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Termite Control in North San Diego County

Two types of termites are quite common in San Diego’s NorthCounty: Subterranean termites, and Drywood termites.

Pinpoint does not offer termite treatments or inspections, but if you contact us we can refer you to a reliable, affordable termite inspector here locally that can give you more specific advice and appropriate treatments. Read on if you would like to know more about your voracious house guests!

Drywood termites are small, cigar shaped, antlike insects that only appear in places with great weather like we have here in NorthCounty. If you see an ant without any waist, you are very likely looking at a termite. Reproductives, sometimes called swarmers, appear in great numbers at certain times of the year, usually after a rain. Swarmers have wings that are uniform in shape and extend well behind the body, but you most often see the termites after they cast off their wings. Swarming drywood termites are dark colored with a distinctively orange colored head! If you see them inside the house, it is normally because they emerged from a termite colony in the wood beams that support your home.

The workers are colorless, grub like insects that build galleries in the wood beams of your home where they can live without exposing themselves to the open air. Each colony has a number of soldier termites to protect them from invading ants; the soldiers have very large heads with powerful mandibles and are slightly larger than the workers. Drywood termites cannot survive extended cold because they live entirely in the wood that they devour. They never make contact with the soil and they extract all the moisture that they require from the wood itself, so they are sometimes rather difficult to control. Many termite companies require tent fumigations for Drywood termite control although local treatments are less expensive and are usually more effective if the wood to be treated is exposed or accessible. There are some excellent new materials available for local treatments when they are called for, but some firms are reluctant to recommend anything but a tent for various reasons. We advise you to deal with a company that is flexible in treatments and has extensive experience with local applications. Be dubiouswhen you hear about “alternatives” for drywood termite control. Many of those highly advertised alternative treatments are just ways to make the phone ring so that they can sell you a fumigation, and most of them are considerably less effective and are more expensive than their traditional counterparts. If you are in San Diego’s North County you can contact us for a referral to a reliable local termite inspector, or call Hume & Company, 760-598-2201. hume@humetermite.com Dan Hume is a reliable and affordable inspector.

Both Drywood and Subterranean termites develop from the egg by gradual metamorphosis rather than the four stage life cycle that we are used to in ants, bees and butterflies. They progress through six or seven stages that are called

”instars” until they reach their adult form. Pre-adult termites are called nymphs and they are involved in eating wood also. If you would like to know more about the specific habits or the development and spread of both types of termites, a very good website is: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1170/ANR-1170.pdf

I found this one to be more up to date and accurate than the UC Davis site, because the UC researchers are invested in heat treatments for drywoods.

Subterranean termites live in the soil in huge colonies and will establish smaller satellite colonies when they find a nice stump or a house to feed on. They establish mud tubes to move in while they feed on wood and they sometimes use those tubes to gain access to a house. Anytime that you have earth to wood contact, you are inviting termites to dinner; given enough time, they will eat you out of house and home! Subterranean termites are associated with soil and moisture so you will often find fungus damage to wood that is infested with subs. To control soil dwelling termites you will have to treat the soil where they come from. Typically this means placing a termiticide barrier between the sub colony and the 

house, but some companies use a more expensive and invasive program of systematic termite baiting. Properly placed and serviced termite bait stations that are inserted in the soil can provide both control and valuable monitoring of termite activity, but they are subject to flooding, tampering, and are quite often misread. My favorite treatment is with a product called Termidor, which is distributed by BASF. Contact us if you would like a referral to a great termite inspector who will advise you as to the most effective and economical solution for your home, Or request an inspection from Dan Hume at: hume@humetermite.com He is the one who takes care of our Pinpoint customers fairly and affordably.