So you think you have termites? What to watch out for

Here in the Lower Mainland and Valley regions of British Columbia, we are lucky to only have to deal with one breed of termite; the Pacific Dampwood Termite. These termites rely on moist wood to survive. They help break down the dead wood and return nutrients and other components of this wood to the soil and atmosphere.  While this is helpful for the eco-system, it quickly becomes a pest situation when your home is involved. Situations that could welcome a Pacific Dampwood Termite infestation include but are not limited to rain-soaked fire wood, a rotting tree stump in your yard, leaky pipes, poor gutters, etc. Once established, they can move their activities into sounds wood and even relatively dry wood.

What they look like

The Pacific Dampwood Termite is the largest of the common northwest termite species, falling into 2 social castes: reproductive (winged), and soldiers. The reproductive may exceed one inch in length, including its wings, and is creamed coloured to dark brown. The soldiers are about ¾ of an inch in length with their head and jaws taking up about 1/3 of an inch of their length. The soldiers head is reddish in colour while the rest of their body is a cream colour. The nymphs which are immature soldiers, perform the function of a worker. They are cream in colour and are about ½ of an inch in length.

Where to find them

As previously mentioned, you will be finding these termites in moist wood, but they are hard to spot. They like to hide themselves to prevent any moisture loss. There are some indicators of termite activity you can look for, the most obvious being swarms coming from your home. These swarms are usually going to happen on warm evenings in the summer and fall months, especially after rain. Take a look around outside your home for any damp or damaged wood with holes or tunnels, and wood that sounds hollow or soft when tapped. Also be on the look out for piles of frass (chewed wood and organic material that looks similar to sawdust), dead insects, shed wings, or feces.

Impact to your home and how to prevent any damage

Other termites can pose serious risks to the structure of your home. The Pacific Dampwood Termite is not going to cause any immediate damage to your home unless the home already has structural rot or you let an infestation go untreated for a substantial amount of time. To prevent Pacific Dampwood Termites from having anything to inhabit, you must control the moisture levels in and around your home. This means fixing any leaking pipes, getting rid of vegetation around your home that may be blocking ventilation through foundation vents, making sure gutter downspouts lead away from your home, any wood stored outside is done so away from the structure of your home, if it is stored next to your home, make sure it is not touching any soil, removing old tree stumps, making sure any planter boxes are at least 4 inches away from your home, replacing old and damaged wood as soon as possible, etc. Fixing these issues as they arise will greatly help in preventing any Pacific Dampwood Termites from establishing themselves in your home. Please contact 1st Pest Control for more prevention tips. Furthermore, termites pose a low health risk as they are not known to transmit any diseases to humans, but have been associated with allergies.

How can 1st Pest Control help

Here at 1st Pest Control, we use industry leading techniques and pest control methods, so you can feel safe and secure that your home or business is being treated at the highest industry standard. By following Integrated Pest Management (IPM) regulations, we will create a specialized treatment program tailored to your specific pest needs. Our mission is to remediate all pest control issues in your home or business to give you peace of mind and to ensure the safety of your property and those you care about. Please contact 1st Pest Control with any questions, concerns, or to schedule an appointment at 844-737-8226 or at

When can we get started?

Today! Call 1st Pest Control and our Certified Pest Control Technicians and friendly office staff will begin creating a customized treatment program to get your pest problem under control. 1-844-PEST-CANADA (737-8226).

At 1st Pest Control, we aim to help you reclaim your space from pests and wildlife.