Enjoy having a termite-free home in just a few simple steps.
Environmentally Friendly Solutions
Ask about Orange Oil for Termite Treatment
Yes, orange oil does kill termites. What is orange oil? Orange oil is an extract of organge rinds used in many products, including natural cleaning solutions and even as a food aditive.
The active ingredient in orange oil i D-limonene. D-limonene works by breaking down the exoskeleton of the termits and destroys their eggs.
Orange oil is considered a low-toxicity treatment however it should not be ingested. Expoure to the oil or strong fules could irritate the skin and eyes.
NOTE: Orange oil is designed to treat for drywood termites. It is not effective against subterranean termites.
Types of Termites in California
In California, there are several main species of termites that homeowners and business owners need to watch out for. Drywood, dampwood and subterranean termites are the most common kinds of termites in the area. While all of these species can cause property damage, they are slight differences between each species.
When Are Termites the Worst?
If you live in California, you should be especially alert for termites during certain times of the year. Like most insects, termites breed and begin new colonies during specific time periods. For most species, fall is the most active time for termite swarms. Rain, humidity and temperature changes can affect which termite species are present, when they are active and where they got to swarm.
You can tell if something is a termite swarm because it looks like a lot of flying ants. During breeding season, the female termites leave the colony to search for a suitable mate. If they are successful, they will establish a new colony near their original colony. Because these new colonies are normally set up close to the original one, you can end up with multiple colonies in a fairly small area.
Types of Termite Species
Normally, drywood termites live and build a nest within undecayed wood. They want to find wood that has a very low moisture content. Additionally, they do not have to have any contact with the soil to stay alive. Because of this, they can end up causing significant damage to wooden structures like homes and furniture items.
Initially, a male and female find a place within the wood to make a nest. Once they enter the wood, they seal it with a tiny plug. Behind the plug, they excavate a chamber that the queen can use to lay eggs. Soon, nymphs hatch from the eggs to build a new colony. These termites damage wood by cutting across the wood grain and creating large chambers. These chambers are connected through tiny tunnels.
Dampwood termites received their name because they love to live in damp or decayed wood. They are larger in size than subterranean termites. Homes are more likely to suffer from dampwood termites if they have water-damaged wood or wood that rests directly on top of the ground. Dampwood termites often like to make their homes on fallen logs, stumps and lumber that are in direct contact with the soil. Sometimes, they will also infest areas like broken drainpipes or roof leaks.
Having an infestation of dampwood termites is a serious issue. Once they enter your home, these termites can hollow out the support beams. This weakens your home’s structure and leads to costly repairs. Because these pests are so silent and good at hiding, you may not notice the problem until it is too late. In order to remain hidden, dampwood termites do not build mud tubes and actually use their feces to cover up their entry hole.
This kind of termite loves to build subterranean tunnels. These mud tubes help them reach food sources and keep the colony protected from the open air. Subterranean termites can be extremely destructive because their scissor-like jaws actually allow them to eat 24 hours a day. They can feed on any product that contains cellulose.
In order to control these termites, it is important to prevent water from accumulating near the foundation of the home by using gutters, downspouts and splash blocks. In addition, keep mulch off of the foundation. Store any firewood away from the home. On the interior of the building, reduce the humidity levels to avoid attracting a swarm. These termites can live in underground colonies with millions of members, so they can cause massive property damage if they are allowed to take up residence in a building.