What Kind of Termites are in California?

termites on wood

If you're a California resident, it's important to be aware of the different types of termites that can infest your home. Popular species in California include can include dry wood, subterranean, and damp wood species. Formosan termites are found in California as well, but they are primarily in the south, so our focus will be on these 3. Each species requires a different treatment method, so it's important to know which type you're dealing with. In this blog post, we will discuss the characteristics of each type of termite and how to treat them. Stay safe and protect your home from these pesky insects!

California Termite Species

California opens up the door to many different pests, including termites. With their warm weather, everchanging climate, and high elevations, different types of termites can live comfortably and feed off of your house infrastructure. The 3 types of termites that happen to give California residents the most issues are: 

  • Drywood
  • Dampwood
  • Subterranean


Being most active in Southern California, dry wood termites have made a name for themselves by feeding on any wooden infrastructure. This includes anything from your picture frames to the support beams in your house. Drywood termites tend to like living in warm and dry environments, making them thrive throughout most of California’s climate. Drywood termites are known for not needing contact with soil or water, making it harder for homeowners to detect them if they do have an infestation before it is too late. These types of pests enter homes through cracks at ground level, weak parts on woodwork such as eaves and fascia boards, window sills, and even utility lines that connect your home to electrical power sources outside. They also can be brought into the house by flying directly inside through windows and doors. These termites have the ability to fly, so if you see broken wings, this is a sign that drywood termites have been mating and are around your home. 


Dampwood termites, known for colonizing in damp, decaying wood are popular termites in California. This species is not known to nest in the soil. Much larger than the subterranean termite, they are known for having large pincers and can eat through wood at a faster rate than other species. These types of termites enter homes through cracks at ground level, weak parts on woodwork, and even utility lines that connect your home to electrical power sources outside. The damp wood species are considered to be strong fliers which makes them very easy for them to make it into your home. Notorious for having a lot of moisture in the wood they infest, there is usually no need for damp wood termites to build mud tubes as other species do. 


Responsible for costing the most amount of money to homes each year, California residents have to worry about this species as well. This termite will build their nests underground and are only able to eat softwood. They are also the only termite who will feed on products that contain cellulose. Subterranean termites will feed at night time because of the light sources that attract them. They are most popular for building mud tubes for moisture as they move between colonies for food sources. More than you may have an infestation from this species would include hollow-sounding wood, fecal matter that is similar to sawdust, and discarded wings near doors and window seals. 

Get Rid of a Termite Infestation

Termites can not only ruin the entire infrastructure of your home, but they can cause large amounts of unwanted stress. With them living in colonies and producing quickly, an infestation can take over before you even realize what is happening. There are plenty of DIY options for getting rid of these insects, but they could end up making the problem much worse than it already is. Instead, look to get professional pest control. The bugman offers termite treatments with free inspections to make sure your infestation can get taken care of as fast as possible. Our technicians service counties in Southern California, including Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego. 

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