may not be aware of this, but some clothing materials also have cellulose. Fabrics such as cotton and linen can fall victim to termites if they happen to chance upon them. These insects can eat clothes if they wanted, but they are not part of their main diets. So if you find holes in your clothes, termites shouldn’t be the first thing that you suspect.
Now that you know what termites eat, you’re more aware that the things in your house, be it furniture, books, or even clothes, are not completely safe from getting eaten. The risk of these items, or even the entire house, getting hopelessly damaged beyond repair should be enough to motivate you to call for professional help.
Thankfully, you’re already in the right place! We at Topbest have substantial experience in dealing with all sorts of pest infestations, especially termites! We have been the most trusted pest solutions provider in the Philippines for almost two decades! If you need help with your termite infestation, contact us for a free consultation!