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It’s Termite Awareness Week, according to the National Pest Management Association. Why should you be worried about termites in Arizona? You need to worry about Arizona termites because they can cause tremendous damage to your home. You’ve spent countless dollars and hours turning your house into a home, only to find out you have to spend more to fix termite damage.
Termites are a pervasive problem in Arizona, particularly in cities like Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tucson. As pest control experts, we meet countless area customers who find evidence of termite damage far too late. The key to preventing costly termite damage repairs is early detection. By knowing the most common termite types in Arizona you’ll know what to look out for – and what to do if a termite issue does threaten your business or household.
Desert subterranean termites find strength in numbers. These desert plant dwellers' colonies of up to 300,000 often grow so big that they have to branch off into additional, separate colonies. Because these termites are not reliant on moisture, they thrive in Arizona’s dry climate and will readily attack dry wood. The sheer volume of this species can cause damage quickly and across a wide area, typically up to an acre.
The arid-land subterranean termite’s natural habitat is the desert, but it also gravitates toward rivers, lakes and other wet areas. This is the most common type of termite in the state of Arizona. While this species is usually less damaging to homes than other termites, when its natural wood sources are reduced, they tend to go after houses and other human structures.
Unlike drywood termites, subterranean termites will nest in soil and will move to a wood source close to the ground. These termites will forage in tubes made up of soil, waste and wood chips.
The most destructive type of subterranean termite is Heterotermes aureus and Reticulitermes tibialis. Heterotermes aureus is mostly native to the arid Southwest and it has been known to destroy all different kinds of wood, like cactus ribs, damaged trees, and even utility poles. Reticulitermes tibialis, however, is also native to the desert but will attack creosote and greasewood bushes. Homes built around these plants will likely face infestation when the bushes are removed.
Subterranean termites in Arizona swarm during monsoon season, which is from July to September. However, depending on the species and elevation when discussing subterranean termite swarms. Winged reproductive swarms will occur from January to March when desert land is below 4,000 feet. Above 4,000 feet, subterranean termites will swarm from June to July.
Drywood termites infest wood that is not in direct contact with the ground. These termites are easier to identify because they have hardened fecal matter that piles up and around their nesting area. Drywood termites also form larger galleries than subterranean termites and will form their nests around windows and doors. Incisitermes minor is the most common type of drywood termite species in Arizona.
Drywood termites are also the most destructive type of termite, residing in dry sound wood that is found in most wood products like furniture. Drywood termites are larger than subterranean termites which are about a half of an inch and the adults have a brown head and a brown blackish body.
The dark western drywood termite is responsible for a good deal of the damage experienced by owners of Arizona homes and businesses. This type of termite eats the same wood in which it builds its colonies. This wood can be located indoors or outdoors; from wooden furniture to decks and patios, they are a resilient species.
As its name implies, the desert dampwood termite eats moist wood. Dampwood termites attack the underground roots of bushes and trees. They also eat other types of wood extending below the earth, including fence posts and other man-made structures.
You may just be wondering what the signs of termites might be. Be on the lookout for mud tubes, discarded wings, or wood that is soft or hollow on the walls of your house or building, you probably have a termite infestation. At that point, it’s time to call a team of experienced pest control professionals.
Termite swarms can be found inside or near the home, especially after it rains. These groups are made up of mature swarmers with a variety of roles. The non-winged termite is either a forager or a soldier.
Winged termite members, which include reproducers and the colony’s king and queen, are often found near light sources. Swarming is most common in the spring. After they finish breeding, winged termites find new places to breed and form new colonies. You’re likely to spot them near doorways and windows.
Termite prevention for homes across Arizona is hard, your best bet is to remove all wood to soil contact and seal all cracks or holes in your home's foundation. Because termites are extremely durable creatures, the most important thing is to catch them early. Recognizing the signs of termite presence is the best way to avoid costly damage to your home or business.
If you suspect or see signs of an invasion, contacting the local Arizona Western Exterminator termite control professionals immediately is a must. Being aware of these indicators helps you recognize the problem before structural wood damage becomes advanced. Contact the termite control experts at Western Exterminator for a free inspection, and make termites a thing of the past.