Types of Termites

Here are some descriptions of a few of the most common types of termites that LD Termite eradicates. All of these pests can cause major structural damage. Contact us if you see any of these pests in or around your home! Click on the image of the pest to go to the University of California Integrated Pest Management web site and get more information.

western-subterranean-termite158x108 Subterranean termites require moist environments. To satisfy this need, they usually nest in or near the soil and maintain some connection with the soil through tunnels in wood or through shelter tubes they construct. These shelter tubes are made of soil with bits of wood or even plasterboard (drywall). Much of the damage they cause occurs in foundation and structural support wood. Because of the moisture requirements of subterranean termites, they are often found in wood that has wood rot.

drywood158x108 Drywood termites infest dry, undecayed wood, including structural lumber as well as dead limbs of native trees and shade and orchard trees, utility poles, posts, and lumber in storage. From these areas, winged reproductives seasonally migrate to nearby buildings and other structures usually on sunny days during fall months. Drywood termites are most prevalent in southern California (including the desert areas), but also occur along most coastal regions and in the Central Valley.

dampwood Dampwood termites are fairly common in central and northern coastal areas in California. Because of their high moisture requirements, dampwood termites most often are found in cool, humid areas along the coast and are typical pests of beach houses. Winged reproductives typically swarm between July and October, but it is not unusual to see them at other times of the year. Dampwood termite winged reproductives (sometimes called swarmers) are attracted to lights.

formosan158x108 The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, is now in California but restricted to a small area near San Diego. Unlike the western subterranean termite, Formosan subterranean termites swarm at dusk and are attracted to lights.

westernblackcarpenterant158x108 Carpenter ants don’t consume wood like termites but excavate it to make their nests, which in large colonies can consist of an extensive network of galleries and tunnels often beginning in an area where there is damage from water or wood decay. From here they can expand the nest into sound wood and compromise structural integrity. They also commonly nest in wall voids, hollow doors, and insulation. Infestations can even occur in new buildings when land clearing in the surrounding area disturbs established colonies, causing them to move into the structure.