What Wood Termites Do Not Eat? Find Out Now

Do termites eat all wood? Thankfully, no.

There are some woods that termites don’t eat.

In this post you’ll find out what wood termites do not eat. Plus, you’ll also find out what woods are most susceptible to termite attacks.

Keep reading.

what wood termites do not eat

But one thing is for sure. If you’re not checking your furniture or structural wood often, then you may overlook a hidden termite infestation.

Let’s check out what wood termites do not eat.

What Wood Termites Do Not Eat? Here’s The List

  1. Redwood
  2. Brazilian Jatoba wood
  3. Walnut wood
  4. Mahogany wood
  5. Teak wood
  6. Cypress heartwood
  7. OSB
  8. Processed bamboo
  9. Pressure treated plywood.

Let’s get a bit deeper and find out what woods termites eat and what woods termites do not eat, and why.

Do Termites Eat Plywood?

Termites don’t eat pressure treated plywood. But they feast on normal plywood.

So, what is pressure treated plywood?

Pressure treated plywood is the result of a chemical process that normal plywood goes through.

Plywood makers use Chemicals like Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ), Copper Azole (CA) and Micronized Copper Azole (MCA) to make the plywood resistant to termites, water, and fungus.

You can use pressure treated plywood or lumber, in your garden, patio, or in any outdoor structures without worrying about termite infestation.

Do Termites Eat Bamboo?

Termites don’t eat processed bamboo. But termites, especially drywood termite, love unprocessed or natural bamboo.

A lot of people think that bamboo, being a grass rather than wood, is naturally resistant to termite. But it isn’t.

The main source of nutrition for termites is cellulose. And bamboo is 73.8% cellulose.

Termites breakdown the cellulose into sugar from which they derive their energy.

But processed bamboos don’t have any cellulose in them. They’re treated with borate, which gets rid of the cellulose in the bamboo.

Borate kills the protozoa, which helps them to convert cellulose into sugar, in the termites.

And the termites can detect borate in a processed bamboo.

The borate repels the termites and makes the bamboo termite resistant.

Do Termites Eat Redwood?

No, termites don’t eat redwood.

Redwood is strong, and also naturally resistant to termites. That makes redwood as a go to choice for many builders to use it for building projects.

It’s also resistant to decay because of dampness and moisture.

Redwood is darker, denser, and less penetrable for termites. Also, the natural chemicals present in redwood, and other hardwood species, makes them termite resistant.

Do Termites Eat Cypress Heartwood?

Termites don’t eat cypress heartwood. But they’re known to eat cypress softwood.

You can use cypress heartwood for making furniture without pressure treating or chemically processing the wood. It means that you can use cypress heartwood in its natural form.

Cypress heartwood is very dense. The termites cannot drill through the wood.

It’s also known that termites can’t tolerate the smell of the cypress heartwood, which makes the wood fit for making homes, wooden floors, and furniture.

Cypress heartwood is used to make a concentrate known as cypressene.

Cypressene is used as coating on other types termite prone woods to make them termite resistant.

Studies have proved that mulch made of cypress heartwood repel termites three times more than mulch made from other woods.

Do Termites Eat MDF (Medium Density Fireboard)?

Termites don’t eat MDF. But that doesn’t mean MDF is resistant to termite attack.

In a recent study, it’s proved that MDFs are very prone to termite attacks.

So, what’s the difference between termite attack and termites eating the MDF?

It means that the termites can drill through the MDF to go on to other pieces of wood in your home.

They won’t eat the MDF.

MDF is artificial wood that is made by attaching layers of pulp wood with glue.

MDF is used to make trims around your doors or windows inside your home.

Although the glue used in making the MDF can act as a repellant for termites.

But not for long.

Termites can easily drill through the trims and go into your wall and in other pieces of furniture.

Do Termites Eat Painted Wood?

That’s a tricky one to answer because the answer is both yes or no.

Paint on wood, without a doubt, stops termites from attacking the wood on the surface.

