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About Termites

Learn More About Termites In Arizona

termites in arizona

With so many customers contacting us for termite control in Arizona, we decided it was time to truly educate the public on termites and how damaging they can be to a property. Termites thrive in warm environments, add some moisture and you have an ideal location for termites to call home. Below you will learn all about termites, how to identify them, where they live, what they eat, and the damage they can cause to a home or business in Arizona.

What Exactly Are Termites?

The most common termite found here in Arizona is the Subterranean Termite. Termites are typically ground dwellers, they tunnel below, and rarely come out into the open which makes it hard to identify if you have a termite problem or not. These silent assassins of our homes and yards operate behind the scenes so well, that it’s often difficult to tell if they exist on your property until there is obvious damage done to your home or the trees on your property. It’s common for homeowners to mistake termites for ants when they do see one, there are termites that take flight and can easily be confused with flying ants to the untrained eye. Without knowledge of their existence on your property, their colonies can continue to grow and thrive into a population that exceeds one million.

What Do Termites Eat?

termites eating celluloseWe all know that termites can eat through the wood at a very destructive pace, but what are they really eating? Cellulose is the primary organic compound found in plants and vegetable fibers that termites feed on. Considering that most homes are framed from wood, it makes sense that there would be a natural attraction for the termites. The wood frame of your home isn’t the only place inside your walls that termites can be destructive. If you have belongings stored in your attic beware, termites have been known to feed on cardboard boxes, books, paper documents, insulation, sheetrock, and other items that may be commonly stored in the attic that contain cellulose. There is cellulose in cotton also, so clothing and holiday props could become potential victims of termite damage. In addition, all termites feed on detritus (debris, waste, gravel, sand, silt) and other materials that are naturally produced by erosion. That being said, it’s clear that residential and commercial properties have the potential to be giant feeding buffets for termites of all kinds regardless of the material used in construction. When you add a living landscape around the perimeter of the property, you are truly providing an endless supply of resources for termite colonies to thrive and grow. Termites prefer dead wood but will thrive on living trees if it is not available. They are capable of tearing through living wood and dead woods which makes them an extreme hazard for residential and commercial property owners. This is not the case in nature though, since dead woods are a preference for most, having a cleanup crew like a termite colony around to break down fallen trees is healthy for the environment. Follow these tips to avoid a termite infestation.

What Are The Three Major Types Of Termites?

  • Subterranean Termite
  • Dampwood Termite
  • Drywood Termite

Each Type Of Termite Has It’s Own Eating Habits

  • Subterranean Termites

These termites prefer softer woods that are rich in moisture and will climb to feed. Residential and commercial property owners will notice mud tubes on the exterior of the home or office building that leads from the surface level of the ground up the wall and into the home where their feeding. If these mud tubes are found, there will most likely be an entry point from the exterior of the building that can be identified. These termites build large maze-like paths through the wood structures that pose a major problem for homeowners and commercial property owners alike.

  • Dampwood Termites

These termites are mostly known for being ground dwellers and prefer to feed on fallen decaying wood. They also prefer softer woods that are rich in moisture like subterranean termites. Mud tubes on the exterior of the home or office building that lead from the surface level of the ground up the wall and to the feeding source is a clear indication of an infestation. Eliminating the entry point and starting a termite treatment process will be important to prevent further damage.

  • Drywood Termites

These termites love the home environment, they often times occupy attic space and need very little moisture in the wood they eat. This termite prefers structures on the property that have been dried and treated. These structures include but are not limited to yard furniture, lattice, shingles, wood siding, fences, decks, and other wooden structures that are built from dry woods that have limited moisture.

How Do Termites Get Into Your Home?

Termite colonies produce a specific termite called a swarmer, as the colonies grow, swarmers termites entering home leave the nest and begin growing their own colony. Swarmers have wings initially but then shed them after they take up residence on a property. Termites can cross over from a neighboring property that is infested by either crawling, flying, or being carried by heavy winds. Once on a property, termites will find residence in the openings of a home. Small cracks in the foundation, openings around cabling, piping, and other open gaps on the property. Termites are small, the opening doesn’t need to be very big for them to make their way into the interior of your home. Homes that have rooms with extensive moisture can become breeding grounds for termites, once they infest the home, they look to occupy spaces that are rich in moisture, similar to the soiled earth they crawled out from. There are definite steps to be taken if you discover termites.

Homes That Are Elevated Can Also Face Infestation From:

  • Porches and Decks
  • Wood Stacks Near The Home
  • Damp Soil
  • Tree And Plant Overhang

Facts About Termite Damage

  • Termites can destroy your home
  • Termites can destroy the framing of the walls, and the roofing beams of a home within 3 months.
  • Termites are responsible for more structural damage to homes in the U.S. than heavy winds, floods, and fires combined.
  • Termites are present in most of the U.S. but thrive exceptionally well in warm, moist environments.  

