How Termites Could Damage your Hardwood Floors

termites damage hardwood floors

termites damage hardwood floorsNashville and Murfreesboro, TN

Since termites can lead to catastrophic damage that costs you thousands of dollars or more, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s essential to understand how termites could damage your home. Hardwood floors, wooden beams, ceilings, and building foundations could be at risk of a termite infestation in Murfreesboro. Ameri Care Services, a Nashville pest control company that treats for termites, wants you to know how these wood-destroying insects could damage your hardwood floors and other areas of your home.

Termites Feed on Wood

Termites’ favorite food is wood, be it your hardwood floors, ceilings, window sills, or baseboards, these pesky insects can infiltrate your home, causing significant damage before you are even aware of their intrusion. Richard Houseman, an entomologist at the University of Missouri, states, “Any kind of wood that’s in contact with the soil and up against your foundation is going to be a problem that risks a future termite infestation.” So, inevitably, any home in Nashville is at risk for termites.

While you might think that since your home is built on a concrete slab or foundation that you’re in the clear, but that isn’t the case. Termites that feast on a nearby woodpile or mulch is like sending off fireworks, alerting other termites. It might surprise you that termites can enter your home’s foundation or concrete slab through cracks as tiny as a width of a sheet of paper.

What to Look For

The most common wood-destroying insect in Middle Tennessee is the subterranean termites. While drywood termites exist in other parts of our country, they aren’t established here in Tennessee. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Drywood termites could make their way into your home from furniture shipments or when moving from an area where drywood termites are prominent. Therefore, it’s important to know the signs of both.

Signs of Subterranean Termites

These termites are known to be the most destructive because they are hard to spot initially. Subterranean termites build mud tubes from the ground to your home, which usually are located along the foundation or in your home’s crawlspace. Mud tubes look like skinny tunnels made of mud. Termites use these channels as a safe passageway from their underground colony to a wood source, which, unfortunately, could be your home. Termites may also form mud tubes inside your home alongside any wooden structure. Subterranean termites may leave behind discarded wings or droppings that resemble coffee grounds.

Signs of Drywood Termites

Termites literally will eat any type of wood within or around your home. Start by assessing areas of your home where wood is most prominent, such as the baseboards, windowsills, doorframes, beams, built-in cabinets, and hardwood flooring. Evidence of their existence and activity will leave termite droppings that resemble coffee grounds or sawdust, as well as piles of discarded wings. These signs could indicate drywood termites have infested your home.

Will termites eat my hardwood floors?

While termites usually aren’t picky eaters, researchers at the Agricultural Research Service found that termites can be choosey when it comes to their food source. Entomologists conducted tests using 10 different species of wood, including redwood, teak, Peruvian walnut, birch, spruce, southern yellow pine, red oak, Brazilian jatoba, Honduran mahogany, and Alaskan yellow cedar to see how termites responded.

When forced to consume only one variety of wood for six weeks, the most resistant were redwood, Brazilian jatoba, Peruvian walnut, Honduran mahogany, Alaska yellow cedar, and teak. These hardwoods were the most resistant to termites and proved a 75% termite mortality rate. The most palatable wood was southern yellow pine and spruce, while the termites’ preferred teak the least. Therefore, termite damage could occur in hardwood or laminate flooring, depending on the type of wood that is in your home.

The best way to protect your Nashville home from termites is to call Ameri Care Services at (615) 893-7111. We provide routine termite treatments to prevent these wood-destroying insects, and we work with realtors and new homebuyers to provide a thorough termite inspection. If you need a termite clearance letter in Murfreesboro or Nashville, contact Ameri Care Services today!