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3 things to know about termites in Oregon

termites nesting in leaves

You have termites! What can you do now?

Termites are little and are often confused with carpenter ants, so it’s very easy to ignore them. But termites in Oregon can’t be ignored. Once they start feeding on the beautiful wooden walls of your home or business, your property value will start plummeting and the damage may become extreme.

Termites are particularly common in Oregon because of the damp and humid spring weather that the Beaver State provides. This is the type of climate in which termites generally thrive. Moisture in homes and businesses attract termites, and the Pacific Northwest is known for its rain. Because of the rainfall in the area, termites can quickly spread from property to property.

Unfortunately, termites are one of those “silent killer” insects. You don’t know what kind of damage is done to your home until it is too late. There can be a feeling of helplessness when it comes to termites, because of how quickly the problem arises and what kind of damage it can cause. It’s especially important to learn about termite control and gain valuable information about a potential problem happening in your home or business. First, we will look at the common types of termites in Oregon. Then, we'll offer some termite prevention advice to help you through the year.

Termites in Oregon

While there are several types of termites to be on the lookout for, there are two types of termites that are most commonly encountered in the Pacific Northwest region: dampwood termites and subterranean termites.

Dampwood termites

As the largest termite species active in the U.S., dampwood termites or Zootermopis angustticollis have a gradual life cycle consistent with most termite species. Dampwood termites lay their eggs which hatch into cream-colored nymphs. The nymphs will grow into either soldiers, workers or reproductive termites. Dampwood termites will fiercely protect their colony against other insects. Unlike subterranean termites, dampwood termites do not burrow underground. They do not need contact with the soil to infest a property.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites or Reticulitermes hesperus species have smaller wings than dampwood termites and are widely considered one of the most destructive termite species. They live in nests made in the soil and build complex mud tubes that they use to infiltrate properties. The invasive termite species will build their tubes underneath logs or stumps, going as deep as 10-20 feet!

termites on wood

3 termite control tips

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to these pests. In order to defeat termites in Oregon this spring and summer, you will need to be prepared. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin when controlling termites because the problem will sneak up on you suddenly. However, termite control is attainable if you keep the following in mind:

1. Western subterranean termites feed on firewood

While having easy access to wood logs for enjoyable nighttime bonfires is convenient in the spring and summer, storing wood in close proximity to your home can attract termites. Make sure to place your woodpile a reasonable distance from your house. This will keep termites on the woodpile, while keeping them away from your house. Be sure to inspect any wood you bring into your home from the outdoors.

2. Infestations don’t just occur in basements

While most termite infestations occur in the basement or first floor, termites can set up colonies all the way up to the second floor of your property. This can be particularly problematic if you have a large home or business. The large space increases the number of places where termites can build colonies. Keep an eye out for termite activity throughout all the wooden sections of your home or business. When checking your property for termites, make sure to account for all areas so that none get overlooked.

3. Termite treatment is not a DIY project

When you see signs of termite activity, do not attempt to try to get rid of the infestation on your own. Termites cause roughly $5 billion dollars in property damage each year, so settling for a quick do-it-yourself fix could lead to more expensive problems. Furthermore, the inspection process and products needed to destroy these bugs should be verified and applied by a professional. A licensed pest control specialist will also be able to identify the species of termite in your property. From there, they will determine the most effective termite treatment method.

Are you seeing the signs of termites?

The Western Exterminator PestFree365+ plan provides protection against termites and over 36 of the most common pests in Oregon all year long. Contact us today for year-round pest protection, and find out more information about our locations in Portland and Roseburg!

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