Termite Control: How to Get Rid of Termites

Termites (Isoptera: Insecta)

Termites are among the most important structural insects pest in the Pacific Northwest and Washington state. Only carpenter ants rival them in this status. They feed on wood or wood products because their digestive tracts contain microorganisms that convert the cellulose in wood into usable food. Termites are social insects living in colonies comprised of a king and queen, workers (wingless adults or nymphs, depending on the species), and soldiers. The king and queen perform the reproductive functions of the colony, while the workers carry on all aspects of colony maintenance. The soldiers defend the colony.

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General Facts/Information of Termites

In Washington state and the Greater Seattle area, the two most common species of termites are the Pacific dampwood termite and the western subterranean termite. A third species, the drywood termite has also been found occasionally in Washington state. Its occurrence has usually been in furniture articles or imported lumbers from the South. Subterranean and dampwood termites occur in both eastern and western Washington.

Pacific Dampwood Termite

The Pacific dampwood termite is our largest species. It is important to note, wet or damp wood from soil contact, leaky plumbing, leaky roofs or gutters, and faulty grades on porches and patios is necessary for attack and establishment of this species. Dampwood termites will also attack wood that has become wet from condensation in poorly ventilated crawl spaces or rain-soaked firewood leaning against a house. They live in the wood they feed on rather than returning to the soil like subterranean termites. If proper conditions persist, the colony will continue to grow and feed on the wood they are infesting.

Western Subterranean Termite

The western subterranean termites are much smaller than the pacific dampwoods. They live in the soil in nests that may originate near buried stumps or logs as deep as 10 – 20 feet. Since subterranean termites must return to their nest in the soil, any wood structure is a potential site of invasion. The most frequent type of infestation is when buildings are constructed near or on pre-existing nests. Cement slab foundations and foundation walls, eventual frost cracks, and areas around plumbing provide easy entry for these termites.

Pest Fighter pest control company is a professional, licensed and insured pest control operator (PCO) located in the Greater Seattle area, serving King County, Pierce County and Snohomish County. Pest Fighter not only prevents pest problems, but we offer an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) solution for both treating pest problems and monitoring for the presence of pests and pest damage. For help in controlling termites in your area of Washington, contact your local Pest Fighter or pest control operator (or PCO).