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Do Termites Eat Cedar Wood

If you’ve ever wondered whether termites have a particular fondness for cedar wood, you’re in for a friendly surprise. In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of termites and their relationship with cedar wood. You’ll discover whether these tiny pests consider cedar a delectable feast or simply turn their noses up at it. So, grab a cup of tea, relax, and let’s uncover the secrets of termites and cedar wood together.

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Types of Termites

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite found in the United States. They live underground and create mud tubes to navigate through soil to reach their food source. These termites are highly destructive and can cause significant damage to wooden structures.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites, as the name suggests, infest dry wood. They do not require contact with soil and can cause damage to furniture, cabinets, and framing. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites do not build mud tubes.

Dampwood termites

Dampwood termites typically infest damp or decaying wood, such as logs or tree stumps. They are less common compared to subterranean and drywood termites and are usually found in areas with high moisture levels. While they can cause structural damage, they are less destructive compared to other termite species.

Conehead termites

Conehead termites, also known as nasutiform termites, are aggressive and destructive. Originating from the Caribbean, they have recently been discovered in Florida. They nest in trees, utility poles, and wooden structures. They do not require contact with soil and can cause extensive damage to buildings.

Characteristics of Cedar Wood

Natural oils and resins

Cedar wood is known for its distinct aroma, which comes from the natural oils and resins present in the wood. These oils and resins give cedar wood its characteristic scent and help protect it against termite infestations.

Durable and rot-resistant

One of the key characteristics of cedar wood is its durability and resistance to rot. Cedar wood contains natural compounds that inhibit the growth of fungi and decay-causing organisms. This makes cedar wood a popular choice for outdoor furniture, decking, and siding.

Strong and stable

Cedar wood is known for its strength and stability. It has a straight grain pattern and a relatively low density, making it easy to work with. Its strength and stability ensure that cedar wood structures can withstand various external factors, including termite attacks.

Pest-repellent properties

Cedar wood contains natural chemicals that act as a deterrent to pests, including termites. The unique properties of cedar wood make it less attractive to termites, reducing the likelihood of infestation.

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Feeding Habits of Termites

Cellulose as primary food source

Termites primarily feed on cellulose, a complex carbohydrate found in plant-based materials. Wood, particularly the cellulose component, is a staple food source for termites. It provides them with the necessary nutrients for survival and growth.

Ability to break down cellulose

Termites have specialized enzymes in their digestive systems that enable them to break down cellulose. These enzymes help convert cellulose into simpler sugars that termites can digest and utilize as an energy source.

Feeding habits of different termite species

While all termite species feed on cellulose, their feeding habits and preferences may vary. Subterranean termites, for example, mainly feed on moist and decaying wood. Drywood termites, on the other hand, infest dry wood without the need for moisture. Understanding the feeding habits of different termite species is crucial in implementing effective control and prevention measures.

Research on Termite Diet

Cedar wood as a termite food source

Research has shown that cedar wood is not a preferred food source for termites. The natural oils and resins present in cedar wood act as a deterrent to termites. These compounds make cedar wood less attractive and less palatable to termites, reducing the risk of infestation.

Studies on termite feeding preferences

Various studies have been conducted to understand termite feeding preferences. These studies have observed the behavior of termites when presented with different wood species, including cedar wood. The findings consistently indicate that termites show a lower preference for cedar wood compared to other types of wood.

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Cedar Wood as a Termite Deterrent

Natural resistance to termites

Cedar wood’s natural resistance to termites makes it an excellent choice for termite control. The natural oils and resins present in cedar wood act as a deterrent, preventing termites from infesting and feeding on the wood. This resistance can help protect wooden structures from termite damage.

Effectiveness of cedar wood in repelling termites

Numerous anecdotal evidence and practical applications have shown that cedar wood is effective in repelling termites. The natural compounds present in cedar wood create an unfavorable environment for termites, discouraging them from establishing colonies and causing damage.

Cedar wood products for termite control

Many products made from cedar wood, such as cedar oil and cedar planks, are available in the market to deter termites. These products can be used as preventive measures or as a part of termite control strategies. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and effectiveness.

