Southern California is a great place to live. You love your home and want it to remain a comfortable place to reside for many years. One way to protect your home is to have it inspected for common pests familiar to San Bernardino County, such as mice, certain species of spiders (including the long-legged sac spider), and the Western subterranean termite.

Termites in particular are something to watch out for because unlike other unwanted home invaders, they can do drastic damage to your property. Discover 5 signs you may have this aggressive termite on your property so you can recognize their presence and have your termite and pest control specialist eradicate them for you.

Night-Time Swarming

The Western subterranean termite is an underground dweller, forming colonies in the thousands over several years. When mating season is at full strength, their 'flyers' will swarm at night seeking mates and a new place to call home. You will notice the tiny insects in large numbers during the early spring and fall seasons.

In addition to seeing actual swarms, you may also notice other signs of these flyers at work. As they mature, they discard their wings, which you will find near their colonial exits.

Sawdust Residue

This species of termite prefers to eat softer spring wood, leaving summer wood alone. Their primary source of food is Douglas fir, which they can devour in large quantities. As the Western subterranean termite eats its way through a home's structure, they leave behind sawdust piles. Since they eat wood internally rather than burrow through from the outside, you will likely notice the sawdust residue left behind before you notice the honeycomb design of their eating patterns.

Droppings

Termite droppings look very similar to dark soil or dry coffee grounds. You may find large piles of excrement in damp, warm areas, such as in your basement, a crawlspace, or even in your garage. You may also find sawdust residue near droppings as termites expose themselves when they enter your home to feed.

Dirt Mounds

If you have a very large Western subterranean termite infestation on your property that has been maturing for many years, you may find large dirt mounds near your home or by wood piles in your yard. These structures are hard-packed with saliva and may contain many holes on the outside for termites to gain access to their complex tunnels. Some of these mounds can be several feet tall.

Never approach a termite mound if you believe you have one in your yard. Keep pets and children away from any mounds you find, even if you do not see termites in them or they appear to be abandoned. These termites dwell underground and are reclusive, so odds are there may be thousands of them that you cannot see.

Structural Damage

As many as 1 in 5 homes are damaged by this species of termite. The Western subterranean termite prefers to eat timber from the inside out, which means you will not find structural damage without pulling back part of your foundation. The evidence of these termites is quite clear once exposed as they leave behind large grooves in a honeycomb pattern in the wood they eat.

If you notice that you have signs of termite damage in your home or property, it's important to call a pest control expert right away. Craig & Sons Termite & Pest Control, Inc. has been serving Redlands and surrounding locations for 26 years. This family-owned business can identify and eradicate your termite issues for you. Contact their friendly staff to schedule an inspection of your home to protect it from these aggressive pests.