What Wood Will Termites Not Eat?

Home-invading termites prefer soft, rotting, or fungus-infested wood with high moisture content. For this reason, most termite infestations start with wood that touches or is located close to the soil. Homeowners may reduce the chances of termite infestations by using pressure treated, naturally resistant, or composite wood.

Pressure Treated

Pressure treated wood is embedded with preservatives that are forced into the wood pores during the manufacturing process. This makes the timber resistant to rot and fungi and creates a termite-resistant chemical barrier. Slowing the natural decay process in this way results in stronger, longer-lasting wood that is valuable for building homes, sheds, and decks. In fact, many locations within the U.S. have requirements for using pressure treated wood in places where the wood contacts or is otherwise close to the soil.

Naturally Resistant

Heartwood is the non-living, central wood of trees. This wood is darker, denser, and less permeable than the surrounding timber. Therefore, it is naturally less attractive to termites. To deter the pests, homeowners can obtain heartwood-grade lumber for construction projects. Termites also tend to avoid specific species of trees such as redwoods, yellow cedar, Laotian teak, and cypress. However, these types of wood are not as long-lasting as treated lumber.

Composite Materials

Specially designed to deter termites and increase the useable lifetime, some manmade composite lumber products are made with materials that the pests can’t digest, such as plastic. Other composite products are made with a combination of plastics and wood fibers. Since composites don’t tend to warp like natural timber, composite wood is also a more durable building product choice.