Factors Affecting Termite Feeding

Moisture content in wood

Moisture content plays a crucial role in determining the susceptibility of wood to termite infestation. Termites thrive in moist environments and are attracted to wood with high moisture content. Proper drying and maintenance of wood can reduce the risk of termite infestation.

Wood species and density

Not all types of wood are equally appealing to termites. Some wood species, like cedar, have natural compounds that make them less attractive to termites. Additionally, denser wood species are generally more resistant to termite damage.

Presence of fungal decay or mold

Termites are often attracted to wood that has been damaged by fungi or mold. The presence of fungal decay or mold weakens the wood structure, making it easier for termites to feed on. Proper maintenance and prevention of fungal growth can help deter termites.

Chemical treatments and preservatives

Chemical treatments and preservatives can be applied to wood to make it less appealing to termites. These treatments create a protective barrier that repels termites and prevents infestation. However, it is crucial to use approved and safe products for termite control.

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Protecting Cedar Wood from Termites

Preventative measures for termite infestation

Prevention is key when it comes to protecting cedar wood from termite infestation. Regular inspections, monitoring for signs of termite activity, and implementing preventive measures, such as sealing cracks and crevices, can help minimize the risk of infestation.

Proper wood storage and construction techniques

Proper storage and construction techniques can significantly reduce the risk of termite infestation. Storing cedar wood above ground level and away from soil contact, using pressure-treated wood where necessary, and sealing any openings or cracks can help protect cedar wood from termites.

Addressing moisture issues

Termites are attracted to moisture, so addressing any moisture issues is crucial in termite prevention. Proper ventilation, drainage, and waterproofing can help keep cedar wood dry and less appealing to termites.

Treatment options for termite control

If termite infestation is detected in cedar wood, prompt action is necessary. Treatment options include chemical treatments, localized heat treatments, or hiring a professional pest control service. The appropriate treatment option will depend on the severity of the infestation and the specific circumstances.

Alternative Wood Choices

Termite-resistant wood species

Apart from cedar wood, several other wood species are known for their resistance to termites. Examples include teak, redwood, and cypress. Choosing termite-resistant wood species can be an effective preventive measure against termite infestation.

Pressure-treated wood

Pressure-treated wood is created by treating wood with chemicals that make it resistant to insects, including termites. The chemical treatment process creates a durable and termite-resistant wood product. However, it is important to ensure that the pressure-treated wood is used appropriately and in accordance with safety guidelines.

Wood composites and substitutes

For those looking for alternative options, wood composites and substitutes are available. These materials are typically made from a combination of wood fibers and synthetic materials, providing termite resistance and durability. However, it is crucial to research and select high-quality wood composites from reputable manufacturers.

Preventing Termite Infestation in Cedar Furniture

Inspection and treatment methods

Regularly inspecting cedar furniture for signs of termites is important for early detection and prevention. If termite activity is detected, treatment methods such as spot-treating with termite insecticides or using heat treatments can help eliminate the infestation.

Sealing and refinishing cedar furniture

Sealing and refinishing cedar furniture can provide an extra layer of protection against termite infestation. Applying a sealant or a protective coating can help deter termites and preserve the wood’s natural resistance.

Monitoring for termite activity

Continued monitoring for termite activity is crucial in preventing infestation in cedar furniture. Keeping an eye out for tell-tale signs such as mud tubes, hollow-sounding wood, or discarded wings can help identify potential termite problems early on and allow for timely intervention.


Cedar wood offers natural resistance to termite infestation due to its unique characteristics, such as the presence of natural oils and resins. While termites do have the ability to eat cedar wood, they are less likely to do so compared to other wood species. Cedar wood’s pest-repellent properties, durability, and stability make it a prime choice for termite control and prevention. By understanding termite feeding habits, implementing protective measures, and considering alternative wood choices, you can effectively protect cedar wood from termites and maintain its longevity and beauty.

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Hi there, I'm termiteswood, the author behind Termites Wood Haven. Welcome to my website, where I aim to provide you with the ultimate guide to understanding termites and their interactions with wood. Your wooden structures deserve the best protection, and that's why I'm here to help. Dive deep into the fascinating world of termites, from exploring their biology to learning effective ways to safeguard your precious timber. With Termites Wood Haven, you can explore, learn, and confidently defend against these incredible insects. Join me on this educational journey as we uncover the secrets of termites and wood.