But coatings of paint can’t stop termites from attacking the painted wood from underground.

That’s the reason why subterranean termites destroy painted wooden fences and beams.

Termites attack these fences and beams planted in the ground from underground.

They eat the bars and beams from inside, making it hollow, but they leave the painted wood’s exterior.

But painting furniture with wood preservative paints like Rust-Oleum certainly makes them termite resistant.

Do Termites Eat Cedar Wood?

Yes, termites eat cedar wood.

Many people believe that cedar wood has a natural resistance to termites. But it’s partially true.

Termites are less attracted to cedar wood, but given a chance, and unavailability of food sources, termites can eat cedar wood.

The core of the cedar wood is termite resistant but the outer layers of the wood is edible for termites.

That’s why termites cannot totally destroy a furniture or beams made of cedar wood.

Do Termites Eat Pine Wood?

Yes, termites eat pine wood. Pine wood is termites’ delicacy.

In a study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2015 concluded that pine wood, and spruce, are the most favored woods by termites.

So, if you like pine wood furniture or lumber, make sure to buy processed or pressure treated pine wood rather than the natural ones.

All types of softwoods are susceptible to termite attack. And pine wood is one of them.

Do Termites Eat OSB (Oriented Standard Board)?

No, termites don’t eat OSB.

Cement is used in OSB to bond them together, which deters the termites from eating OSB.

Cement saps the moisture and cellulose out of the OSB that makes OSB inedible for the termites.

Do Termites Eat Books?

Do Termites Eat Books

Yes, termite eat books. Paper is 99% cellulose and cellulose are primary food of termites. So, termites will happily feast on your books.

If termites are eating your books it means that your home is badly infested by termites.

The best way to deal with this is to take professional help from a pest control company.

To know more on what actions you can take right now to get rid of termites you can check out our post here.

Do Termites Eat Plastic?

No, termites don’t eat plastic. But plastic is not termite resistant. They can easily drill through the plastic to access wooden stuff in your home.

Do Termites Eat Concrete?

No, termites don’t eat concrete.

But termites can enter your home from the cracks in your home’s foundation or on the walls.

That’s why it’s always advisable to cement the cracks and fissures on the walls and the floor to make keep away termites from your home.

Do termites eat pressure treated wood?

Termites also don’t eat pressure treated wood and chemically processed wood.

Woods that are pressure treated and chemically processed lacks moisture and cellulose, the main sources of energy for termites.

To deter termites from invading your home, you can use mulch made from termite resistant woods or pressure treated wood.

Woods That Termites Won’t Attack At All

Termites don’t eat Redwood, Brazilian Jatoba, Walnut, Mahogany, Teak, and Cypress.

These woods are naturally resistant to termites.

Research have shown that these woods repel the termites and kill 75 % of the termites that attacks them.

The wood that is most resistant to termites, naturally, is teak wood, followed by redwood.

Both teak and redwood are hardwood species but that doesn’t mean all hardwood species are resistant to termites.

Oakwood, a kind of hardwood, is not resistant to termites.


Below are the 9 types of wood that termites don’t eat –

  1. Redwood
  2. Brazilian Jatoba
  3. Walnut
  4. Mahogany
  5. Teak
  6. Cypress
  7. OSB
  8. Processed Bamboo
  9. Pressure Treated Plywood

It’s important to know what types of woods you can use for your garden, floors, fences, and other outdoor constructions so that they’re not infested by termites.

In this post you got to know what types of woods termites do not eat. Some woods, like teak, redwood and cypress are naturally termite resistant.

But a lot of other types of woods are highly susceptible to termite infestation.

That’s why woods that are vulnerable to termites are either pressure treated or chemically processed to make them resistant to termites.

Termites can neither eat nor live in pressure treated or chemically processed woods.

To know more on what are the causes of termite infestation, you can check our post here.

And to find out if your food is safe from termites, read our post, do termites eat human food.