One of the worst things you could discover in your home is termites. Unfortunately, termites are a common pest in Corona, California, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for these destructive pests’ warning signs.
This complete guide to termites will teach you everything you need to know about termites in your home – what types you’ll likely see, the warning signs, and even how Corona pest control can help.
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Types of Termites in Corona, California
The first thing you need to know is what kind of termites you might come across. Yep, that’s right. There are lots of termite varieties in the world – 45 different types in the U.S. alone. But in Corona, California, there are three main types of termites that you need to watch for.
Drywood termites are reddish-brown. Some have dark wings, while others have large square heads with mandibles. You’re most likely to see the termites with wings (called swarmers) because they are the ones that leave the nest at certain times of the year to mate and start new colonies. If you see these swarmers around your home, it’s likely that you already have an infestation.
Drywood termites can have thousands of termites in a colony at any given time. It’s common for them to select the same structure they lived in before mating, so you may find that you have multiple colonies in your home at the same time.
Drywood termites leave smooth tunnels in the wood they inhabit. Sometimes you’ll be able to see the openings to these tunnels in the wood in your home, though there’s often a plug at the entrance made by the termites. You can also recognize these tunnels by the direction they run in the wood. Drywood termites eat across the grain, not with it.
When swarmers leave the nest, they fly around looking for a mate and then shed their wings when they find a place to start a new colony. If you start seeing wings left around your home, you probably have termites starting new colonies in your home. Another sign of this is seeing little red bugs with wings that look a bit like carpenter ants. But ants don’t shed their wings, so if you see these bugs and then see wings shed around your home, they are termites, not ants.
Another sign of drywood termites is pellets (feces) left by the termites as they eat the wood in your home. The pellets have a distinctive shape with concave sides that will help you identify them as termite droppings.
Subterranean termites come in three different types or classes. The worker class termites are pale and blind, and they do most of the work in the colony, like making tunnels and feeding other termites. The soldier class termites are orange with a big rectangular head and pincers. As you’d expect, their job is to protect the colony. And finally, like drywood termites, there are swarmer termites.
Subterranean termites are more subtle than other termites because they usually build their colonies from the ground up. They need darkness and moisture to survive, so a connection with the ground is necessary for their colony’s survival.
Subterranean termites can have massive colonies. This is because the queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a day. She can live up to a couple of decades—this kind of reproduction results in much bigger colonies and a much bigger problem for you.
Subterranean termites need to trap moisture in their tunnels, so one thing they will do is build mud tunnels over hard structures so they can reach wood that doesn’t touch the ground. You might see little lines of dirt climbing your foundation walls if you have subterranean termites. However, if not caught early, these mud tunnels will be built up more and more until they are several inches wide.
Dampwood termites are common in Corona, California, as well. They tend to be bigger than the other termites mentioned in this article, but this doesn’t make it harder for them to damage your home.
Their behavior is most like the drywood termites’. Dampwood termites don’t need to be near the ground to survive and don’t live underground, but they rely on moisture in their habitats. So if you have areas in or around your home that are wet a lot of the time, you may be giving the dampwood termites an invitation.
You’re most likely to notice dampwood termites the way you would notice drywood termites – through their dropped wings and their pellets. The pellets are distinct from the drywood termites’ pellets, though. Instead of being concave, the dampwood termites’ pellets are shaped like a tiny grain of rice.
You’ll most likely see dampwood termites living in wet dead wood, like stumps or dead trees. This can pose a problem for you if you live near a lot of wood like this because your home could be their next target.
What to Do if You Have a Termite Infestation
If you think you have a termite infestation, do not disturb the colony, especially if you think you have subterranean termites. If you disturb the colony, they may relocate to another area of your home. Plus, you might have some painful pinches from the soldier termites if you disturb them.
Instead, the best thing you can do is call Corona pest control. Pest control experts will confirm that you really do have a termite infestation, then they will determine the best course of action. In some cases, this might mean injecting insecticide into your walls that the termites will spread to each other until they all die. But in the case of large infestations, it’s more likely that your home will need to be fumigated.
There are store-bought DIY termite insecticides you can purchase. However, they are only effective for very small colonies of termites. If you have much of an infestation, these insecticides will only affect a portion of the colony, and the problem will only continue to grow.
You should not wait to call Corona pest control if you have a termite infestation of any kind. The infestation can quickly get out of control, and the damage to your home can be costly. The quicker the infestation is removed, the better off your home and your family will be.
Featured Image by Paul McGowan from Pixabay