Termite Identification

What are termites?

One of the most damaging pests living throughout most of the United States is the termite. Entering inside buildings unseen, consuming structural wood and wooden structures, and causing extensive damage to our homes and businesses, termites are challenging pests to deal with.

Termites live and work together in large colonies. They are social creatures, and each member of the colony is responsible for a job that helps the colony succeed. Winged reproductive members of a colony are responsible for creating new termites, soldiers help protect the colony from danger, and workers do the bulk of the work, including gathering food.

a termite up close

In our area of California, there are three types of termites that home and business owners need to be aware of in order to protect their property and bank account:

  • Drywood termites
  • Dampwood termite
  • Subterranean termites

In wooded and forested areas, termites are beneficial, helping to break-down decaying wood and other plant matter. But, as soon as they move onto our properties or into our homes, they turn into unwanted and damaging pests.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are not an insect that causes any direct danger to people. However, they do severe damage to trees and the wooden structures in our homes or businesses. Causing over five billion dollars in damages each year and not something that most homeowners' insurance covers, termites are not a pest you want to “hope” won’t find a way onto your property.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Many things may attract termites to a property, but the main attractants are a suitable nesting spot and plenty of access to food:

  • Dead or fallen trees and tree stumps
  • Piles of leaves, woodpiles, damp mulch
  • Old or water-damaged wooden playsets or fences
  • Wood trim or wooden posts making direct contact with the ground
  • Water-damaged wood flooring or structural wood

Drywood termites often find their way inside our homes through structural wood, barn wood, or wood furniture already infested with the termites, then brought indoors.

Where will I find termites?

Where termites prefer to live and eat, depends on the exact species:

  • Subterranean termites live under the ground in damp soil. The workers travel from the nest to a food source each day; they do not nest within the wood they are feeding on. They typically enter into buildings through any wood making contact with the soil or cracks in the foundation. Inside, subterranean termites invade structural wood located behind walls and under floors, preferring wood previously damaged by water.
  • Dampwood termites prefer to feed and nest outdoors inside of damaged or decaying trees. Water-damaged stumps, lumber, logs, and tree branches are susceptible to dampwood termites. Leaky roofs or water building up around the foundation of a building can draw dampwood termites into your home where they will also attack water-damaged structural wood.
  • As their name suggests, drywood termites prefer to nest within and feed on sound wood. These termites do nest within the wood structures they are feeding on. Wooden structures like attic beams, antique wood furniture, and picture frames are things that are likely to be attacked by drywood termites.

How do I get rid of termites?

If you are ready to get rid of termites from your property, reach out to the local pest control experts at Patriot Pest Management. Our customized services performed by our knowledgeable and friendly experts eliminate pests and stop them from coming back.

At Patriot Pest Management, we won’t hesitate to go the extra mile to ensure that our customers are happy and their properties are free of pests. For exceptional home pest control or commercial pest control services in the Greater Bay Area and surrounding counties of California, contact Patriot Pest Management today!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Below are some easy to follow tips to keep termites from taking over your home and yard:

  • In your yard or outdoor space, eliminate damp or rotting wood that termites find attractive. Leaf piles, fallen trees, and tree stumps attract termites.
  • Fix areas on your property that allow standing water to collect.
  • Keep gutters clear of clogs that cause rainwater to build up and seep into your home’s roofline and walls.
  • Keep the soil around the foundation of your home as dry as possible.
  • Replace wood mulch with a non-organic gardening material.
  • Repair damage to your foundation, exterior walls, or the roof where termites could enter.
  • Use ventilating fans and dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels and get rid of excess moisture from your home.
  • Inspect antique wooden furniture, structural beams, or other wood items for signs of drywood termites before bringing them into your home.

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