Termite Information

  • Termites in California

    All termites are social insects which live in colonies like bees and ants. They have a caste system, meaning they have different jobs and look different depending on their job. All termites eat wood for the same reason. Wood is primarily cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar, just like sucrose, fructose and lactose. In California we are mainly concerned about three types of termites in our structures; subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites.

    Subterranean termites live in the ground and are the smallest of the three. They are the greatest in terms of numbers. They need access to moisture which they primarily get from the ground. They are most commonly identified by their mud tubes/tunnels. The most common thought of treatment is a chemical soil treatment.

    Drywood termites live in the wood. They are in the middle in terms of size. Everything they need to survive is in the wood. They can do this because they have the ability to metabolize water out of wood. They are most commonly identified by the dry pellets which some say look like poppy seeds or sand. The most common thought of treatment is a fumigation.

    Dampwood termites live in the soil. They are the largest in terms of size. They need lots of moisture. They usually attack really damp wood, that is why they are commonly found in rotting stumps. Dampwood termites normally don't attack structures unless there is a moisture problem, like a plumbing leak. Generally no treatment is needed if the moisture problem is addressed and the wood is allowed to dry.

  • Please consult your local county Entomologist for additional information about termites or other wood destroying organisms

Termite Tips

  • Maintain your home's outer paint Paint and seal all wood. Painted and sealed wood protects against moisture and makes it more difficult for insects to enter your home. Besides, it adds aesthetic value to your home.
  • Schedule regular check-ups with your termite inspectorPeriodic, regular inspections like seeing your doctor, dentist, optometrist, vehicle mechanic, termite inspector, etc. will help deter bigger problems in the future.
  • Prevent wooden structures from touching the groundAll wood is susecptible to termites and other organisms. Monitor areas where wood structures meet the Earth; these are likely sources for wood destroying insects to reach your home.
  • Check for leaks regularlyMoisture prevention. Moisture causes fungus which can damage wood and can attract subterranean termites as well as other pests. All plumbing leaks and excessive moisture conditions should be addressed promptly.
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