Miguel Torres and dampwood termite at Almaden Winery neighborhood of San JoseI’ve been selling real estate since 1993, full time, in Silicon Valley. Until recently I had never seen dampwood termites in this area, but a few months ago I caught sight of  a dead one at the Almaden Winery neighborhood (on the Cambrian and Almaden border) when our pest inspector, Miguel Torres from Thrasher Termite, noticed it and gave me an education on them.  Luckily there were no live dampwood termites to be found! I thought it was a weird fluke.

Fast forward a few months, and  again this week I saw first the much smaller,  immature dampwood termites (so I didn’t recognize them, but suspected that they were termites of some kind as they were coming out of rotting wood) and a few days later saw the large and now mature dampwood termites swarming in the same location in Belgatos Park, Los Gatos, close to where my family and I live. Initially I thought they were strange moths as there was a lot of flapping motion, but on closer look I could see that they were indeed termites and they were big!!!

We normally don’t see the dampwood type of termite on the Santa Clara Valley floor (usually subterranean and drywood 0nly).  Normally the dampwoods tend to live  in the Santa Cruz Mountain communities (and places where it’s much damper), so I hope that this isn’t a new trend to be concerned about – either way, though, I thought you’d like to see what they look like and to be aware of the fact that it is possible to have them in San Jose or Los Gatos real estate.  I know, I’ve seen them myself!

dampwood termites at Belgatos Park April 30 2011

Related reading:

Would You Recognize Signs of Subterranean Termites If You Saw Them?

What Is Cellulose Debris (in a pest or termite report)?

How Often Should You Get A Termite Inspection?