Why do Termites Eat Wood?

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Hub Mushroom Tree Termites Wood Nature Biology

Why do termites consume wood? Well, it’s pretty simple. The reason they pick wood is so that they can build their colonies. As long as the colony is intact, termites are happy. If you remove the wood from your home or property, you kill the colony, but the termites are unaffected.

It may seem like an easy question to answer, but it actually isn’t. In fact, it’s complicated to answer because there are so many different types of pests out there. The common termites are brought in from the woods to eat whatever wood they can find. These pests are commonly referred to as ‘soft-shelled pests because they tend to prey on softwood by sucking the sap off of it.

What’s so important to realize about the life cycle of a termite is that it only has one objective, and that is to reproduce. This is what causes them to seek out and destroy your houses and property. So, when you hear someone ask, ‘why do termites eat wood?’ it doesn’t necessarily mean the whole place has been destroyed. It means that the infestation has spread to other areas of your home or even your yard.

One of the most important reasons why do termites infamously hog what they eat is because cellulose is what makes up the majority of the material they construct. Wood is made up of cellulose. Now, don’t think that just because you hear the term ‘cellulose’ that it refers to anything positive. Cellulose is a very poor insulator of heat and is usually found in the cheaper woods.

Another reason why do termites love wood is because it makes for an effortless source of nutrients. Termites like to build underground tunnels to keep warm and also to collect food. Cellulose is the main component of such material and is what these creatures need in order to survive. In fact, termites that are found underground will rarely go outside unless there is a particular threat to their existence – such as a fire.

The last, and most important reason why do termites love wood is because wood acts as their ultimate defense against predators. Termites are a part of a community, and so when one part of their community suffers, they tend to take the brunt of the damage. This is where they get the ‘food’ for their survival. So, whether it’s termites eating wood, pests eating home furnishings, or rodents creating infestations inside homes, the end result is the same:

  • The loss of a valuable piece of equipment
  • The infestation of an unwanted pest or disease
  • The disruption of your way of life

However, for them, it is a source of nutrients, a home they can carve and survive. 

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