You know termites eat wood but what kinds of wood and what other materials do they eat to cause thousands of dollars in damage to homes every year? Termites aren’t craving the wood; they want the cellulose from the wood. Cellulose is a biological compound found in wood, primarily in wood and tree roots.


What specific types of wood do termites eat? While some are natural resistant, the majority aren’t off limits once they begin to decay. Cedar is one of those naturally resistant woods, but once the wood begins to break down the resinous decay becomes very attractive to termites. Redwood is similar and has a similar initial effect and wards off termites, but over time, its resin seeps into the ground and luring termites. Cypress is another naturally deterring tree during its lifespan.

  • Bamboo is one of the few types of woods that will not be eaten by termites. Pressure-treated lumber is also a termite repellent due to the chemicals used to prevent decay. The wood preserving agent used to stop decay acts as blockade against termites. If plywood is not treated, termites will find the cellulose and begin feasting. OSB (oriented strand board) is another wood that is not likely to be eaten by termites due to being cement-bonded for extra durability. Painted wood is fortunately not attractive to termites. However, if it is not painted well or if the pieces of wood inside the ground are bare, termites will make their way inside.

  • Sheetrock isn’t necessarily attractive to termites, but the paper that lines the front of sheetrock is composed of cellulose. Termites eat the outer layer and begin their search inside for more cellulose.


Bottom line, termites will feast on any item or particle made up of cellulose. By doing a few home maintenance items such as keeping wood painted, you can better protect against an infestation in the future.

Contact Terminator Termite & Pest Control, 479.783.6200, for all your termite prevention needs or if you believe you already have an infestation a pest control expert can develop a plan that is right for you.