California

Termite Activity in California

Termites are active across the state of California, from Redding to San Francisco, down to Fresno, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and Riverside, California.

What Types of Termites Are in California?
Both subterranean and drywood termites are known to damage homes in California. Dampwood termites also are common in California. This species is less likely to damage structures than subterranean and drywood termites.

Are Formosan Termites in California?
Formosan termites were first identified in La Mesa (San Diego County), California, in 1992.

When Do Termites Swarm in California?
Generally, termites swarm on a warm day after a rainfall. Swarms also may occur during the winter in heated buildings. The swarming habits of the most common species in California are described below.

  • The western subterranean termite swarms during the day in the local rainy season in autumn, winter or early spring.
  • The arid-land subterranean termite typically swarms in the daylight in spring and fall.
  • The desert subterranean termite swarms at night from July to September.
  • In San Diego County, Formosan termite swarms take place at night and peak in June and July. Smaller swarms may take place for several more months.
  • In southern California, the western drywood termite swarms during the day any time between September and November. It may swarm earlier in northern parts of the state.
  • The desert drywood termite swarms at night from June to September.
  • The Pacific dampwood termite typically swarms from August to October, just before sunset.
  • The Nevada dampwood termite swarms in spring at higher elevations, and in summer and early fall in coastal areas. Swarms often take place before sunset.

More Information about Termites in California
According to Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones), 90 percent of California is located in TIP Zone #1 (heavy to moderate) and the northern portion of the state (remaining 10 percent) is located in TIP Zone #2 (moderate to heavy), which means the potential for termite damage is considered significant. Areas with higher probabilities for termite activity require more termite control measures to meet International Residential Code building standards for new homes than areas with less frequent activity.

In states like California where termites are very active and widespread, it is essential to maintain an effective termite prevention and control program. If you own a home in California, talk to your termite control expert about methods to help protect your home from termite infestations and damage.

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