Western Subterranean Termites Are The Most Destructive Termites On The West Coast
In the United States termites cause billions of dollars in damages every year. Most of this damage is caused by both native and invasive subterranean termite species. The native eastern subterranean termite species is responsible for a majority of termite infestations in the US. The invasive Formosan subterranean termite species also causes significant damages in the Gulf Coast states, but their habitat range is not as wide as the eastern subterranean termite’s habitat range. Despite this, Formosan subterranean termite infestations often result in greater structural damages than infestations where other termite species are the culprits. This is due to the Formosan’s relatively large colony sizes, which can number into the millions. Formosans are also more aggressive eaters of wood. These two subterranean termite species are active in the eastern portion of the US, although eastern subterranean termites can infest structures in the western half of the country as well. However, on the west coast, a third type of subterranean termite is responsible for the greatest amount of destruction. This termite species is aptly named the western subterranean termite, and they are active in regions such as British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona, western Nevada and western Mexico. Although these termites may not be as well known as others in the US, the devastation that they cause cannot be understated. In fact, it is estimated that one in five homes located in urban areas of northern California will become infested with western subterranean termites at some point.
Western subterranean termites are considered to be among the most elusive of all termite species in the US due to their secretive methods of gaining entrance into structures. These termites often enter homes in areas that cannot be accessed by termite inspectors. These areas of a home include cracks in concrete slabs or masonry, beneath patios, fire heaths and expansion joints and cracks. Western subterranean termites can travel through a crack in concrete that is only one eighth of an inch wide. They have also been known to travel beneath carpeting and floor tiles in order to reach a home’s timber frame. Additionally, inspectors and residents need to be careful not to disturb these termites, especially if they are infesting your home. When these termites are disturbed, they will abandon their infestation site in order to infest another area of a structure that is safe from outside disturbances. This can make tracking down these termites difficult during eradication efforts.
Have you ever heard of termite-related problems occuring in west coast states?