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What Do Termites Damage?

Termites primarily feed on cellulose, which is the main organic component in wood. As they chew through the wood, they also build extensive tunnels and galleries that serve as a nest. So, nearly any wooden structure in your home is at risk of termite damage – especially if it’s near the soil, which is easiest for termites to access. 

Some of the most common areas that people notice termite damage include:

  • Wooden floorboards
  • Fence posts
  • Wood support beams
  • Sheds or piles of lumber
  • Wooden porches and decks
  • Outdoor furniture
severe termite damage to a part of a house

Why Do Termites Infest Wood?

Wood is one of nature’s richest sources of cellulose, though the compound can also be found in other plant materials. However, wood also provides sturdy shelter for small insects, making it the ideal food-and-shelter combo for termites. 

Unfortunately for us, that means termites are likely to attack our homes. Most houses in Long Island are built using a lot of lumber, from the support beams and drywall to floorboards and baseboards. Some properties even use cellulose insulation, which is often enclosed inside of wooden walls.

What Are Termite-Resistant Materials?

Though termites are known for ruthlessly invading wood, there is some good news; a lot of construction companies have started using termite-resistant materials more frequently to make it easier for us to combat infestations. Some materials that termites can’t or won’t penetrate include:

  • Redwood or cedar: These types of wood are very hard and dense, making it more challenging for termites to bore into or consume. That said, if there’s no other food source available, termites may turn to redwood or cedar as a last resort. 
  • Cement, concrete, or metal: Not only are these materials incredibly hard and difficult to penetrate, but they also lack the main thing that attracts termites; cellulose. Having cement, concrete, or metal near the foundation of your home can prevent termites from accessing your property through the soil. 
  • Treated lumber: Treated lumber is covered in preservative chemicals that prevents rot and makes the wood far less attractive to termites or other wood destroying insects. Many construction companies have started using treated lumber more often.

How To Prevent Termites in Long Island

Here in Long Island, we primarily encounter Eastern Subterranean Termites. As their name suggests, this species is known for tunneling through the soil. They’re attracted to damp wood that is in direct contact with the soil. So, to keep termites away from your property, limit the amount of untreated wood that is near the outside ground. 

In addition to taking some preventative measures on your own, consider enlisting the help of a termite extermination company. Licensed professionals have years of training and local experience, so they know the best ways to protect your property from termites all year long.

What Do Termites Damage? Serving Long Island and surrounding areas

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