Do Termites Eat Cedar? Surprising Answers

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Termites are one of the most common insect pests in the United States. Damage caused by termites can be costly and time-consuming to repair. One common question homeowners ask is whether termites eat cedar wood.

Termites do not eat cedar wood. Cedar wood is not an essential part of their diet and they will not damage it as a result.

Do termites eat cedar wood?

No, termites don't always eat cedar wood.

Termites are an extremely common pest that can cause a lot of damage to homes. One question people often have is whether or not termites eat cedar wood. Cedar is a natural repellent to termites, so they don’t typically eat it.

Termites are known to feed on cellulose, which is found in wood. However, if there are no other viable cellulose sources nearby, termites may jump onto cedar wood. That said, cedar is still a popular choice for building homes and furniture because it is resistant to termites.

However, there are different types of termites, and some may be more attracted to cedar than others. It is important to get professional help if you think you have a termite problem in order to determine the best course of action.

How fast do termites eat wood in general?

Termites are notorious for their voracious appetite for wood. A subterranean termite colony numbering in the tens of thousands can consume up to a foot of 2″x 4″ wood within just six months.

In general, drywood termites are more likely to feed on drier wood sources, such as hardwood flooring, furniture, wooden frames, and other structures. However, subterranean termites can also feed on moist wood if it is available.

Termites swarm in order to start new colonies, and the swarmers are the most destructive because they can go undetected for long periods of time. They will eat through any wood, including cedar wood, in a few months, in order to get to the moisture inside.

There are three types of termites that are most common in the United States- drywood, subterranean, and Formosan.

They are mostly found in warm regions, but they can infest colder areas as well. Termites typically eat wood quickly because their digestive system breaks down the cellulose in the wood.

In short, termites are destructive pests that eat wood to create tunnels and holes. If their colonies are undetected, they can cause extensive damage in a short period of time.

Is cedar wood a termite repellant wood?

Cedar is not a termite repellent wood in and of itself, but it has allelochemicals that act as repellents. Plants produce allelochemicals to protect them from being eaten by insects or other animals.

Cedar produces these chemicals to protect itself from being eaten by termites, and they will avoid nesting in cedar wood if they can.

The white wood on the outside of a cedar tree is not termite resistant by any means. In fact, termites love to feast on this part of the tree because it is high in sugar content. It is the chemical inside that has termite repellant properties.

Cedar trees are often planted near homes as a natural termite repellant, but if the trunk or branches of the cedar are damaged, the termites will be able to invade the home quite easily.

Cedar is a popular choice for wood fences and decks because it is durable and has extra resistance against pests like termites. While cedar may be more expensive than other types of wood, it is well worth the investment.

Do termites eat redwood trees?

Redwood contains tannic acid

Termites have been found all over the US and have been known to damage homes and businesses. While they will eat most types of wood, redwood trees, like cedar wood, are generally resistant to termites due to the tannic acid in their bark.

This doesn’t mean that they won’t eat redwood trees, but it does mean that they are less likely to. Interestingly, it is the heartwood part of a redwood tree is the most resistant to termites. Termites will not be able to eat through it and can only damage the softer sapwood.

Do termites eat bamboo also?

Termites don't generally eat bamboo

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Bamboo is not even a tree, really! In fact, it belongs to the category of grasses. So, is bamboo at threat of being eaten by termites? While they will eat a variety of different types of wood, termites generally avoid eating bamboo.

This is because bamboo is grass and has a high silica content which makes it difficult for the termites to digest.

Further, termites will not eat bamboo as it does not contain the cellulose they need to survive, so using bamboo flooring is a great way to prevent termite infestations in your home.

What do termites eat other than cedar wood or other types of wood?

Termites are able to feed on cellulose, meaning they can eat plants other than cedar wood. Cellulose is a type of plant-based sugar that is found in all types of plants. This means that termites can eat many different types of plants, not just cedar wood.

In addition to cedar wood, termites will also eat other types of wood in order to survive. In fact, they have even been known to chew through books, wallpaper, and drywall in homes!

In short, termites will eat anything and everything that contains some amount of cellulose. As we know, termites are heavily dependent on cellulose for nutrition.

Further, termites have also been found to consume other types of materials, despite those materials lacking cellulose. For example, even though plastic doesn’t contain any nutrients, termites have still been known to chew through it.

Most scientists believe that termites do this either as a force of habit or simply to find their way to a source of sustenance.

How can you prevent termites in your home and around your cedar wood altogether?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent termites in your home. Closing any gaps in the foundation and repairing any leaks can help deter them, as can planting trees and shrubs away from the foundation. Moving wood piles and firewood away from your home can also be helpful.

The essence of preventing termites or termite infestations in your home is to prevent their access to their preferred environments and to keep up with your pest control maintenance schedule!


The conclusion of this article is that termites don’t usually eat cedar. The fact is that even though the exterior is susceptible to termite damage, cedar contains chemicals that are harmful to termites! That said, if they can’t find any other sources of cellulose and nutrition around, they could take a shot at your cedar furniture too!

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.