What do Termites Eat?

What do termites eat? Wood of course; but termites will eat it in any form—be it paper, books, or wood that has decayed. These items contain cellulose, which is transformed into nutrients that the termites need. Wood is ideal for their food, and soil is a great source of liquid for them. Wood is an easily digestible food for termites, and fungus found in rotten wood provides nitrogen, which is an essential component in their growth.

Termites also consume decayed plants. When possible, they also find a handy snack in such items as carpet, flooring, furniture, and window frames. Termites are most likely found chewing on these in urban settings.  Termites are known for their destructive capabilities. If a termite nest is left unchecked, the damage they do could literally bring a house down.

If even one termite finds a possible food source, it can be problematic because the termite can lead others to the food by leaving a scent trail. Evidence of a trail may not be visible to the human eye, as termites’ vision is limited and they rely more on other senses to track down food. The termites that are most often seen are worker termites, which are responsible for bringing food back to others. The worker termite does the most damage to structures.

Understanding the feeding habits of these pests may help in controlling them. Under the right circumstances, which consist mainly of ideal breeding grounds and adequate food sources, termites are able to start new colonies. It’s best to eliminate termites before a colony grows too large. Doing so can save a lot of time and money in the long run.