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Can Termites Eat Concrete?


Termites do not eat concrete.

More Info: It is a common myth that termites eat concrete and their defensive fluids dissolve holes in concrete.  When a termite is found burrowing its way up through concrete it simply found existing cracks and holes to travel through.

What Do Termites Eat?

Termites will eat nearly any material that contains cellulose, the main constituent of plant cell walls, which is why they are so fond of wood.  Termites prefer dead wood so they usually will not feed on trees and other landscaping plants unless there is a health issue with the plant.  If no wood is readily available, some termites will feed on various other objects such as paper, books, and insulation.

How to Prevent Termites

Homeowners shudder at the thought of a termite infestation and the thousands of dollars of damage they can cause.  If you own a home, there are a few things that you can do to discourage termites from moving in.

Choose Termite Resistant Building Materials: Termites love wood—especially untreated wood.  When possible choose pressure treated lumber, naturally resistant woods such as cedar, cypress, and redwood, or opt for plastic and composite materials.

Eliminate Wood to Ground Contact: Ninety percent of termite infestations occur on structures where wood is sitting directly on the ground.  Pull back all soil at least six inches from the bottom of latticework, decking, doorframes, and wood siding.

Remove Wood Debris around the Home: Wood debris should be cleared from around the base of your home including mulch.  Termites feeding on mulch in contact with your foundation will likely find a way into your home.  If you can’t remove mulch, use varieties that are somewhat termite resistant such as cedar, cypress, and redwood.

Eliminate Moisture: Termites are attracted to soil that is continuously moist.  Ensure that you have the proper drainage around your property and that downspouts are running away from the foundation.



“ENY-216/MG064: Formosan Subterranean Termite .” EDIS – Electronic Data Information Source – UF/IFAS Extension. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2011. <>.

Potter, Mike, and Extension Entomologist. “Termite Control: Answers for Homeowners | University of Kentucky Entomology.” Learning, Discovery, Service | in the College of Agriculture. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Nov. 2011.

Ogg, Barb, PhD, and Extension Educator. “Choose Wood Materials Carefully To Prevent Termites and Rot.” University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Nov. 2011. <>

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