In San Francisco, there are three main species of termites homeowners need to be concerned about: drywood termites, subterranean termites, and dampwood termites.
While drywood and subterranean termites prefer dry wood, like the wood used to build your home, dampwood termites prefer wet, damp, and decaying wood for their primary food source.
Homeowners still need to protect their property against damp wood termites with an annual termite inspection in San Francisco.
What is a dampwood termite?
Dampwood termites build their nests and colonies above ground in the wet, damp, and decaying wood. They are typically much larger than other termite species and average around 20 millimeters (about three-quarters of an inch) long.
Unlike other species, there are no worker termites. Instead, immature damp wood termites take care of any work within the colony.
Dampwood termites do provide a valuable environmental service by naturally breaking down damp, decaying wood. However, when they get too close to your home, you should be concerned.
Household areas need to be protected from dampwood termites
Most of the areas of your San Francisco home you want to protect from dampwood termites are outdoors, such as firewood piles and mulch beds. Firewood and mulch can retain water and become damp. If the dampness is constant, it creates a perfect environment for dampwood termites.
One of our termite inspectors in San Francisco will also inspect wooden tree houses, swing sets, jungle gyms, fences, and other structures for termite activity.
Even if the wood is sealed, another species of termite, like subterranean termites, could be slowly eating the wood.
Outdoor termite control in San Francisco uses various products meant to destroy the termites and their colony.
In the event your home experienced water damage from a leaky roof, faulty window caulking, or plumbing problems, the wood in between the exterior and interior of the home could potentially be damp, wet, and rotting, and it will attract dampwood termites.
Therefore we recommended you have all the wood inspected (where the water damage was located).
Other areas you should be concerned with are locations where wood is directly touching the ground or nearby rainwater drainage areas.
The moisture from the ground could potentially soak into the wood and attract dampwood termites. Drainage problems create situations where wood is left sitting in standing water for short periods of time. Eventually the wood does break down and start to rot, from overexposure to moisture, leading to a dampwood termite infestation.
The key to dealing with dampwood termites is to address and correct moisture and dampness problems as part of a complete termite treatment in the Bay Area.
Request a San Francisco termite inspection for dampwood termites
Schedule a complimentary home inspection for dampwood termites, as well as drywood and subterranean termites, in San Francisco by calling Pacific Coast Termite at 1-800-PACIFIC (1-800-722-4342) or completing our inspection form online.