There are two types of termites commonly found in this area, Drywood Termites and Subterranean Termites.
Drywood Termites usually live above ground and are not dependent upon soil moisture for their survival. Drywood termites are difficult to detect. They are usually discovered when a home is remodeled or when the termites kick out their small seed-like fecal material from one of their galleries.
There are a number of treatment options available to control drywood termites. The UC Integrated Pest Management Program has an informational website that contains good information about termites and the treatment options available.
Unfortunately, the average homeowner does not have the tools or the access to pesticides needed to effectively control this pest. One control method homeowners do have at their disposal is to remove the infested wood. If removal is not feasible, a professional pest control company will have to be called in to help control the infestation.
Subterranean Termites nest in the ground and are dependent upon soil moisture for their survival. These termites will build mud tubes from the ground to their food source so they can replenish the moisture in their bodies. Because the subterranean termite is dependent on ground moisture, treatments used to control these termites are very different than those for drywood termites.
Fortunately, there are new products on the market today that are available to the average homeowner. Subterranean termite baits are now available at local hardware stores and can be very effective in controlling this pest. Of course the success of the bait is reliant upon the termites actually eating it. To increase the likelihood of the termites taking the bait, all of the termites mud tubes leading from the ground to your home should be knocked down. However, in some situations, such as a large infestation, it may be wise to contact a licensed pest control company so they can place a chemical barrier under your home. (This would be especially helpful for homes with slab foundations.) If there is a chemical barrier preventing the termites from accessing their food source, they will be forced to explore and find another source.
*As with all pesticides, it is important that you read all of the literature that comes with the termite baiting system and follow all of the directions.
- University of California - Integrated Pest Management (IPM) information
- Reporting Pest/Insect Problems
- Santa Clara Valley Beekeeper's Guild
- Cornell University's Guide to Natural Enemies
- Western IPM Center - projects and IPM data
- Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program: Pest Fact Sheets
- California Exotic Pest Plant Council
- California Invasive Plant Council - identification and management
- CDFA Integrated Pest Control - eradication projects
- Calflora - information on wild California plants for conservation, education, and appreciation
- Encycloweedia -Noxious Weed Gallery & Data Sheets
- The Nature Conservancy Wildland Invasive Species
- UC Berkeley
This site has a number of research papers on termites, including a project that tested the efficacy of different termite control techniques.