Termite Identification

What are termites?

Termites are one of a homeowner’s worst nightmares. They are social insects, living and working together in large colonies, becoming a problem on any property that provides them with food, shelter, and moisture.

a termite up close in a house

Termites often invade our California properties where they feed on and destroy structural wood and other structural elements. There are three types of termites in our region that we need to protect our properties against — drywood termites, dampwood termites, and subterranean termites. 

It is easy to forget that termites exist since we rarely, if ever, see them. But, it is essential to remember that the potential for these insects to be on your property silently working to feed their colonies with wood from our yards and homes is always present!

Are termites dangerous?

Termites living and feeding on your property are dangerous, not because they bite, sting, or spread diseases to people but because of the structural destruction they cause. 

Termites are difficult to prevent and even more difficult to eliminate. Inside structures, they cause major damage. The damage termites cause can lead to foundation issues, cracked walls, doors and windows not closing correctly, and spongy floors.

Referred to as silent invaders, termites are pests that move into our homes and feed on wood for months or years at a time without notice. The damage they can create is extensive and quite costly for homeowners to repair. It is also not something covered by most homeowners’ insurance. 

The presence of termites is an indicator of moisture and ventilation problems in your home. You should address any excess moisture in order to prevent issues with decay, mold, and fungus.

Why do I have a termite problem?

You are experiencing a problem with termites because your yard or home provides them with their basic needs. Termites are a year-round threat and work 24/7 to gather the food necessary to feed their colonies.

There are many things on our properties that will attract termites:

  • A fungal infestation within your home like dry rot fungus will transport water from wet areas to dry areas, causing sound wood to become damp and damaged, providing the perfect place for termites to feed. 

  • Poor drainage in your yard and around your home give termites access to water.

  • Lots of wood or organic debris on your property like leaf piles, logs, fallen trees, tree stumps, construction lumbar may cause a termite feeding frenzy. 

  • Leaky pipes, roofs, and gaps around windows and doors will allow wood within your home to become damaged by water and conducive to termite activity. 

  • Lots of wood to soil contact makes it easy for termites to come into contact with and invade pieces of wood.

Where will I find termites?

Subterranean termites build their nests deep within the ground in damp soil. They have high moisture needs and require contact with the soil. These termites prefer to feed on decaying or water-damaged wood. Workers leave the nest each day to forage for food, moving back and forth from their food sources to the nest through mud tubes they create.

Drywood termites build their nest inside the wood they are using to feed their colony. They have lower moisture needs than other species, small colonies, and prefer to feed on sound dry wood. Drywood termites attack things like wood furniture, roofing materials, structural beams, wood trim, and wooden antiques.

Dampwood termites mainly live outside because of the large amount of excess moisture they require to survive. They prefer very damp or water-damaged wood. Logs, stumps, dead trees, fence posts, and utility poles are where we often find dampwood termites.

How do I get rid of termites?

Termite infestations need to be handled by a professional to ensure their complete elimination and prevent them from returning. Get rid of wood-destroying termites with the help of Green Flash Pest Control and our over 25 years of pest control experience! Our highly trained, friendly, and dedicated professionals will eliminate termites in a flash!

We are a locally-owned, family-based company that takes protecting our community from unwanted pests seriously. Through our wide variety of customized termite control services in San Diego and Riverside County, CA and Phoenix, AZ, outstanding customer care, and guaranteed solutions, you can trust us to help you maintain a property that is free of destructive termites. Call us a call today to learn more about our comprehensive termite repair services specific to the species that have invaded your property!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Taking the following measures around your property will help make it less attractive to termites and help you avoid problems with these pests in your home.

  • Inspect lumber, furniture, and other wooden items for signs of termites before bringing them into your home. 

  • Eliminate damp or rotting wood from your property.

  • Use a dehumidifier in your basement or crawl space and any other damp areas of your house to limit the ability for any fungus to grow and damage the wood in your home. 

  • Make sure to ventilate your house adequately.

  • Immediately repair leaking pipes and air conditioners.

  • Remove dying trees, tree stumps, and fallen trees from your property.

  • Create at least a one-inch gap between the ground and any wooden door frames, shingles, or trim.

  • Allow as little wood to soil contact on your property as possible. 

  • Repair cracks or other openings in your foundation or exterior walls that termites could move through.

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