What Attracts Termites to a House?

What Attracts Termites to a House

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Termites attack a house by sending workers to find food. Some species like the wood in houses because they contain cellulose, which is what termites eat.

As these pests navigate through your home looking for food, they will follow trails of pheromones, leaving behind termites attracted to the scent. When colonies grow large enough, termites may send scouts out looking for new homes that can better suit their colony’s needs. Once termite scouts discover options, it only takes one to investigate and report back before the majority of your termites decide to relocate.

Types of Termites

Drywood termites like wooden structures that contain cellulose, the main food source. These types of termites live in areas with high humidity levels and will burrow through the wood rather than eat their way through it. When you see termite droppings or swarmers near windows, doorways, or vents leading to the outside, drywood termites may become your problem. Another sign is when you notice termite tubes on window sills or walls.

Dampwood termites thrive in moist conditions. But they can also attack dry houses as long as there is moisture around, like leaking pipes or plumbing issues. They prefer to feed on decaying wood but will also eat other cellulose-based materials like cardboard or paper.

What Attracts Termites

Gain insights on 11 factors that termites are fond of. Does your home or business have any of these?


Termites love damp conditions and will eat away at wood as long as there is moisture present. When termite damage also has water stains on beams, floors, or wall cavities, you may have a problem.

Water is the number one thing that attracts termites to your home! Guarantee you will have a problem when there are any moisture or water leaks in and outside of it. Make sure everything lines up correctly – from bathrooms down through crawlspaces under floors!  You may be in need of a bathroom remodeling contractor if the damage is substantial.

There is more than water vapor inside your home. For example, air conditioning units can also give off the condensation that leads to mold and rot on the exterior walls when not dried out.

Wood That’s in Contact with House Foundation

Termites enjoy eating wood, and termite-resistant siding, trim boards, or other wood materials that touch the foundation of your home often make them feel at home. Once termites eat out between these pieces of exposed wood and the house frame, they can squeeze through to get inside the wall cavity while also chewing on structural beams.

Termite infestations can become a serious problem for you as these insects need to move through the soil or wood to get inside your house. The most common places that termites come into contact with your homes are near foundations. These are where there has been standing water over time. Include gutters along roofs as well. Make sure you keep mulch at least 3 to 5 feet away from any part.

Cracks in Building Furniture

Termites are small insects that can squeeze through the smallest of cracks in termite-proof furniture, like bookcases or sofas. These pests will enter through any gaps and take advantage of the wood inside before you realize their attack in your home.

As termites grow, they need to move into larger structures that suit their needs. When you notice termite damage on siding, trim boards, or other wooden structures associated with windowsills, doorways, windows, foundation vents, and so on, it may become a sign that colonies are growing large enough to require a new home fast!

Cracks in Building Exteriors

Unseen termites can get inside your home through cracks in things like soffits, facias, and roof shingles or vents. When a colony is growing too large for containment, termites will enter your house anytime they have the chance – through water lines and pipelines.

Termites have an uncanny ability to find any cracks in the exterior of your home and exploit them as a way inside. When termites seem to appear out of nowhere or damage appears on the outside, look for gaps and holes first. A scenario is that termites are already nesting, breeding, and growing inside your walls.

Outdoor Woodpiles

You may think termites only like wood, but these pests can eat most types of wood and termite-proof siding. Once they establish a colony in your backyard, outdoor woodpiles or stacks of firewood may become the perfect meal for them. Do not underestimate termites’ ability to find areas on your land. This is where they can come into contact with the structure of your home.

Find termite mounds near these outdoor piles of wood or firewood. Even though termite species vary from one region to another, you will not see them coming inside your house during the winter months when it is cold outside. Termites also appear less frequently in sunny areas.

Tree Stumps

Termites can attack both decayed and healthy wood.

Termites cause the most damage to weakened trees trimming them out of any tree stump, fence post, or other wooden structure. It is important for preventing infestations in your lawn or garden. Stumps give them access to water inside the cut part from roots above ground level.

When termites attack your landscaping stumps, you should remove them as soon as possible by grinding them down completely. Some species will eat even healthy wood. It is important to treat all stumps as a problem.

Before termites come into contact with a structure, they must first grow through several stages. This process can take several years, depending on the species.


You may not think termites can access the interior of your home through the mulch. But they can eat through it and travel to cracks and gaps in building exteriors.

Mulch should cover no more than one-third of the ground around any part of your house. You must keep furniture away from mulched areas, termite control experts recommend.

Place bait in mulch to lure termites out of the wood or soil around your home. These are more effective than the spray treatments you apply on the ground’s surface.

All termites require water to survive, so placing traps next to any permanent standing water is a magnificent way to control mounds before you have them in your home.

Roof Problems

When termites are growing in siding, they can get inside to breed by touching cracks in your roof. Look for termites on the exterior of your home above any windows or doors or around vents when you have any. You may find termites along foundation walls where they gain access through damaged wood.

Termites will eat away at any damaged area on your roof and attack your house from the inside. This is why you can call them “subterranean termites.”

When termites access your attic, any wood inside this area becomes vulnerable. This includes rafters and joists. You must replace any whole pieces of structural wood before colonies spread through the rest of your home.

Basement Problems

When termites enter a basement through any wooden beams, you have a problem. You must replace any damaged wood with termite-resistant materials.

Check for termites around windows and doors as they can gain access from cracks or holes in foundation walls. These may become more visible on the exterior of your house than anywhere else.

Termites can also take down your siding and attack the fascia board and other wooden features on the exterior of your home. You should replace any termite-eaten wood immediately to prevent termites from gaining access through these holes.

Wood and Other Cellulose Material

Termites can eat through any wood, such as siding, to gain access inside your home. Check for termites on the outside of your house around windows and doors or any other wood-related features you have that they can access. You may even find them at the base of trees near your foundation.

