Types of Arizona termites

Types of Arizona termites

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.

If you think you have termites anywhere near your Arizona home, then contact your local Western Exterminator office in Arizona and discuss our termite removal and prevention methods.

Subterranean termites in Arizona

Desert subterranean termites find strength in numbers. This desert plant-dweller’s 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 in Arizona

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 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.

Dampwood termites in Arizona

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.

Arizona termite signs

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.

Arizona termite swarms

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.

Tips for preventing termites

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 homes 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.

Contact Western Exterminator in Airzona

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.


What Are Termites

Learn more about termites and common types in the Phoenix, Arizona area

Termites are often called “white ants” for their seeming physical similarities and social structure. However, termites are not ants and are actually related to cockroaches. Termites evolved into their present form during the Cretaceous period and currently count over 3,000 species. They are one of the most widely-spread species on Earth and are found in every corner of the planet except Antarctica. While in some cultures termites are widely used for medicinal purposes or as a delicacy, to us they are mostly known as pests that cause millions of dollars’ worth of damage to homes, structures, and forests across the US.

All termites are detrivores, which means they feed on dead wood and plants. They get their nutrients from cellulose, organic fiber in plants and trees. Their ability to use their mouth to tear through wood is the cause for major concern. Termites will feed on house foundations, furniture, and even books. If not promptly stopped, they may cause significant and costly damage to property.

Type of Termites

There are three major types of termites that are most prevalent in the United States: Eastern subterranean termites, Southeastern drywood termites, and Pacific dampwood termites. Subterranean is the most prevalent type of termites and can be found throughout the United States. Drywood and dampwood types are more common in the Southern states.
While drywood and dampwood termites will live inside the wood they are consuming, the subterranean termites set up their colonies underground. From there, they dig elaborate and long-stretching tunnels to gain access to food.

Termites are usually small, measuring 0.16 – 0.5 inches in length. Most worker and soldier termites are completely blind as they do not have eyes. Their antennae are used for sensing touch, taste, odor, heat, and vibration. The non-reproductive casts of termites are wingless and rely entirely on their legs for getting around. The reproductive casts have the ability to fly for a short period of time but mainly also rely on their legs as they are quite poor flyers.

In summer, newly hatched flying termites leave their colonies to pair off and set up new colonies of their own. Once settled in a new place, they lose their wings and become kings and queens.
Like ants and bees, termites arrange their society into a caste system. Worker termites constitute the majority of the colony. They are the ones most likely to be found in infested wood as they are responsible for foraging and digesting cellulose, which they feed to the rest of the colony. Soldiers are responsible for protecting the nest, which is kept populated by the king, one or several queens, and reproductive members.

Sign of Termite Infestation

A temporary swarm of flying insects in or around your home. In spring and summer termites take flight to look for their new homes. Be on the lookout.
Discarded swarmer wings. Once a new colony is settled, termites drop their wings. Insect wings around your home can be a sign of termite infestation.
Mud tubes on house walls, beams, in crawl spaces. Termites build mud tunnels to protect themselves from predators and the environment while transporting food and traveling to and from the nest.
Subterranean tunnels. Subterranean termites dig tunnels that go about 1ft deep and fan out in all directions. Worker and soldier termites can be seen traveling in those tunnels.
Earthen packing. One of the most crucial termite signs to watch for. Termites working inside the wood produce mud-like earthen material that would be visible on the foundation walls and at the joints.
Frass or termite droppings. Termite pellets, called frass, can be seen at or near the termite entry. If you see termite pellets around or inside your home, call your exterminator.
Wood that sounds hollow, sagging floors in the house. Termites burrow into the wood in a honeycomb pattern, while working inside it. That results in the wood becoming hollow and weak.

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Top 10 Signs That You Have Termites in Arizona

Homeowners generally end up fighting a losing battle with termites mostly because they can’t get one step ahead of the tiny terminators. Termites can do serious damage surreptitiously and unless you’re a professional, you will only come to discover that your home has been infested when things have gotten out of control. Oftentimes, it takes months and even years before one can detect signs of termite activity. That’s why it is highly encouraged that homeowners should invest in professional termite inspection services at least once or twice a year.

But while calling in the experts is indeed the most prudent course of action you can take when a termite problem arises, it’s also imperative that as a homeowner, you should educate yourself with the tell-tale signs of termite activity. Whatever knowledge you acquire concerning early detection of these tiny terrors will definitely be to your advantage. Remember that cliché as it may seem, an ounce of prevention is still loads better than a pound of cure. Imagine just how much you will be saving when you can at least prevent termite damage in your home from becoming widespread.

So in order to provide homeowners everywhere with much-needed termite information, we’ve compiled a list of some of the more common signs of infestation in the household:

1. Presence of discarded wings. It’s quite difficult to actually catch termites in action. However, you may be able to catch glimpses of swarmers or discarded wings. When you see these, you have to take action ASAP. There are times when these swarmers can be mistaken for flying ants which is why you have to call in an expert to verify the real problem your home is facing.

2. Presence of small exit holes. These holes are usually tiny and elongated. When termites swarm your home and build colonies, they usually hollow the wood along the grain. Conduct a meticulous inspection of the wooden areas of your home and the moment you detect these exit holes, you have to act fast.

3. Presence of mud tubes or tunnels. Mud tubes or tunnels are constructed by termites to serve as their pathways from the soil to the wooden areas inside your home. Check around the wooden parts of your doors, windows, posts, and other nooks and crannies for signs of these tubes and tunnels.

