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Old 12-06-2019, 12:35 PM   #1
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can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


I live in a 2 story townhouse in Los Angeles area.

I learned on some web pages that termites die if they are in temperature above 120F for more than 30 minutes or so. My roof is blackish shingles, and during the summer when the temperature goes above 100F, I think the attic area under the roof may exceed 120F. The attic is about 3 feet high and has insulation materials on the attic bottom above the ceiling. There are two vents of about 6"x24" underneath the roof on both sides of the house. So, I think there is not much air flowing inside.

Can termites usually live and survive in this attic in Los Angeles area?

Thank you very much.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Why are you worried about them surviving vs. making sure they don't get up there in the first place? If they are all the way up there...you have a host of issues from below already.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:10 PM   #3
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Termites, when exposed to heat over 100* and under 25* will die within minutes. However, when was the last time you saw termites running around?

Termites living in tunnels, burrows, and inside the wood they are destroying. That helps insulate them from the high heat or cold.

When the temps get too high or low, they tend to slow their activity. In the winter, they really limit their activity and in areas where temps are significantly below freezing for extended periods, they retreat to underground burrows below the frost line.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:27 PM   #4
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


If you are worried about drywood termites in the attic, Iíd hire a termite inspector. Most people canít tell the difference between sawdust and termite poop. Nor will they spot the pinholes that are the exit points for it.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:43 PM   #5
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykim View Post
I live in a 2 story townhouse in Los Angeles area.

I learned on some web pages that termites die if they are in temperature above 120F for more than 30 minutes or so. My roof is blackish shingles, and during the summer when the temperature goes above 100F, I think the attic area under the roof may exceed 120F. The attic is about 3 feet high and has insulation materials on the attic bottom above the ceiling. There are two vents of about 6"x24" underneath the roof on both sides of the house. So, I think there is not much air flowing inside.

Can termites usually live and survive in this attic in Los Angeles area?

Thank you very much.
What @Oso954 said. What leads you to think there's an issue?

Okay, up on the public service soap box, so you might already know this, so bear with me. This is for others . . . .

I do know that dry wood termites are all over here in the Land O'La La; they usually show themselves by leaving deposits of "pellets" near holes in the wood where they're nesting. You might also see the winged adults getting ready to fly and make whoopee and start new colonies, which usually happens after it rains, like it just did.

They're very different from the subterranean termites you'll find "back east" that live in HUGE colonies underground, then go after wood at or near ground level.

Dry wood termites usually don't destroy structures the way subterranean types can. (Ohh, baybay, want my mommy!) They love to go after things like fascia boards, molding and the trim around windows. Bad but not apocalyptic.
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Last edited by DoomsDave; 12-06-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:51 PM   #6
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


@jaykim , if you think you caught some winged termites, maybe show us a picture?
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:14 AM   #7
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Thank you DoomDave, Oso954, ktownskier, Windows on Wash all for the good comments.

The reason I asked this question is to see if I need to treat the attic for termite prevention with Boracare. If the condition in So Cal is so unfavorable for termite to live in the attic due to hot temperature in the summer, it would be unnecessary to treat the attic for termites. I am not living in the coastal area, so the temp goes up pretty high in the summer sometimes.

Last time, l went up first time in years to the attic myself and checked if there were any termite damages. As far as I saw, I did not any extensive termite damage, to my relief. Before I went up, I was kind of concerned and worried. I know I am not an expert on termites at all, but I have been dealing and treating termite myself in the garage and inside the wall. So, I can see if there is any sizable damages or droppings.

Is the termite prevalent or hardly occurring in the hot attic area in So Cal, not coastal area? Am I asking too generalized a question?

Thank you very much.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:59 PM   #8
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykim View Post
Thank you DoomDave, Oso954, ktownskier, Windows on Wash all for the good comments.

The reason I asked this question is to see if I need to treat the attic for termite prevention with Boracare. If the condition in So Cal is so unfavorable for termite to live in the attic due to hot temperature in the summer, it would be unnecessary to treat the attic for termites. I am not living in the coastal area, so the temp goes up pretty high in the summer sometimes.

