Do Termites Eat Wood Flooring? Termites are big fans of wood. They eat on it not only because they love how it tastes, but also because it helps them to survive. Wood cellulose is the main source of food for termites, which maintains all their vital processes.
That’s why these insects spend all their energy and time searching for wood structures. These structures may easily be the furniture inside your house that can attract termites like a magnet. But what about your wood flooring?
It’s also a termite favorite, yet they mostly love the subflooring structures. Read on to know why, and learn the main signs of floor termite damage.
These wood-adoring pests are capable of dealing with serious damage to your wood floor. However, the damage appears to be visible only after several years of pest infestation. This news can be good and bad at the same time.
For one, you have time to identify the insect colony and exterminate it until the damage occurs. On the other hand, it’s almost impossible to do. The reason, these pests are tiny and almost undetectable.
So seeing them, even when they are in large number, is hardly possible. That’s why you are most likely to find out about the termite invasion when the first signs of floor damage appear.
A worth-mentioning fact about these tiny pests is that they love to eat mainly on subfloor softwood. This means that you will hardly notice surface damage to the hardwood floorboards. Most of the signs will have to do mostly with other sensory experiences.
For example, the squeaky sound you hear when you walk on the floor. It can tell about some structural damage to the subflooring and support timber. Actually, subflooring damage can also refer to water damage.
That’s why you are good to inspect the place to understand the real cause of squeaking.
Hallow sound you hear when tapping on the wood floor is also a sign of termite damage. These pests create cavities in the wood when eating on it. The empty space under the floor will obviously cause a special sound that is hard to confuse for another sound.
Your best decision would be to invite a termite specialist to confirm or reject your supposition. If the hollow sound comes indeed from termite-made damage, you can repair the affected wood. You can do it by filling up the cavities with wood filler.
Also, you are good to ask a pest exterminator to destroy the insect colony, so that other damage doesn’t occur.
If the floor starts to sink, it should also make you think about termite damage. Typically, the tiles start to sag due to weak underneath support. The pests may eat on the foundation joists that are responsible for keeping the floor firm and level.
If the joists are weak, the tiles will easily sink, leaving gaps below the baseboard. Having the structural beams damaged is much more dangerous than the damage of subflooring panels. That’s why you have to immediately initiate the repair of joists.
If the support beams are in critical condition, the contractor may suggest you replace them.
A laminate floor is also subject to termite damage. You will never see the laminate ripped and holed, rather the pests will target the wood subflooring and joists. Sagging and buckled laminate tiles may hint at a pest infestation.
Squeaking might be a sign of support beam damage as well. If any of these signs occur, contact a specialist to come and run an inspection of your flooring. If it’s pest damage, make sure to exterminate the colony, before proceeding with laminate repairs or replacement.
If you ask whether or not termites love to eat on your wood flooring, the answer is definitely yes. However, you will hardly ever notice holes and other harm signs on the hardwood tiles surface.
Termites feel more attraction for softwood which includes subflooring plywood panels and support beams. When they reach a high level of damage, your floor will start to get weaker and squeak.
To prevent termite-damaged floor repairs, you are good to inspect the joists and subflooring for pest infestation regularly.