The Three Main Types of Termites in Sacramento

February 20, 2020

Sacramento’s climate provides a very warm and dry environment and because of this especially in the summer months we see a combination of different Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO’s). 

The 3 most common types of Wood Destroying Organisms we see in Sacramento:

  1. Subterranean Termites
  2. DryWood Termites
  3. Wood Boring Beetles 

The Most Common Termite in Sacramento

The most common WDO’s we see in Sacramento are subterranean termites– “subs” as we refer to them. As described by the name, subterranean termite colonies live below the surface of the earth. The Queen never leaves her eggs and as the colony grows and becomes established, its sole purpose is to support the queen. 

Treatment for subs typically involves injecting a termiticide into the soil surrounding an infested structure. The termiticide is an odorless, non detouring substance designed to stick to the body of the termite and to be transferred to the queen. All termites in the colony have contact with the queen everyday. Within a week or two of being contacted by the termiticide, the queen will die along with her colony.

How Sacramento Weather Impacts Drywood Termites 

Sacramento’s dry weather in the fall brings Drywood Termites and Wood Boring Beetles. 

Drywood Termites and Wood Boring Beetles actually live inside of the wood that they infest. These two WDO’s are very difficult to discover and conceal the evidence of their presence well.

It is necessary to have an abnormally high moisture content in the space that these WDO’s exist, and in order to eradicate these the moisture source will need to be controlled in addition to treatment for the WDO. The primary recommendation for treating these two WDO’s is fumigation- three days for Drywood termites and five days for Wood Boring Beetles.

Newer products to the market have allowed for “localized” treatment to infested and adjacent areas, however due to the difficulty of discovering these WDO’s fumigation and moisture control will always be the preferred method of eradication.

When is Termite Swarm Season in Sacramento?

Swarm season for the Sacramento area is typically within the spring months for subs and in the fall for Drywood termites. 

 “Swarm” refers to the time of year that the reproductive termites look to “spread their wings” (literally) and establish new colonies. For subs, they begin building, what we in the industry refer to as, castles. These castles hold moisture and termites that are genetically programmed to reproduce and start a new colony. Once the termites sense the perfect humidity level in the air they break out of these castles in search of a new food source to establish a new colony in.

In our area, this typically happens a day or two after a heavy rain on a day that breaks 75 degrees. Due to the Sacramento climate being relatively dry, it requires the rain to create humidity. Given the demand of such a specific humidity level, in Sacramento, we typically experience subterranean swarms over just a few days.

If you think you have termites please be sure to contact a termite inspector today.

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