What do termites eat? Probably most anything

Jul 19, 2019, 12:00 PM by John Rodden
Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. each year, due to their voracious wood-based diets. You might wonder: Why do termites even eat wood in the first place?

Cellulose. It’s the common organic compound found in plant materials like cotton, paper, and wood. Termites can break down the cellulose fibers found in wood and derive much-needed nutrients. They are one of the few creatures that relies on wood as a primary food source. 

The National Pest Management Association’s NPMA PestWorld has launched an interesting series of short videos titled “Will They Eat It?” Termites were featured in the first episode. Watch the video

Clark, your neighborly pest control and termite expert, would like to make you aware of what types of food could attract termites to your home. What cellulose entrees might be on a termite’s menu? 

Books: In the same way that termites can destroy a home from the inside out, they can take down a dictionary from A to Z while leaving the cover intact. 

Fast food: Whether it’s the paper packaging or the cellulose-infused food, termites will make fast work of fast food if given the chance. The abundance of cellulose makes greasy burgers just as appetizing to termites as they are to humans. 

Headphones: Think your gadgets are safe? Termites will chew through the outer fabric of headphones and the plastic coating on wires in search of any cellulose used in their construction. These silent destroyers can wreak havoc to any household — out of sight and out of earshot. 

Paper Money: Hiding money around the house isn’t the best way to save some cash. Paper money is rich in cellulose, and termites will quickly blow through a roll of bills if given the chance. 

Shoes: Termites will strip the cotton fabric from a canvas shoe — even down to the laces. Termites will seek out any item containing cellulose, not just wood. Run to a pest professional if you suspect a termite infestation! 

Towels: The phrase “you are what you eat” certainly rings true when it comes to termites. After chewing through dyed cotton, termites may show the color of the dye they consumed through their pale-colored bodies. 

Call or text Clark at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) if you suspect your home might have hungry termites. You can also email us at clarkcares@clarkpest.com for more information. 

You also should ask about Clark’s exclusive Termite Infestation Program (T.I.P.), which is designed to cover your home from future infestations and damages from both subterranean and drywood termites. A full inspection must be performed to make sure your home qualifies, and then for a small monthly fee, you can avoid costly out-of-pocket expenses for treatment and repairs, giving you not only peace of mind, but saving you money and headaches. 

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.