Termites are extremely important in nature because they recycle fallen trees back into soil. Unfortunately, a termite cannot tell the difference between a pine log and a pine board. Termites cause more destruction to wood products and structures in homes in California than any other insect. Therefore, homeowners must understand termites and how they can be controlled.
Drywood termites are less common and less numerous than subterranean termites. Damage can be caused by a mature colony that contains several hundred to a few thousand workers. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites attack dry, sound wood and do not need contact with the ground.
After termites, wood-boring beetles are the most important wood-destroying insects in homes.
The amount of damage that wood-boring beetles cause depends on many factors. The type of wood (hardwood or softwood), the moisture of the wood, and the environmental conditions at the infestation site all affect the severity of beetle damage.
Brown rot, white rot and soft rot are three classes of fungi that are listed according to the type of decay they cause. Wood decayed by brown rot fungi looks like dry leather and breaks easily into small cubical pieces. The strength of the wood decreases as the growth spreads