Got Termites?

Termite Awareness Week is a campaign created by the National Pest Management Association to call attention to the damage termites can cause to structures and to make sure residents and professional pest managers understand how to prevent and deal with termite infestations.

Did you know?

  • Of the 23 species of termites in California, only 3 are considered pests. The three pest species are dampwood, drywood, and subterranean termites.
  • Subterranean termites are the most common in California. They live in underground nests and can be found infesting wood that is in contact with the soil, including structural lumber in homes and landscapes, as well as fallen trees, tree stumps, or other dead wood.
  • If you come across groups of insects on the ground that appear to be winged termites, they may actually be winged ants. For help distinguishing ants from termites, see the UC IPM Ant Key.
  • Dampwood termites are larger than subterranean and drywood termites. They are most common in cool, humid areas along the coast and are attracted to lights at dark.
  • Termites play a very important role in California forests, woodlands and deserts by helping to break down woody organic matter which helps return nutrients to the soil. And contrary to popular belief, termites rarely injure or kill healthy trees.

If you suspect you might have a termite infestation in your home, contact a professional. Do-it-yourself insecticide treatments are not recommended and are often not effective. To learn more about termites and available management strategies for professionals, read the Pest Notes: Subterranean and Other Termites and the Pest Notes: Drywood Termites.