In official report termites attacked  11 new homes in Los Angeles area and ate the wood of the infrastructures. That gets expensive. $309 mil dollars was spent  in 1986 on termite treatment and structural repair, according to a 1988 study by the pest-control trade group.

Termites love housing tracts to satisfy their hunger, they like water, warmth and wood. In fact, they love to eat anything made of cellulose that are tasty to them, including newspapers, books and cardboard.

In fact, termites are increasing right along with the human population in Southern California. NEW subdivisions are becoming  hybrid zones for the insects. Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties represented $129.4 million.

In Los Angeles County in 1986, the average termite-extermination treatment cost $640, the trade group reported. California has 1,510 pest control companies, the state says.

Extermination methods depend on the type of termite. Southern California has two main types, drywood and subterranean. You can have both at the same time, requiring two types of treatments. Finding the termites can be difficult without close inspection, even for experts, and it can be especially hard if they are in parts of the house hidden from view.

Subterranean termites build up mud tubes along the exterior of a house as they travel from the ground up to the wood. Drywood termites push out waste pellets near damaged areas. Both termites swarm to start new colonies and then leave discarded wings lying near their new home.

To find hidden termites, professionals may use probing tools to examine damaged wood, listening devices to pick up termite sounds or fiber optics to see inside walls.