Can Termites Damage Hardwood Floors?

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Can Termites Damage Hardwood Floors?

Termites feed on wood and they’re one of the most destructive insects, causing millions of dollars in damage each year. Since hardwood floors are made of wood, termites make no distinction between the beams in a home and its hardwood floors. They will burrow into hardwood floors and throughout home. They often go undetected until they’ve caused a significant amount of damage.

Types of Termites

Wood is pretty much all the same to termites, though some species prefer certain types of wood over others. Subterranean termites prefer softer varieties of wood and will tend to avoid harder woods. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll refuse harder varieties of wood if they’re hungry enough.

Subterranean termites make mud tubes from the ground upward to the wood. They need those tubes to keep themselves moist, hydrated, and protected from predators. Their tubes are often found running up the walls of basements.

Damp wood termites prefer wood that’s damp and decaying. They typically find their preferred food in wooded areas with rotting trees, tree stumps and wood piles. As long as a home doesn’t have damp, rotten or decaying wood, damp wood termites don’t present much of a problem to the average homeowner.

Dry wood termites can find plenty to like in a well-maintained home. Dry wood is found in hardwood flooring, the structural frameworks of homes, and the insects will even attack wood furniture. Since they form their colonies inside the wood, there won’t be any sign of mud tubing.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs of an infestation are often overlooked. Homeowners may notice little piles of what appears to be sawdust around window frames, wood that sounds hollow, or pinpoint size holes in drywall. Individuals may experience excessively squeaky floorboards, stuck doors and windows, and piles of wings that resemble fish scales after a swarm has invaded.

Those and many other signs or symptoms of termites should be taken very seriously. Termites affect the structural integrity of a home, including hardwood floors, and can render a house unlivable and dangerous to inhabit. Anyone observing a swarm of termites on their property should have an inspection performed promptly and yearly inspections are recommended. With the help of an exterminator, homeowners can preemptively address a potential termite problem.

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