Contrary to urban legend, termites cannot eat through concrete. And, they do not have super jaws that can chew through steel. They simply eat wood and other cellulose materials, which is amazing since cellulose is indigestible to most creatures. And termites are constantly searching for new food sources to feed their growing colonies. Termite control requires persistence and attention to detail similar to that which drives termites to create mud highways across your concrete foundation to get to your yummy wood frames.
Physical Barriers Only Go So Far to Control Termites
Concrete slab floors are common in Australian homes built since the 60s and provide effective barriers to termites. However, concrete can develop cracks over time ( have a look at the hairline cracks in your garage floor). Cracks need to be wider than 3mm to provide passage to the good wood inside the home. The expansion joints between large slabs of concrete can provide access either to any framework crossing it or timber, books and other cellulose items stored straddling these joints.
Termites will not eat chipboard, MDF, laminates or other wood mixed with glue. They may travel over these materials to get to the “good stuff” like your timber infrastructure and built-in framework.