Do Termites Eat Hardwood Floors?
Yes, termites do eat hardwood flooring.
Termites, specifically subterranean termites, cause over $2 billion in damage expenses on an annual basis. They are helpful to the environment by helping to break down dead wood that is beneficial to the soil, but their services can have the opposite effect when they feast on a homeowner's property. This can be especially true when they go after hardwood flooring.
It may be difficult to identify an individual termite as each member of the colony has a slightly different appearance. The insects, as adults, may or may not have wings. Their coloring can be either black or a brownish-yellow. They are 1/4 to 3/8 inches long in size. The worker termites have no wings and white colored bodies and are the ones that ingest wood. The soldier varieties are distinctive for their visible jaws and brown heads.
Termites love to swarm in the daytime and are very active after a rainstorm. Areas with moisture present or have warmth can also induce a swarm. When eating, they look for food sources such as cloth, paper, and wood. They will eat anything that is made out of plant material. They swarm to areas where decayed wood and moisture are present. Subterranean termites build their colonies in the soil near a home and burrow into the wood in your home.
Signs of Hardwood Floor Damage
You will see tunnels forming in wood that go in the direction of the grain. When checking for them, look around the cracks and baseboards in the flooring. The owner especially wants to look for any areas that have a raised surface or that have begun to split apart. Any walls near the flooring that have blistering on them give an additional indication that termites may be present. If these signs are clear, then it is time to call in a professional exterminator to inspect the home, property and to set bait traps to get rid of them.