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What Do Termites Eat

If you know one thing about termites it is probably the fact that they eat wood. While this is technically correct, more specifically termites are after cellulose.

So what is cellulose?

Cellulose is the hard, structural component of wood and is the most common organic compound on Earth. Termites will feed on almost any cellulose-containing material, including living and dead wood, twigs, roots, grass, and plant litter, paper, cardboard, fiberboard, and various types of fabric made of cotton and other plant-based materials.1

How do termites eat?

Termites eat wood and other cellulose materials by tearing off miniscule portions with their jaws (called mandibles). Worker termites ingest the portions of wood and share with other castes of the colony through a regurgitation process called trophallaxis.

Differentiating Termites by their Diet

One of the ways experts can tell the difference between species of termites is by their food preferences. Different termite species tend to gravitate toward areas with a specific type of wood. This can help a termite inspector determine the most effective course of action to treat your infestation. For example one of the major species of termite is the Drywood termite. From the name you can probably guess that Drywood termites tend to prefer dry wood, while species such as the dampwood termite, prefer moistened wood.

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