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Telling The Difference Between Termites

There are an estimated 4,000 species of termites but it is believed only 10% of those species can actually be considered pests because of the damage they cause to buildings and Structures. There are three species of pest termites in California; the drywood, the dampwood and the subterranean. Below I’ll point out the differences between the drywood termite and the subterranean termite.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are most often seen in southern California but they can also be found along the coast; these termites wont be found in regions where the temperature drops below freezing. Here are some basic facts about the drywood termite.
• Difficult to detect – these termites live deep inside wood and typically aren’t seen until there’s a swarm, in which hundreds fly out
• Their colonies are smaller…usually less than 2,000
• Unlike other species of termites, drywoods do not need contact with the soil to survive, they live directly in wood.
• They can tolerate long periods of dry conditions and heat
• These termites will consume wood from framing, furniture, structural timbers and even hardwood floors

Because drywood termites are difficult to detect and can cause significant damage, do-it-yourself treatment is not recommended. Seek help from a professional termite control company if you think you may have a drywood termite infestation.

Subterranean Termites

The subterranean termite is another species of the insect that can be found throughout the state. These termites can tolerate cooler temperatures than the drywood termites so naturally they are found more often around the United States. While still a species of termite, the subterranean is very different from the drywood termite (other than their love for wood). Below is some information about the subterranean termite.
• Drywood Termites are noticeably larger than Subterranean Termites
• These termites require a moist environment…they can often be found near water leaks and in wood that is rotten from water damage
• Structural Supports and Foundations are Damaged
• Subterranean termites are not found in Alaska
• The colonies of these termites are much larger than drywood termite colonies

The Western Subterranean Termite is the most destructive termite found in California. Please contact a professional when a termite problem is suspected as it can spread quickly to other homes.

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