* Important Notice *

termite damage expenses

Termite damage is common among residential and commercial property owners, and unfortunately, most property owners make these mistakes when dealing with termites themselves Most insurance companies do not provide coverage for the structural damage caused by termite infestations which is why it is important to identify the problem before it destroys your property. Termite colonies can exist within a 100-yard radius of your property and can still infest and destroy your home or office complex. There are over 5 million homes per year that fall victim to termite infestations, and the price tag associated with that damage according to The National Pest Management Association costs homeowners in the U.S. over $5 billion dollars per year. Some colonies can consist of over one million feeding termites, and if your home is within 100 yards of that colony you are in trouble. If you are considering the purchase of a new home in Arizona it is recommended that you have a termite inspection of your new home purchase.

How To Identify Arizona Termites (PDF Document From Texas A&M)

Termite Treatment Document For Arizona Homeowners (PDF Document From University of Arizona)

The Termite Colony

Termites are similar to ants when describing their colony and the daily duties each of them has. There are the workers and reproductive termites. Most termites are workers, the King and Queen operate as the reproductive termites, laying eggs, and producing more termites for the colony. A single termite colony will consist of a King and Queen, the rest of the termites that make up the colony are all workers. The King and Queen emit pheromones that notify the colony they are mating, this prevents the worker termites from becoming adults capable of reproducing. When the time is right, the Queen will permit some of the young termites to develop into young queens that are capable of producing additional eggs that are needed to keep growing the colony. A King and Queen termite can reign supreme for 15 to 25 years. If either the King or Queen dies, the pheromone levels change, and the worker termites will begin to evolve into reproductive termites.

Signs You Might Have Termites

mud tunnelsTermites can be hard to detect, outdoors they may stay underground, indoors they may stay within interior walls or in attic spaces. There are however some footprints that they tend to leave behind that can make it possible for you to identify if you have termites or not. The best and most efficient way to find out if you have termites is to hire a pest control company that specializes in termite control, if that is not something you are considering yet, you can look deeper into the situation yourself and try to identify if the problem you have found is truly a termite infestation or not. Termites can cause damage to your home extremely fast if you notice signs of an infestation contact a termite control specialist immediately.

4 Things To Look For When Identifying Termites In Your Home 

  • Finding Termites

This is the most obvious one, if you have found a termite, or found termite droppings in your home then chances are you have a termite problem. You may find something in your walls during a renovation project, or during the random removal of an appliance and see something that may resemble a small grain of white rice that move like an ant. This could possibly be a termite. There are also swarming termites that resemble flying ants, it’s hard to tell the difference, but if you find yourself noticing more flying ant-like insects than normal, we would advise that you call a pest control specialist to come in and evaluate the property for termite infestations.

  • Damage To Wood

damaged woodThis is a bit of an issue, identifying damaged wood before you identify you have a termite problem. Termites dig in and eat wood from the inside first before burrowing their way closer to the surface where the damage can be noticed. You know what this means, it means that by the time you see visible evidence that there is termite damage, the wood has been burrowed through from the inside out already and it’s already a major problem. You can tap along the wood beams to audibly listen for hollow points, if you have a musicians ear you may be able to identify where the damage extends too. Sometimes the wood the will cave and there will be visible routes and patterns where the termites have burrowed and possible mud tubes. That last thing that will make your findings official will be the termites that you will find in the wood. Consider that gold, when you strike it, call a termite control specialist to get a thorough understanding of the problem you have and how to treat it.

  • Mud Tubes

Mud tubes are a clear sign that it’s time to act! A mud tube is created by a termite to allow it to tunnel from its colony to its place of feeding. These tubes/tunnels allow them to travel from point A to point B without the dangers of running into natural predators like ants. The tubes are made up of moist soil and excrement and are about the size of a pencil. These mud tubes can be found in any part of the home including the garage, crawl spaces, attic, under cabinets, interior walls, exterior walls, and anywhere else that may have moisture and detritus. When you identify mud tubes, you have identified a problem.

  • Swarming Insects

When a termite swarm appears it’s a true sign that you may have a problem. Termites swarm in warm weather, this is common in Arizona, and it’s a problem that becomes apparent after heavy rains. The moist land provides the perfect opportunity for termites to migrate and nest. These migrations are often quick and may not be noticed if you are not outdoors to observe the transition. The winter months are a great time for termite treatment. You can identify signs of these migrations if you know what to look for, termites will shed their wings and they will collect around the window sills, entryways, ventilation ducts, shower stalls, and sinks. Swarmers use their wings to migrate away from their original colony, and once they have located a place to call home the King and Queen will shed their wings and begin to produce a new colony.

How To Identify Termites

Workers

worker termites

Soldiers

arizona soldier termites

Swarmers

picture of a swarmer termite

Queen

the queen termite

 

 

 

 

 

If you are experiencing issues with termites in your Arizona home, you can contact Green Home Pest Control today for world-class termite inspections and control solutions that are safe and effective for your home. We also provide eco-friendly termite control services in the following cities.

We Service The Greater Phoenix Metro Area Including The Following Cities:

Phoenix
• Scottsdale
Tempe
Chandler
Mesa
Gilbert
Glendale
Surprise
Peoria

Call Green Home Pest Control today for inquiries about termite damage and termite control. Here is a list of questions you should ask our termite technicians to better prepare you for the phone call. Let us know if you need anything else from us, we are here to help.

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