Do You Have Termites? - Ecola Termite and Pest Control Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
800-332-BUGS (2847)
Ecola Termite
Request Your free Termite
& Pest Inspection Estimate!
- OR - Get Pest Solutions
Cheerfully Quoted Over the Phone!
800-332-BUGS (2847)

Do You Have Termites?

Say you’re walking your dog in your neighborhood and come across a house that looks more

like a circus tent. What are your next thoughts? I’m glad that’s not me!

Wait, does my house have termites?

Does it?

In Southern California, there are two types of termites we deal with primarily, drywood and

subterraneans. This article focuses on drywood termites.

Drywood termites start out as nymphs. In a drywood termite colony, the nymphs do all the work.

They feed the soldiers, clean and look after the queen and chew wood. They don’t sleep. When

they’re at it, they go twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five

days a year.

Nymphs eventually become soldiers, or reproductives (kings and queens). Soldiers form giant

heads with jaws. Their job is to protect the colony from intruders (mostly ants).

The reproductives, AKA kings and queens, AKA swarmers, are the termites that vacate the

colony on a warm, fall day. Picture paratroopers jumping out of a military transport plane.

Dozens of winged termites leave the colony and fly towards light. Their wings are perforated, so

they can be easily removed. If everything goes as planned, they’ll find a partner, mate, chew

into some wood and start a new colony. The good news: 97% of swarmers die. The bad news:

3% live and, according to the US Department of Agriculture, their colonies cause approximately

1.5 billion dollars in damage annually in the US southwest alone.

How do you know if you have termites?

Most people discover their droppings (little wood pellets the size of particles of sand).

As the population of their colonies grow, drywood termites make room by boring little holes,

called kickouts, in the wood to push their droppings out. You might discover a pile of termite

droppings on a window sill, a trash can lid, or your sidewalk.

If you’re a do it yourselfer, you might grab a can of Raid and start spraying. It won’t work.

Drywood termites live inside the wood, so topical treatments won’t help. Their colonies can

stretch 4 feet or more and travel in almost any direction.

If you find termite droppings, what you’re seeing is probably just the tip of the wood beam.

Yearly inspections are key.

When completing an inspection, a licensed termite inspector probes the exterior wood of a

home, including the fascia, rafter tails, eaves, window and door frames. The inspector will crawl

your attic and sub area, if you have one. They’ll inspect the garage and attic framing, and

anywhere else exposed wood exists. Sometimes, a section of wood looks fine but the

inspector’s probe will break through and droppings will spill out.

Termites love attics; they gain access through roof and gable vents. Attics in the West are

accessible through small, ominous openings in the ceiling. Attic spaces are hot, cramped areas

filled with hazards like cobwebs, insulation, nails and splintered wood. If you feel brave and

enter your attic, you might step somewhere you shouldn’t and break through your ceiling. If you

manage to remain on the rafters, you’ll need to crawl through small openings, electrical wires

and duct work to reach all the areas of your attic to complete a thorough inspection.

Without regular inspections, termites can go unchecked for years.

If you have termites and wait, the infestation will become increasingly difficult to eradicate. The

termites will cause more and more wood damage. The more wood damage, the more expensive

it will be to repair. If you catch the problem early on, tenting can be avoided and damaged wood

could be patched instead of replaced.

If you’ve found evidence of drywood termites or just want peace of mind, contact the friendly

professionals at Ecola today at (800)471-BUGS (2847) or on the web

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn