Types of Termites Found in Northern California

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In Northern California, there are many different types of termites that could be invading your neighborhood. By identifying the termite species our expert pest control technicians will implement the best termite control approach to use as well as the necessary steps to prevent this problem from happening again.

Here is a brief rundown of the types of termites in Northern California which could possibly be causing damage to your home.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are distributed throughout California. However, because they thrive in high moisture areas, they are found in large concentrations in locations which are cool and humid, like those near the coast. They feed mostly on decayed wood which are kept moist either because of their contact with the soil or because they are exposed to water leaks. These termites open galleries within the wood, which serves both as their home and food. If they are detected on your property, that can be seen as a sign that there is a moisture problem in your home or in the wooden structures in it.

Drywood Termites

With the exception of one species, all types of drywood termites feast on dry wood. These may include furniture, structural lumber, decks, fences, utility poles and even stored lumber. Most often we will find them in attics or basements. Once a colony has established itself, it sends out winged reproductive swarms to attack wood found nearby and expand the colony.

These termites are commonly found in Northern California, thriving in the dry areas. However, some colonies have also been found in the Central Valley areas. In these areas, the termites perch their nests above ground, far from the soil.

Like dampwood termites, drywood termites leave a characteristic pattern consisting of chambers and tunnels when they infest a wooden structure. Often, they leave fecal pellets which the termite expel through the surface which is a good way to identify that you may have a termite problem.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are distributed across the state of California, commonly found among tree stumps and dead wood that have come into contact with the soil. They may also infest structural lumber in homes. Although there are several species of termites labeled as subterranean termites, the most important among these are those that belong to the genera Reticulitermes, Heterotermes and Coptotermes. These types of termites have a unique pattern building vertical tunnels of shredded particles.

Among these three genera, the Reticulitermes can be found in practically all areas in the state. They are also the most destructive termites. Although they are relatively small, they compensate for this with colonies that number hundreds of thousands.

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