Last time, l went up first time in years to the attic myself and checked if there were any termite damages. As far as I saw, I did not any extensive termite damage, to my relief. Before I went up, I was kind of concerned and worried. I know I am not an expert on termites at all, but I have been dealing and treating termite myself in the garage and inside the wall. So, I can see if there is any sizable damages or droppings.

Is the termite prevalent or hardly occurring in the hot attic area in So Cal, not coastal area? Am I asking too generalized a question?

Thank you very much.
If you're not sure, have an inspection, if it's not exorbitantly costly.

See if you have them.

Might not hurt to just assume you do and treat, especially if the last treatment was a while ago, or at an unknown time.

Termites are a part of life here, in the land of La La, like earthquakes, high housing costs, and palm trees.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:33 AM   #9
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


It may not be relevant to your situation, but termites here in the South will fly into a structure and chew wood. HOWEVER, they must return to the ground each night to replenish their water supply. THAT is where we get them. Ground treatment around the perimeter of a house usually takes care of them after the first chewing cycle.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:22 AM   #10
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Thank you DoomsDave and chandler48 very much for the comment.

I have lived in my townhouse for 25 years and have not treated at all(knock on wood). I went up there first time in 25 years to check. That is why I am asking this question. If it has been ok for the last 25 years, I am thinking that the treatment may not be necessary because it is not an habitable environment for the termite. It is not easy to go up there due to insulation materials, walking on joists, and small space.

Thank you very much.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:02 PM   #11
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


JAYKEM.....This is probably not much help for you except for a generality.

My son lives in very coastal SoCal.

According to his experience in his area, there are just flying drywood termites.

When building or maintaining structures, I know of no known effective trearment to deter termites (apart from materials like hardiboard etc.)

If hit with termites, the termite services litterally evacuate the home for several days, cover it with tarps, and pump in a gas. It is a regular and regulated termite service called "tenting". Cost's vary with the structure, but are only 3-5-10 thousand....not as expensive as it might first sound.

For the inland high desert, I have no experience, but I'm interested in what you find out.

I would think any termite service might freely advise you.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:56 PM   #12
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykim View Post
Thank you DoomsDave and chandler48 very much for the comment.

I have lived in my townhouse for 25 years and have not treated at all(knock on wood). I went up there first time in 25 years to check. That is why I am asking this question. If it has been ok for the last 25 years, I am thinking that the treatment may not be necessary because it is not an habitable environment for the termite. It is not easy to go up there due to insulation materials, walking on joists, and small space.

Thank you very much.
Hain't treated in 25 years?

Dang, take off yore shews, get her inspected, sorry my bad Larry the Cable Guy.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:33 PM   #13
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Thank you MTN REMODEL LLC, DoomsDave very much for the comment.

I happened to talk with my neighbor yesterday. He lives in a separate building about 30 feet away and said his attic did not have any termite damage at all for the past 26 years. The building has almost the same structure and shape as mine. He said maybe the attic area is too hot for the termite to live.

But, still, I would be more comfortable treating the attic area just in case.

Thank you.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:22 AM   #14
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykim View Post
Thank you MTN REMODEL LLC, DoomsDave very much for the comment.

I happened to talk with my neighbor yesterday. He lives in a separate building about 30 feet away and said his attic did not have any termite damage at all for the past 26 years. The building has almost the same structure and shape as mine. He said maybe the attic area is too hot for the termite to live.

But, still, I would be more comfortable treating the attic area just in case.

Thank you.
You're welcome, and looking won't hurt, if you can do it without spending oodles of money.

But, your neighbor's theory sounds plausible, too. No termites in my hot-assed attic, either.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:27 AM   #15
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Quote:
Originally Posted by chandler48 View Post
It may not be relevant to your situation, but termites here in the South will fly into a structure and chew wood. HOWEVER, they must return to the ground each night to replenish their water supply. THAT is where we get them. Ground treatment around the perimeter of a house usually takes care of them after the first chewing cycle.
Great point, and new soapbox:

Dry wood termites are very different. They live in much smaller colonies. You treat the wood they're nesting in. Sometimes that's spraying, sometimes, it's "tenting" the whole structure.

Subterranean types cause much worse damage. Really bad. We have them here, too, though they're a lot less common than "back east." An entomologist told me they need moisture in the ground to be happy.

Oomph, off soapbox. Hope you don't have any termites!
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