High-Density Wood Is More Resistant To Termite Attacks
We all know that termites consume wood, but your average layman may not know anything more about termites than this. This is not to say that people are not curious about the feeding habits of termites, after all any group of tiny insects that can bring a house down are bound to capture people’s interest. Finding the information you need concerning termites is not always as easy as a simple Google search, so many people’s seemingly basic questions about termites remain unanswered. For example, are there any types of wood that termites avoid? Do termites consume only dead wood? Or do they consume living trees as well? Obviously, some types of wood are more dense than others. Does the density of wood influence a termite’s eating habits? Are some forms of wood too dense for termites to break apart? Surprisingly, a group of researchers have conducted a study that aimed to answer these two questions, and it seems that wood-density does influence termite feeding behaviors.
There are many factors that determine which types of wood termites choose to consume. For example, fungal decay, dampness, hardness and the presence of toxic substances in wood are all important factors that contribute to termite feeding behaviors. There is also a difference between sapwood and heartwood that must be considered. Sapwood is the outer living part of a tree that is covered in bark. Heartwood is the denser and more lightly colored dead wood that exists within the center of trees. Two studies indicated that denser and harder wood is more resistant to termite attacks than less dense and softer wood. However, this only applies to heartwood, which is understandable considering that heartwood is used for construction. The sapwood that coats dense trees is not durable when it comes to termite attacks, so wood-treatments are always necessary in cases where sapwood is preserved for building purposes.
If you were purchasing a home made of timber would you make a point to check the wood’s resistance to termite attacks?