There are several types of wood destroying pests and organisms in Southern California. If left uncorrected, infections and infestations will result in damage. Termite and Fungus damage on a home is not only unsightly but also potentially dangerous. In many situations, much of the termites and/or fungus on a property can be removed and replaced with new. Minor infestations or infections can be locally treated. Below are the three most common types found in Southern California.
These termites eat tunnels or galleries through the wood typically following the grain of the wood. Because their colonies are relatively small (up to several thousand) it can take several years before any noticeable damage is created. As they work their way through, they fill their tunnels with droppings (fecal matter). When the colony matures and grows, they will push the droppings out through "kick out holes" to make room. This is usually the first sign people see when they have a termite infestation. After several years, the colony will produce reproductive termites (swarmers). These are winged termites that emerge from the colony in late summer or early fall and go toward the light in search of a new area to infest and create a new colony.
These termites live in the soil and come up to infest wood. In most situations, they have to regularly return to the soil. Subterranean Termites travel above ground through mud tubes. The mud tubes are built to protect them from drying out and from predators like ants. The mud tubes are one of the more obvious signs of this type of termite infestation. Subterranean Termite colonies are much larger than Drywood Termite colonies. Because of the size of the colonies, these termites can do more damage in a shorter amount of time. When a Subterranean termite colony matures, they also produce reproductive termites (Swarmers). These winged termites emerge around Spring time, usually after a rain.
Fungus / Dry Rot is a wood destroying organism that feeds on the cellulose of wood which causes discoloration and eventual loss of structural integrity or crumbling of the wood. Fungus/Dry Rot can affect softwoods and hardwoods. Because the fungi require moisture for growth, dry rot occurs most often in places where the ventilation is poor or humidity is high or when the wood has been improperly seasoned