Do Termites Eat Pressure-Treated Wood?

We all know termites are a nightmare to get rid of and often cause damage that, depending on the severity, can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair. Like a robot army, they attack wood and don’t stop until it’s dust.

Do termites eat pressure-treated wood?

Yes, termites can and do eat pressure-treated wood, though it is much less likely they will go after PT than they will go after untreated wood.

This popular type of wood is treated with preservatives. And though it can be fairly resistant to termites, no wood is fully termite-proof. 

Let’s learn more about these creepy critters by looking at the following:

  • The best woods to prevent a termite infestation
  • Common types of termites and what woods they prefer
  • Termite prevention tips to keep your home termite-free

Do Termites Eat Pressure-Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated wood is one of the most termite-resistant woods out there. But if the stars align in the wrong way, termites can infest pressure-treated wood and damage it. PT is chemically treated to be rot and water resistant, but termites do occasionally chow down on it.

Additionally, this wood is often used in ground contact situations, so termites are often likely to find it.

You’re at lower risk of termite infestation when you use pressure-treated wood, but you’re not at zero risk.

While certain woods are termite resistant due to their thickness, no wood is ever 100% termite-proof. Many people believe that cedar is a good wood to prevent termites, but this is simply not true. 

While certain woods are termite resistant due to their thickness, no wood is ever 100% termite-proof.

Termites can infest treated and untreated woods but do generally avoid harder woods like Redwood, Cypress, and some Teaks. These are, however, not used in home construction as they do not have a good lifespan and will deteriorate quicker than other types of lumber. 

Choosing lumber for your home or building can be tricky. Choose the wood according to the area you live in, the types of termites that are known to infest homes in that area, and prevent an infestation by ensuring that all leaks are repaired. 

A popular option is manufactured or composite lumber, which uses plastics and other materials to create lumber for building homes and buildings. But do remember that certain termite species have been known to find their way into plastics, too! 


Common Termite Types and Their Wood of Choice

There are around 2,000 species of termite worldwide.

Read that again and let that fact sink in.

Most home and business insurance providers do not cover damage caused by termite infestations, which cause more than a billion dollars in damage to homes every year. 

Termites are no joke! And while a bed bug infestation can be super frustrating, a termite infestation can cost you your home!

A few of the more common types of termites include:

1. Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites absolutely love damp wood and can be found in damp or dying wooden homes and structures or those with leaking plumbing.

These pests can cause major and significant damage and destruction to your wooden home, and maintenance should be performed often to ensure that there are no leaks or water sources that will attract Dampwood termites.

2. Drywood Termites

As the name suggests, Drywood termites target dry woods, plastics, and even wallpaper. They don’t need dampness or soil to thrive and will quickly compromise the foundation and structure of a building.

Drywood termites create tunnels in wood, which can cause horrific damage to any structure. 

3. Formosan Termites

Formosan termites are horrible critters are one of the most destructive types of termites and cause major damage to wooden buildings, boats, walls, and more.

They build mud nests inside the wood and live in huge colonies that essentially damage any wood or fabric items. 

4. Subterranean Termites

With over 2 million termites in one colony, this is one type of termite that you do not want nesting in your wooden home.

Subterranean termites need to be in contact with soil to build their nests. 

They are also by far the most destructive termites, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars to homes across America and the world. Keeping these critters out of your home can be tricky, and fumigation or extermination is sometimes the only way to deal with them efficiently. 


Termite Prevention Tips You Should Try Today

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and this applies to preventing termites from making a tasty yet nutritious meal out of your home or wooden structure too. 

Here is a list of the best termite prevention tips that you can use to keep your home safe from termites and prevent costly damage to your wooden structures:

  • Remove and eliminate any form of moisture and leakage from your home. Termites are attracted to water sources and will quickly set up their nests in your home if you do not treat the root cause of the dampness. 
  • Direct water away from your home with gutters, drain pipes, drains, and more to prevent termites from coming close to your home.
  • Pay attention to the overall state and condition of your interior and exterior wood surfaces and structures. If you spot any sudden changes in the texture of the wood, bubbling in the paint, or the wood sounds hollow, chances are a family of termites have arrived for dinner. An exterminator will be able to advise you on the best option to remove these uninvited guests and help treat your termite problem. 
  • Repair fascia boards, roofing tiles or shingles, window frames, and doors if you notice any of the signs of termite infestation as listed above, and treat the wood with a termite-resistant stain where possible. 
  • Scheduling annual fumigation, especially in the warmer months when termites breed, is essential and can help prevent a termite infestation. 
  • If your area is prone to subterranean termites, have at least a 20-inch gap between any soil and your wooden structure. Paving the area around your home can help prevent an infestation, preventing soil buildup in your foundation and around your basement area.
  • Firewood is a common way for termites to make their way into your home. Store your firewood away from your home, at a distance of at least twenty or so feet away. Placing it on a paved foundation might help to reduce termite infestation. 

Conclusion

Just because your home or deck is built with pressure-treated wood, that’s no guarantee termites won’t eat it for lunch. Termites do sometimes eat pressure-treated wood, so keep an eye out for any of the typical signs of infestation like mud tubes.

Termites are a common problem in large parts of America and worldwide too. They are an absolute nightmare to get rid of and have been known to cause billions of dollars of damage yearly.

Insurance providers do not cover termite infestations, so the onus is on you to prevent a termite infestation. Use our tips above to keep your home termite-free, and call an exterminator when in doubt.