Can termites eat through siding?

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Termites can munch their way through wood siding, of course, but other siding materials are not a problem for them either. Two termites will fit easily on the tip of a match and they can fit through an opening as small as 1/32” wide, so termites just find a seam between siding pieces and go in there. Vinyl, aluminum, and cementitious siding all have vulnerable openings for termite entry.

    Termites require a moist, enclosed environment to survive and can’t live for long in open air. This means that while a line of subterranean termites can crawl up the wall to get in behind the bottom of the siding or between siding sections, they can’t get too far above the ground without building a mud tube tunnel. The photo below shows several mud tubes that termites built to come up from a crack in a garage floor slab before they found out there was no wood to be had at that location.


    It’s important to keep any wood at least six inches off the ground, and that the six inch gap be clearly visible (not covered by mulch or dirt), so that any of those exploratory mud tubes can be detected by your or your termite inspector before they make too much progress up the wall and begin to march up to the attic.

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To learn more about termites, see these other blog posts:

Should I be worried about termites if my neighbor's house is being tented?

Is the WDO (termite) inspector allowed to poke holes in my wood siding and trim? 

Do carpenter ants cause structural damage to houses in Florida?

How long before closing can you have a WDO (termite) inspection done?

How long does Bora-Care® last? 

 Why is it a mistake to store lumber in the crawl space under a house?

Does the presence of carpenter ants in a house indicate that there are probably also termites? 

How do termites infest a house and remain hidden while doing major damage?

Are homes in Florida required to have termite protection? 

If termite damage appears to be old, does that mean that termites may no longer be present?

How do I know if my WDO/termite report is "clear"? 

When do termites swarm in Florida?

Does a recent termite company inspection sticker mean there are no termites? 

Can a mobile/manufactured home get termites?

Do I have to tent the house if I have termites? 

What is the difference between a subterranean termite and a drywood termite?

What are the green plastic discs in the ground around the house? 

What is a termite shield?

How do termites get into a concrete block house? 

Do termites eat concrete?

What is a clean WDO?  

What do termites eat?

How do I treat wood rot  that's listed in my termite-WDO report? 

Do I really need a termite-WDO inspection? 

What's causing those holes in the fascia?

Does wood chip mulch in the yard attract termites?

I think I have termites. What does a termite look like?

I'm buying a concrete block house. Do I still need a termite inspection? 

• I saw a little termite damage on the baseboard. Should I be concerned?

   Visit our TERMITES, WOOD ROT AND PESTS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.  

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