Along with termites, you can find eggs in the cellulose material of your home. Termites attack cellulose structure that contains water drops inside or around them. This includes wood and grass stalks from plants outside your house. They also chew on paper and books as well as cardboard boxes left outside.

Foam Board Insulation

Termites can access your home through foam board insulation. When they eat the cellulose material inside it, they will create tunnels for themselves to travel within walls and other features of your house.

As they go into any parts of your home or other structures like decks or porches, you should check all materials that contain this type of insulation for termites.

Any termite-eaten material will turn into a half-moon shape as they eat the cellulose material inside it. But they do not digest all of it so you can still see some wood or paper fibers in termite tunnels.

Be Cautious When Ordering Top Soil

When termites eat topsoil or other types, they ingest a lot of water as well. This gives them the moisture content they need to survive for many years.

You need caution in ordering any topsoil deliveries from termite control experts because these pests can gain access to your home through it. When you must buy some topsoil, ensure termites cannot come along with it.

Be careful when you buy termite control products online and from any specific company. They may contain termites so they can find a new colony to live in or even infest your home.

Signs of Termite and Termite Damage

Below are five ways to know when termites exist in your home or business. Learn more about them:

Termite Swarmers

Signs of termite swarmers in your area indicate their access to a new home to breed and lay eggs. You can also see them out during the day in May and June. This is when they travel in groups, and you may even find them in broad daylight near windows or on any other part of your house.

Proofs of termites in your home or business also include swarmers throughout the year. You will find them around windows and other areas where they can reach light sources. But termite swarmer activity is rare during winter unless it is unusually warm for their survival.


Termite swarmers leave behind on your house, deck, or any other structure including their wings. These termites prefer to infest trees, but they can eat through wooden structures after finding access to it.

Swarmer termites fly near light sources like windows and skylights because control experts will find the easiest way to remove them. You can also see them near doors and other places that termites use to gain entry to your home.

Wings are a common feature of many types of insects, but not all. Winged termites only occur during specific stages in their life cycle. They disappear once meeting these requirements for flight.

Mud Tubes

These termite pellets and tube nests around the foundation of your house indicate these pests in or around your home. You can find them in areas where they build and maintain their colony and source food supplies.

Termite pellets look like small pebbles while termite tubes take on a dark and moist appearance. When you find termite tube nests near your home, they can eat through its structure within several years.

Termite mud tubes are tiny tunnels that they create to connect their nest with the outside world. Find these pencil-sized passageways around your home’s foundations as well as on wood structures and concrete or stone buildings’ ground floors.


Termite tunnels through the wood to access its source of food and water. They leave behind frass as one of the tell-tale signs in your home. You will find frass on any wooden part of your house’s structure including ceilings, floors, walls, and many more. These termites leave behind droppings that resemble sawdust.

Frass consists of pellets and other particles like shed skin. You may also see termite excreta in the form of fecal pellets. But these pests’ feces look like coffee grounds or bits of dirt.

When termites infest your home, you will find frass left behind in a variety of places. It consists of termite pellets and other debris throughout your house, but mostly on wooden surfaces.

Damage to Structured Belongings

Termites leave behind droppings and pellets as signs of damage. You can find their frass in many places, but it will appear on wooden surfaces like floors and walls.

When termites infest your home, you will see plenty of droppings at first. Take note that they only leave these behind when they infest a place with termites.

Outdoors, termites falling from trees damage your organic materials like wood and flowers. Indoors, termites only feed on fabrics and paper with access to these sources. They also infest wooden surfaces like floors and furniture that most homeowners take for granted.

Common Misconceptions

Know the real information behind four of these about termites. Enlighten yourself with them below:

Do Termites Eat Wood?

Termites do not have a mouth. They can only eat wood when they have access to saliva. But they tend to infest and damage wooden structures and organic materials instead.

These pests can only consume organic materials that you provide access to them like wooden surfaces and other porous materials.

Termites feed on any organic material from its surface to the deepest layers of it. A termite colony can destroy a wooden structure from the inside. They feed on any organic material within your home’s walls and structures, even termite droppings that consist of fecal pellets and termite frass.

Can Termites Eat Through Plastic?

No termite can eat through plastic because they do not have the correct mouthparts for this material. You will find droppings on or around your house’s foundations. But termites cannot ingest this material.

These termites can only ingest wood that they find within your home. Their droppings cannot go through plastic.

The death of plastic has been imminent for some time now. It is not alive; it never was and only offers no nutritional value to termites in search of cellulose. Find these compounds within plants that make them stiff or fibrous.

Do Termite Eat Concrete?

Termites do not eat concrete because they cannot digest it. But termites can tunnel their way through these materials to gain access to the food source on the other side. They feed on anything made of wood or cellulose within your home’s walls including your belongings.

No termite can digest concrete because it offers no nutritional value to them. These pests can only consume wood, which they cannot digest.

Will Boric Acid Eat Termites?

You can use boric acid termite resistance barriers in your home to keep them away. But only a termite-killing treatment will eliminate these pests from your home. BoricWhat Attracts Termites to a House acid termites work together in a colony to infest any area like the ground floor of your house.

Boric acid termite control is not effective. You will find termites in your home even when you use this acid against them.

Are You at Risk of Termites? How to Remove Termites?

In your home, termites feed on all areas with access to wood or organic material. You can check for droppings and damage to find out when they infest these structures. There is a risk of termites in your home when droppings and frass appear in varied places around it.

House termites like damaged wood. You should take proper steps to fix any problems with your home’s structural integrity. Prevent an infestation from happening in the first place. Replace missing or spare pieces of furniture and clean up clutter around where you live- which will help keep them out!