Termites and Cedar: Does Cedar Repel or Attract Termites?

Termites are one of the worst pests you can ever encounter in your home.

They destroy more homes than typhoons and fires, collectively.

Millions of homeowners pay thousands upon thousands of dollars in home repairs that are caused by these pesky termites each year.

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They eat just about any kind of wood, save for cedar, which has properties that make it repellent to termites.

Cedar Wood = repels and kills termites

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One major cause of homes harboring termite colonies is the emergence of centralized heating. Termites thrive on damp and wet environment, and when there is wood nearby, they tend to burrow inside the wood and take up residence there.

Homes can easily have up to four termite colonies, and each colony has a million or so termites. There can be upwards of a million or more termites that might be living in your home at any one time, and they are hard to get rid of without leaving any damage to your home.

Termites and cedar cannot coexist together; termites die when they eat cedar.

Termite Repelling Basics

There are several things that you may want to know about termites to better help you deal with them should you find your home being infested by these small but terrible creepers.

  • Termite colonies have a very organized “society”. They follow a hierarchy where the queen termite reproduces, and workers and nymphs do all the legwork for the queen and everyone in the colony.

  • There are three types of termites but the most common household termites are the subterranean termites. As their name implies, they live underground and burrow and make tunnels to reach wood foundations that they can destroy and get food from.

  • Termites can eat as much as one pound of wood each day. This may seem like a small statistic, but because they remain burrowed for months, even years before being discovered, the amount of wood they have eaten has accumulated, and repair – even replacement of damaged wood – is inevitable.

  • Any area in the home where there is wood is susceptible to termite infestation. Also, furnaces with wood implements can be a good breeding ground, as they thrive on moist environments, and the steam that the furnace gives off is the best element for termites.

The 3 Types of Termites

There are as much as 45 species of termites found all over the world, but they are categorized into three main types:

Subterranean termites. They are the most common household termites that thrive not only in the United States but in many countries as well. They take residence under the ground and make mud tunnels to their sources of nourishment, namely wood posts foundations, as well as trees. They eat the lighter parts of the wood first, and go on from there. They veer away from the rings on wood, so you will see paths that are parallel to the grains.

Dampwood termites. They favor the types of wood with very high moisture content. Compared to their subterranean kins, they do not need to be near the ground or soil to thrive. As long as there is wood high in moisture, their colonies will survive.

Drywood termites. They can live in dead trees. They do not need a lot of moisture nor soil to multiply. They can also eat hardwood floors, but their colonies tend to be much smaller than subterranean termites, making the damage progress in a home a lot slower.

Cedar as an Anti-Termite Wood

Termites and cedar don't have the best relationship...

Cedar is one type of wood that is termite-resistant.

Apparently cedar wood has a chemical property that repels termites and when they eat the wood, the chemical becomes toxic to them, killing them in the process.

Although cedar is a beautiful type of wood that will look good in any home, it is more expensive than other types of wood, so not many use it in their homes.

You can use cedar in the most termite-prone areas such as the foundations. Investing in cedar is better than having repairs done every few years because of termite infestation.

Avoid Termite Infestation with these Tips

There are several things that you can do to keep your home termite-free. Even if it has already been infested with termites in the past and you have successfully gotten rid of them, these tips will help you keep them at bay.

  • Since termites thrive in moist environment, take care of our home’s water system and keep away the accumulation of moisture near the foundations. Make sure your downspouts and pipes are properly functioning and not leaking.

  • Pieces of leftover wood from home construction or repairs should never be buried at the back of the house because you will be inviting termite colonies into your home. They will start from there and inch their way into your home.

  • Use anti-termite solutions to the soil near wooden foundations to keep termites away from them.

Picking the right types of wood to use in your home is essential for a termite-free habitation.

Pressure-treated wood is all the rage now in home construction. They are ordinary types of woods that have been treated to prevent termites from eating them. These are best for decks and foundations.

You can also opt woods such as cypress, redwood and cedar. They are naturally termite-resistant, although cedar can be very expensive and they do not last as long as treated lumber.

Resources:

https://www.terminix.com/termite-control/termite-facts/

http://www.termites.com/types-of-termites/

http://www.termite-control.com/termite-infested-homes/termite-and-building-material/termites-cedar/

http://www.doityourselftermitecontrol.com/subterranean-termites.html

http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/woodchoices.shtml

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