A Guide to Spotting Different Types of Termite Damage

Western subterranean termites are a very common variety found all over California. In fact, they have even grown to “plague proportions” in some areas and have caused millions of dollars of damage.

These little creatures are so damaging because they rapidly eat out the internal sections of douglas fir and other common timbers used in the construction of homes and buildings. According to termite experts, “It is estimated that more than 1 in 5 homes in the high activity areas of California either have been or will be attacked by these voracious little insects.”

Here are the types of damage an infestation can cause and what you should do if you suspect your home or business is suffering from one.

Types of Damage

Western subterranean termites are constantly looking for new food, sometimes traveling anywhere within a 100-yard radius from their nest in search of timber (cellulose). Also, they will attack stored food, books, and furniture. Nests will even form inside your home when there is enough moisture available for survival. This can happen when there is a leaking pipe, broken roof tiles, or other places where water is allowed to collect.

Infested timbers may not be readily recognized as having termite damage. The insects tunnel through the interior, softer part of the wood and leave the hard outer layer intact. If you use a screwdriver to punch through the thin top layer of damaged wood, inside you’ll find layered hollow sections (somewhat like honeycomb) packed with moist soil.

The types of significant damage that termites can cause include:

  • Bad odor and staining (similar to mildew) caused by their feces
  • Visible mazes within walls, cabinets, or furniture
  • Buckling wood
  • Swollen floors and ceilings
  • Structural instability, especially in earthquake-prone areas   

How to Prevent a Termite Infestation

Any time you see termite mud tunnels in your yard or flying termites around your home or building, you better get a professional termite inspection and eradication performed. These pests won’t go away on their own, and there isn’t a simple, locally applied treatment you can do yourself. Since termites will just move on to other areas of your home or building, they will just cause more, widespread damage.

If you are worried you might have termites, contact Preventive Pest Control today for a termite inspection in Corona, CA.