4. Presence of wood dust. Since termites are always foraging for food, they will definitely attack those parts of your home that contain a lot of cellulose. This would mean the wooden parts of your home or places where there are dead plants, paper, and lots of moisture. Wood dust on surfaces of wooden areas in your home can be a definite sign of termite activity.

5. Presence of excrement. Sometimes, the mud-like patches on the holes created by these termites are actually their feces.

6. Structural damage. When parts of your home suddenly become decayed or considerably weakened like posts, pillars, doors, panels, and the like, this may be likely caused by termite activity, especially when these contain wooden materials.

7. Presence of termites outdoors. When you happen to chance on these tiny terminators outside your home, it’s time to be on the alert! There’s a great chance that the inside of your home will be next or it may already be under attack.

8. Presence of hollow wood. Try going over the wooden sections of your home and knocking on them. Hollow sounds may mean that termites have already started eating your home from the inside out.

9. Presence of excess dirt or water. Since termites thrive on moisture, presence of excess dirt or water should put you on guard for possible termite activity.

10. Presence of cracks and seams. Whenever any of the wooden areas in your home, including your furniture, sport cracks and seams, this may be a tell-tale sign of the presence of termites.

For more information please visit Termite Control Phoenix


10 Things You Must Know About Termites In Arizona

Termites are a very real concern in Arizona, as much of the state sits on top of one of the most active subterranean termite ‘belts’ in North America. We are also home to the drywood termite, making it almost inevitable for most homeowners to have a run-in with these invasive and highly destructive pests.

Here’s What You Need To know About Termites in Arizona

  1. Are Termites Common In Arizona?

It can be tough to wrap your brain around just how prevalent Arizona termites truly are. Statewide, there are an estimated 3 to 5 termite colonies per acre of land. Recent studies in the Tucson area show a staggering 12 to 18 colonies per acre. When you realize that each and every colony can contain upwards of 100,000 individual termites, you can begin to see the enormity of the problem.

Across the United States, termites cause more property damage than tornadoes, earthquakes, and fires combined. Depending on how severe your infestation is, it could cost from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars to repair your home. And termites don’t just destroy wood. Important paperwork, memorabilia, photographs, and even pool liners are all at risk for termite damage.

  1. How Do You Know If You Have Termite Damage?

One of the surest signs of a termite infestation is a swarm, or signs of a recent swarm. On a warm day or evening in the late spring or early summer, thousands of young termites leave the nest looking for a mate and a new home. They fly in tightly packed clouds known as swarms for a short time before dropping their wings and moving to their new location. Check your windowsills for droppings and discarded wings, which are clues to a recent swarm.

Other signs include wood that sounds hollow when tapped, mud tubes roughly the width of a pencil, and floors that are spongy or blistered. If you notice any of these potential indicators, call a termite specialist right away.

Subterranean termites are the most common in Arizona. Tiny but aggressive, they use mud tubes to reach above ground wood, and once they enter your home, they chew through wood and drywall at an alarming pace.

Drywood termites pose a unique risk, because they do not require as much moisture as subterranean termites. Instead, they can live undetected inside wooden structures for long periods. By the time you notice clues to their presence, such as dried out wood pellets that have overflowed from their tunnel, large portions of your wood will already be unsalvageable.

Subterranean termites have a relatively large range and massive colonies beneath the soil. They invade homes in search of food, and can enter through even the tiniest cracks.

Drywood termites build their homes inside pieces of wood, and their colonies are typically much smaller than those of subterranean termites. They typically find entry through poor joint work in the corners and ends of wooden structures, and do not need to return to the ground for any reason.

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How To Protect Your Home From Termite Damage

  1. Home Inspection

Regular inspection by a certified professional is absolutely critical to preventing a termite infestation. At University Termite & Pest Control Inc., we provide free, no-obligation inspections. If no termites are found, your inspector will make suggestions for keeping your home termite-free. If an infestation is discovered, your inspector will review treatment options with you. Either way, it is important to be armed with the facts.

  1. How Do I Get Rid Of Termites In My House?

Depending on the type of termites you have and the severity of the infestation termite treatment options vary from aggressive to conservative. For example, a minor subterranean termite infestation might be treated by establishing a below-ground chemical barrier and instituting a customized monitoring protocol. Termite treatment cost

Your termite inspector will identify cracks and crevices where termites can gain entry to your home, and provide recommendations for improving sealing. In addition, barrier products placed in the soil create a repellant line that termites cannot cross. In many cases, it is best to use a multi-pronged approach to keeping termites away.

  1. Can You Treat for Termites Yourself?

Many homeowners are do-it-yourself experts, and believe that a DIY approach to termite eradication is the best solution. However, this is never the best choice. The termites that you can locate are often only the tip of the iceberg, and pest professionals have specialized equipment that allows them to find and treat the colony. In addition, professional grade chemicals are often more effective than hardware store choices. Finally, many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover termite damage. It is critical to get rid of the termites on the first try to minimize costly repairs.

  1. How to Choose a Termite Professional

Your termite professional should be a true expert, with documented knowledge and experience. He or she should use the latest methodologies, products, and treatment protocols, and should be able to explain the treatment protocol step by step and answer any questions you might have. Finally, a good pest control company stands behind its work with a solid, written warranty.

Termites are a fact of life in Arizona, but there is no reason that they should destroy your home. Professional inspection, preventive protocols, and quick eradication of infestations are the keys to protecting your investment.

If you are ready to take the first steps toward defending your home and family against pests, we invite you to contact University Termite & Pest Control Inc. Click here to schedule a free initial inspection and consultation. We are always happy to answer any questions you might have!


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