Can termites eat drywall?

Can termites eat drywall?  It’s a fair question to ask considering that the damage caused by termites costs consumers about 30 billion dollars per year.  Termites are also known to be voracious eaters and studies have estimated that 50K termites can devour one foot of 2×4 in about 6 months.  Taking all that into account the simple answer to the question can termites eat drywall is, yes.

Here’s how it happens, how to inspect for it and what it looks like.

Since termites in Ct are subterranean they come from some odd areas.  These areas include expansion joints in concrete floors, behind slabs and at areas where siding on the outside may be touching the ground.  To make matters worse once they’re in these areas they have the tendency to get into walls.  Last, keep in mind termites feed on cellulose which is defined as wood and the by products of wood.  This is the reason why inspectors will tell homeowners that with termites there’s always the possibility for hidden damage.

When termites eat drywall they’re only eating the paper that surrounds the gypsum which is a powdery sulfate material that when hardened produces a hard white chalky substance.

Termite damaged drywall
Drywall damaged by termites

When termites eat drywall they will normally only slightly disturb the paint on the surface.  In fact there really are only two ways to inspect for termites because of this.  The first is to use a flashlight and shine it sideways on the wall.  Doing this will allow all the imperfections to be visible.

Next, take your hand and with firm pressure rub your palm against the wall.  If termites are there your hand will push through the paint as if it’s peeling and you’ll see brown spots.

If you have termites call Envirocare Pest Control at 1-888-879-6481. We can help

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