Signs & Types of Termites Phoenix & Mesa AZ Metro

Termite "mud tubes" hanging from ceiling. Pic by Emanuel Jara:)
Subterranean Termite “mud tubes” hanging from ceiling. Pic by Emanuel Jara:)
Drywood Termite Damage
Drywood Termite damage by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conducive Conditions for Termite Infestations

  1. Moisture in the soil around the foundation or in the home itself. {Leaky pipes and plumbing problems cause moisture problems that attract termites.}
  2. Direct wood to soil contact. No part of your home should EVER have direct contact with the soil.
  3. Faulty grade draining water toward the foundation, instead of away from the home.
  4. Trees & bushes too close or touching the home or office.
  5. No ACTIVE Termite BARRIER. This can be the absence of a termite pre-treat before construction, of just an older home that needs a new Termite Control Application.This does not show on report.}
  6. Cracks in the foundation. {These do not show on a termite report, but can provide ample access for termites into a structure.}

Types of Termites in Greater Phoenix AZ Valley

  • Subterranean Termites
  • Desert Landscape Termites
  • Drywood Termites

Subterranean Termites

Most termites, found in our Arizona Desert, are Subterranean Termites that live in vast colonies as deep as 50 feet underground.

Subterranean Termites come up in search of cellulose, in the wood products of your home, to feed on. Our native species is Heterotermes. These native subterranean Termites flourish in our dry desert. They usually swarm during Monsoon season, and after heavy rains. This species build “Mud Tubes” that are small, strong, and air tight! Subterranean Termites like to nest in areas with more moisture, and under concrete foundations. Because these Termites are so small,  they can invade homes through very small cracks in concrete and expansion joints!  Homeowners often call us for Termite Control when they discover mud tubes going up a foundation, poking through a wall, or when they see flying termites “swarming”  around their home.

Termite SWARMERS
Scott Bauer, USDA Bugwood.org
 

Signs of Subterranean Termite Infestations Around Your Home
  • Termite SWARMERS {pictured on left} are black in color
  • Mud tubes going up foundation, on walls, or hanging from a ceiling.
  • Visibly damaged wood

 

 

Desert Landscape Termites

In the Arizona desert, we have the “Desert Termite” (Gnathamitermes & Wheeler Termites).

This type of Termite is doesn’t usually invade homes and cause damage.  “Desert Termites” mostly feed on wood, and PLANTS outside.  After a good rain or watering, “Desert Termites” build “mud tubes” that can completely cover dead plants or wood products.  Desert Termites also leave sheets of mud on Palm Trees, Cactus, and pieces of wood touching the ground.

 

Drywood Termites

These Termites are not as common in the Phoenix Arizona valley, but are an occasional problem.

Light Western Drywood Termites can be found in the Sonora Desert BELOW 4000 ft elevation.  Drywood Termites live INSIDE the wood they infest, and are rarely seen.

Signs Of Drywood Termites

  1. Drywood termites expel piles of fecal pellets from nests out of tiny holes. (After you’ve cleaned the fecal pellets away, the straw colored pellets will build up again.)
  2. Swarmers are red
  3. Small holes, about 1mm in diameter
  4. Piles of small wings

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