Termites 101

Common Southern California Termite Species


D rywood Termites are larger than subterranean termites, up to one-half inch long, and create colonies in wood with very little moisture needed for survival. Unlike Subterranean Termites they do not require any direct connection to soil. They eat all types of wood and occasionally other cellulose material such as cardboard or books. Drywood Termite infestations can exist for long periods of time before being discovered, often eating away the wood while leaving the paint in place. The most common evidence of Drywood Termites is small piles of sawdust-colored pellets that fall from kick-out holes made by the termites. Just one or two pellets are difficult to see with the naked eye, but over time an active colony will create thousands of these pellets making their presence more obvious.

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S ubterranean Termites are smaller than Drywood termites, approximately one-fourth inch long. They create colonies in the soil and require moisture to survive. Unlike Drywood Termites, they must have a direct connection to soil. They build tubes up the side of concrete foundations or straight out of the ground, making highway tunnels for traveling back and forth to their food source. They eat all types of wood and occasionally other cellulose material like cardboard or books. The most common evidence of Subterranean Termites is the presence of mud tunnels along the interior or exterior foundation of the house.


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