Inland Empire homeowners face many challenges in the quest to maintain their homes. Termite infestation is a leading cause of home damage – ranking ahead of fire, flood, and high winds.
Termites are so destructive because many property owners believe the myths and ignore early warning signs of termite colonies. Every homeowner in California should understand the truth behind the myths. Here are three facts to set the myths to rest.
1. Every Season Is Termite Season in California
Some people think that termites are most active in springtime. They fail to have their homes inspected and treated in winter months because they believe that termites are dormant.
In California, termites can be active all year round. They forage away from the colony, so winter makes food-seeking difficult in cold climates. In much of sunny, warm cities like Riverside and Redlands, termites can feed year-round from food sources close to your home.
Termites may swarm in spring, summer, or autumn. Swarming indicates a colony is branching out to create new colonies. In warmer winter environments like that of Southern California, pairs of king and queen termites may fly into basements and start breeding when a nearby colony has reached capacity.
If you suspect termites are chewing up your wooden structure, call us immediately. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn are all the right seasons when it comes to protecting your home from termite damage.
2. You Can't Tell on the Surface When Wood Is Infested
Some types of termites don't advertise their presence by making glaring holes in your floor joists and support beams. In fact, they put up a great false front as they're nibbling your home's wooden components to bits.
A heavily infested wooden board or post can appear to be perfectly strong and stable on the outer surfaces. The termites burrow behind the facade to process the wood in endless tunnels and pathways.
There are signs to look for, and every homeowner in the Riverside area should become familiar with them. The signs vary depending on the type of termite invasion you encounter.
Subterranean termites are dark brown to black with brownish wings when mature. Soldiers and workers are caramel colored. These tiny termites are very destructive. They live in the soil under rotting wood and structural timber.
Look for signs of subterranean termite infestation including:
- Tubes heading from the ground up
- Tubes on concrete and other materials
- Tubes dropping from joists and pipes
- Damage to softer springwood
- Hollow sound when wood is thumped
- Damage done along the grain of wood
Drywood and dampwood termites are two other types of termites found in California. Dampwood termites mostly attack rotting wood in coastal regions or areas of high humidity.
Drywood termites are found throughout the state and attack sound wood of all types. Drywood termites remain above ground, so you won't see any tubes. You will see a waste product called frass in areas of heavy infestation. Frass looks similar in color and texture to sawdust.
Other signs of drywood termite infestation include:
- Feeding damage cuts across grain of wood
- Cracks in paint and foundation
- Blistering of wood window and door sills
- Discoloration or darkening of wood
- Piles of wings from swarming termites
A Craig & Sons qualified and licensed termite-control specialist will come and make a positive I.D. to determine the best treatment for the type invading your space. Your vigilance in keeping an eye out for termites is an important step in the eradication process.
3. Termite Control Is an Ongoing Maintenance Concern
There are several ways to control termites in your home or on your property. Pest control specialists use methods including:
- Whole-house fumigation
- Whole-house heat treatment
- Spot treatment with pesticides
- Spot freeze treatments with liquid nitrogen
- Local electrical current and microwave treatments
- Injections of chemicals in wood and soil
Your pest control specialist is the best source to learn more about preventing and treating termite invasions. Together, set up an integrated pest management (IPM) system on your property to repel pests of all types. Contact our office to schedule your termite inspection soon.