Can Termites Eat Through Concrete? {How Termites Get Inside Concrete}

Are you wondering if concrete is safe from termites? Can Termites Eat Through Concrete?

Do Termites Burrow Through Concrete? Is There Any Nutrition For Termites In Concrete?

In this article, we will dig deep into this hard material and discover if termites can do the same. The topic of the day is, “Can termites eat through concrete?”

Can Termites Eat Through Concrete?

No, Termites cannot eat through concrete. They can slip through cracks, gaps and unsealed areas of concrete to give way to wood around or behind it.

Concrete degrades and termites look to tunnel through any imperfections to reach cellulose in wood because concrete itself doesn’t provide any nourishment for termites.

Can Termites Eat Concrete?

No Way. Termites are unable to ingest and digest concrete. The nutrition for termites is contained in cellulose which is found in wood. Termites can chew through drywall, foam, plastic, lead and copper to get to the cellulose found in wood nearby.

Termites might be motivated enough to get through concrete imperfections and gaps when they know there is wood behind it.

These little pests are dedicated creatures who will stop at nothing to feed their colony. If there is a way in through the concrete, they will find it.

How Termites Find A Way Into A Home’s Concrete Foundation?

Termites are little investigators and persistent, hard workers. They will look for small cracks and crevices. The expansion joints and places where pipes or wire get through concrete are perfect spots for termites to sneak in.

There areas must be sealed really well with foam or gel substances specifically designed to keep them out.

Termites make mud tunnels. These tunnels continue to expand and get wider. They can create a perimeter around concrete slabs in your foundation to get through.

The foundation can crack and the entryways become more accessible for termites. We recommend annual inspections of your home including the foundation to make sure is it sound and free of termites or their tunnel systems.

How Do I Know If Termites Got Through My Concrete Walls?

  1. Look for damage to the concrete or long cracks. These pesky termites can slip their way through.
  2. Look around wood frames near door or windows. Locate any soft spots by tapping at it. Sometimes these cracks give way to frass or wood dust. This is what the termites are leaving behind as they tunnel their way through to their ultimate destination: a wood source rich in cellulose.
  3. Look for discarded wings near windows and doors.
  4. If you have any mulch, plant matter, firewood or lumber next to the concrete, move them away.
  5. Seal all cracks and gaps.
  6. Keep plants and shrubs or trees away from you concrete foundations.
  7. Remove tree stumps and fix all leaks to prevent excess moisture.
  8. Allow for more ventilation in your attic or basement which helps limit termites from entering.

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Can Termites Burrow Through Concrete?

Concrete that has hardened and settled will be impossible for termites to penetrate. Sometimes concrete is not set properly and leads to widening cracks. These are open invitations for termites to burrow through.

If the cement is in dust form, it’s easy for termites to get through it once they realize where they are going with the use of their antennae.

They are looking to move through cement or concrete to get to cellulose found in wood near or behind it. If the concrete is soft, moist or wet, termites will be attracted to it and will begin investigating at ways to build mud tunnels and get through it.

Do Termites Eat Through Concrete?

No. This is an urban myth. Concrete is not going to be eaten by termites. You’re asking a tiny pest to chew through one of the hardest building materials.

It is much easier for termites to munch through wood, drywall, plant matter, plastic, rubber, wiring, or even lead. The end result is that termites build extensive mud tunnels through or around concrete and other materials to reach wood that is rich in cellulose.

They are determined to get through concrete if they can find any gaps, cracks or areas where pipes pass through. This is why all gaps must be properly sealed with commercial grade foam or gel sealants.

Can Termites Get Through Concrete Slab Floors?

Concrete slabs that have been used over the decades can begin to degrade. They will develop hairline cracks at first and begin to expand. Any crack that is over 3 millimeters in width is large enough for termites to slip through.

They are sleek little creatures that are adapted to squeeze through the tiniest slivers in cracks. The expansion joints that are between two slabs of concrete offer space in some cases for termites to get through.

If the joints lead to framework made of timber or other cellulose items straddling the joints, the termites will not stop until they reach it. If the wood is mixed with glue or it’s chipboard, MDF, laminate or treated with borate coating, termites will leave the area alone.

Is There Any Nutrition For Termites In Concrete?

No. Termites are not going to be able to get any nutrients from concrete. They will not be able to chew through it even if there was.

The concrete only provides passage to what is behind if they find gaps, cracks or other openings through it.

Concrete that degrades over time is susceptible to providing such passageways. Lime mortar or brickwork that is old or degrading also offer similar amounts of opportunities for termites to tunnel through.

How Do Termites Get Inside Concrete?

Concrete dust or degraded concrete is the easiest way for termites to get through. They can also slip through cracks and openings where pipes and wiring goes through.

If the crack is large enough for the head of one termite to fit through, the tunneling process will begin. Termites prefer larger holes, but if they can sense that there is wood behind the concrete, they will continue on.

Weakened mortar mix allows for termites to use their relatively powerful jaws to keep on tunneling.

Can Termites Eat Through Stucco?

Termites get only get through stucco if there are imperfections or tiny cracks. Termites are looking for any way in though stucco that is in front of wood and drywall.

Holes develop over time and stucco degrades. There is no cellulose in stucco, so termites will not be attempting to eat it. They are only looking for a way through it.

Can Termites Eat Through Grout?

Termites won’t eat grout, but they will attempt to get through it. Sometimes tiny cracks and holes develop through grout and if they can fit inside, they will go through to reach wood framing or foundations.

Houses made of lumber are susceptible to termites who will do just about anything to reach the cellulose within the wood.

This means that grout with holes or crevices offer enough space for termites to get through. Seal all gaps and consider re-applying grout to make it termite-proof.

What Kind of Termites go Through Concrete, Stucco, Grout, or Bricks?

The most popular type of termites that tunnel through concrete, stucco, bricks and grout are subterranean termites. They are usually the culprits to most of the damage found in homes.

Drywood termites can also create tunnels in and around concrete, stucco, grout and brick too, but evidence supports the suggestion that if you have a problem with termites getting through these materials, they are most likely subterranean termites.

How Do Termites Penetrate Concrete?

Termites use their antennae and adaptive abilities to sense where they can find cellulose. More often than not, it’s gong to be a derivative of wood or dead trees that receive these pests who will make quick use of them.

The fibrous matter in wood known as cellulose is easy to absorb when they use their gut bacteria known as protozoa to extract and digest it.

Concrete is only a barrier to get to the cellulose found in the wood framing or other sources of wood behind this strong material.

Concrete has no value to termites. It’s an obstacles that termites have proven successful at penetrating by finding cracks, holes, gaps and areas that have degraded or weren’t sealed well when pipes and wires were run through it.

Once termites find a way through the concrete, they will relentlessly build tunnels to reach the wood or drywall behind it.

Which Types Of Concrete Keep Termites Out?

It is usually the imperfections or degradation of concrete that leads to termites entering. Poured concrete is very resistant to termites, but the walls must not have any cracks.

Hollow blocks form cracks much easier. Slab foundations close to the soil allow termites to tunnel through it.

Lumber is often attached or nailed to the slabs. The slab cracks or weakens and termites gain access to the wood structures adjacent to it.


Termites don’t eat concrete, but they will work hard at finding a way through it. You are making their work easier if the concrete has cracks, holes or there are gaps where termites can tunnel through.

Seal all gaps and cracks sooner than later to prevent the opportunity that termites are looking for to reach the cellulose rich wood that awaits them inside.


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Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable