Since California sees a relatively high degree of annual termite destruction, the state legally requires all homes to be inspected for termites before being sold. California law also states that only licensed professionals can carry out termite inspections on properties, handle regulated pest control chemicals, or perform any kind of pest control service. Since subterranean termites dwell in the soil, the damage they inflict usually does not occur beyond the subarea of homes. Subterranean termites must remain close to the ground where the moist soil provides the pests with needed hydration. Because of this, subterranean termites mainly infest wooden joists, subflooring, decks, and other areas located beneath the first floor of homes. In addition to searching for signs of subterranean termites around the foundation, pest control professionals in California also thoroughly inspect attics for drywood termites.

In all areas of southern California, drywood termites are nearly as destructive as subterranean termites. Unlike subterranean termites, which see workers establish infestations in structural wood, drywood termites do not dwell in soil, and only the swarming alates produced within mature drywood termite colonies initiate infestations. During their annual mating swarms, drywood termite alates often fly into attics where a male and female may initiate a new colony within any available wood source. A pair of alates may bore directly into wood, or into crevices between sheathing and rafters, between plates and studding ends, between studding and siding, and in some cases, between mudsills and foundations near the ground. Around 90 percent of drywood termite infestations are initiated between cracks and crevices on the surface of wood. In Ventura County and other coastal areas of southern California, drywood termite infestations are most commonly found in attics as opposed to subfloor areas, and the reverse is the case in inland areas. Drywood termite infestations are also frequently found in window frames, sills and interior trim.

Have you ever witnessed a termite swarm near your property?