Are you in the market for building a new home? Wood is an ideal building material. Though you may opt for a house dominated by concrete and steel structural elements, wood is still indispensable as a building material for cabinets, windows, doors, and ceilings. Moreover, wood is also used as scaffoldings and as a home’s framing. If you are concerned about these silent destroyers attacking your home, you may need to consider using specific wood species and building materials that termites hate. To maximize the advantages of wood as a building material for wooden structures, here are helpful tips on which species of wood that termites eating wood will avoid:
Which Species of Wood Does Termites Hate?
There are specific wood species that termites hate. Most of these species are hardwoods. However, not all hardwoods have a natural resistance to termites. For instance, oak wood is susceptible to termite attacks. For wood species that have excellent protection from termites, here are wood species you should consider as building materials, especially as structural timbers:
Besides being a tough hardwood, Redwood has a natural resistance to termites. Redwood also has excellent decay resistance due to dampness and moisture. Redwood is dense, which makes them difficult for termites to burrow into. Moreover, natural chemicals present in Redwood deter termites.
Termites don’t eat cypress heartwood. The softwood around the heartwood, though, isn’t resistant to termites. The density of the heartwood deters termites. Moreover, the heartwood has a scent that termites hate. The naturally-occurring chemical cypressene is also used as a coating for other types of wood that are not termite-resistant.
Though not technically a wood species, pressure-treated plywood contains chemicals such as Copper Azole, Alkaline Copper Quaternary, and Micronized Copper Azole, which make plywood resistant to termite attacks.
Unlike bamboo, which has almost three-quarters of cellulose in them, a substance termites consume, processed bamboo doesn’t have cellulose. To make processed bamboo, treatment with borate removes the cellulose present in bamboo. Moreover, borate repels termites.
Oriented Standard Board (OSB)
The cement used in bonding OSB panels together deters termites from eating them. The cement takes the moisture and cellulose away from the OSB, making these inedible for termites.
Most softwoods and some hardwood species don’t naturally resist termites. To prepare these types of wood for termite resistance, chemical preservatives are introduced through pressure treatment to force these deep into the wood. These chemicals reduce the moisture and cellulose content of the wood.
Specific Exotic Hardwood Species
The following species of hardwoods are dense or may contain natural chemicals that most termite species hate. However, most of these wood species are more expensive. However, these types of hardwoods are sought-after for being ideal materials for outdoor furniture, doors, cabinets, and house sidings:
- Walnut Wood
- Mahogany Wood (Genuine Mahogany)
- Brazilian Jatoba
Which Wood Materials Do Drywood Termites eat?
Typically, most softwoods in any form are susceptible to termite attacks, especially when untreated. Termites eat wood and digest cellulose to produce simple sugars as sustenance. These wood materials have either high cellulose content or are too thin to deter termites from drilling through. To ensure you can avoid termite infestations, you need to consider treating these materials before using them as building materials:
Pine and Spruce
Termites prefer pine wood as a food source. Along with spruce, these are the most favored woods by termites. To ensure avoiding termite attacks, you need to ensure that you buy only pressure-treated spruce or pine wood.
Medium Density Fireboard (MDF)
Though termites don’t eat MDF, they can easily cut through MDF while looking for other wood species they can consume. Though the binding material used to make MDF deters termites initially, the active chemicals wear out over time.
Particle boards are made of different species of woods, some of which are species that termites would eat. Moreover, particle boards absorb moisture, making them more attractive to termites as a food source.
Certain Painted Wood
Painting the wood can deter termites from eating wood from the surface. However, most paints can’t stop termites from attacking the wood from the inside or from underground. In most cases, painted stakes are undermined by termites eating from below. However, certain wood-preservative paints, such as Rust-Oleum, provide wood with some degree of termite resistance.
Some people may think termites eat wood and not bamboo because they are grass rather than wood. Unfortunately, untreated bamboo is almost 75% cellulose, which termites will consume quickly.
Dead Wood and Decaying Wood
Rotting wood piles are excellent food sources for dampwood termites. Moreover, a damp ceiling, for instance, in a bathroom, can harbor a termite colony. If you were to ask, does mulch attract termites? The answer is yes. However, subterranean termites use mulch as an ideal shelter where they can thrive rather than being food materials. Replacing decaying wood and spraying boric acid over your mulch can help deter termite infestation.
Signs That Wood Is Under Termite Attack
If you detect the following signs, these are apparent indications of termite problems:
- Swelling floor surfaces
- Hollow sound when tapping the wood
- Sawdust-like powder underneath infested wooden furniture and other wood pieces
- Tiny holes on the wood
- Mud tubes on the wood
- Discarded wings
- Presence of adult termites (living or dead termites)
Once you see these signs, substantial populations of termites live nearby. It is time to seek professional help to control the termite population. These signs on the wood may not be localized as much as a sign of a more severe case of an infestation on your property. In worst cases, termites can cause substantial structural damage to a wooden structure if left unabated.
Takeaways: Treated Wood and Selecting Specific Species of Wood With Natural Resistance To Termites Help Prevent Termite Infestation
Termites are resourceful creatures that have the instinct to spread. Selecting termite-resistant materials from day one is advisable to prevent spending substantial money on termite pest control and repairing termite damage. Though treating wood to make them termite resistant may cost more than using untreated wood materials, the possibility of termite attacks is a matter of when than if. Even with the best materials, there is always the risk of termites finding their way to your home, especially if you have cabinets, furniture, or any possible food sources in your home. If this should happen, you will need professional help. For help from Arizona’s most dependable experts in termite control, call us at (480) 359-9600. We are ready to receive your calls 24/7. We will send a pest control expert to assess your property and provide a quote for you, all for free. We will give you the best possible pest control treatment possible. If you have more questions about our services, such as what to do when you find termites, fill out the contact form on our contact us page.