Sunny San Mateo isn't just appealing to people; it's also appealing to termites. But how do you know if you have termites? And what attracts termites? For San Mateo residents, here's the ultimate guide to total termite control, including the types of termites you may find in San Mateo, why they infest and destroy your wood, natural ways to make your home less appealing to them, and how professional pest control in San Mateo can help.
The Types Of Termites Found In San Mateo
San Mateo is home to three different types of termites: subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites.
- Subterranean termites: Subterranean termites prefer to nest underground and create mud tubes that provide them with access to wood and moisture.
- Drywood termites: Drywood termites don't require moisture the same way that subterranean termites do and may nest in walls and furniture.
- Dampwood termites: Dampwood termites especially love moisture, and are attracted to homes with leaking pipes and rooftops.
Of these three kinds of termites, subterranean termites are the most common in California – and the rest of the country. The type of termite in your home can be difficult to recognize based on appearance since termites can look different based on their position in the colony. An easier way to distinguish termites is based on where you're finding them in the home.
Many people see termites with wings and wonder can termites fly? Termites aren't just divided into different species, each species also has different roles within the colony. Not all termites can fly, but the reproductive members of subterranean, drywood and dampwood termite colonies have wings and can fly.
Why Termites Infest & Destroy Wood
Termites may be tiny, but they're responsible for more than five billion dollars in property and structural damage each year. So why do termites infest and damage your wood, to begin with?
Termites infest wood for two major reasons: they need somewhere to nest and need a source of nutrients. Nesting in wood gives termites easy access to their favorite food source: wood. However, it's important to note that termites aren't after the wood itself but rather the cellulose it contains. This is also why some termites may eat through other materials, like paper or cardboard, which also contain cellulose.
As they eat and digest the wood they're nesting in, termites create hollow tunnels, which can cause structural damage over time. Termite colonies only grow as they go, and large termite colonies are even capable of consuming close to a pound of wood per day.
Natural Ways To Make Your Home Less Appealing To Termites
Not only can this damage be alarming, but being difficult to prevent can make termite infestations terrifying too. Fortunately, there are a few natural ways to make your home less appealing to potential termites, such as:
- Eliminate any wood coming in contact with the soil around your home, including wooden siding.
- Try to keep at least a four-inch barrier between the side of your home and mulch to prevent wood-to-soil contact.
- If possible, keep gardens at least a few feet from the side of your home or more.
- Address moisture and ventilation problems around your property as soon as you notice them.
- Try to keep stacked wood and other woodpiles at least twenty feet from your home.
- Don't leave paper, cardboard, or other cellulose-based materials sitting outside or on the ground levels of your home.
- Make sure there isn't water or moisture pooling around your foundation.
- Regularly check for rotting or infested wood on fences, sheds, and other structures around your property.
Since the signs of termites can be subtle, getting a professional annual inspection of your home can help you find termite infestations before they cause too much damage. Without professional inspections, it can take up to eight years for some homeowners to realize their home is infested with termites.
Professional Termite Control Is A Great Idea For San Mateo Homes
Can you treat for termites yourself? Most DIY termite control solutions are ineffective and won't completely eliminate termites, which is why professional termite control with Pacific Pest Management is the best way to go. As one of the leading pest control companies in San Mateo and surrounding areas, we've got you covered with our professional termite control services.
If you suspect you could have a termite problem in your home or want to schedule an annual inspection to check for termites, we're only one phone call away. Contact us today at Pacific Pest Management to learn more about how our program works or schedule your inspection.