We know termites like wood (a lot). Actually, termites are driven to seek the cellulose in wood. But they need water to digest their food. Do termites like water? Absolutely, and most of our problems are caused by drywood and subterranean termites.
Why Do Termites Like Water?
Termites need water to digest their food and build nests and mud tubes. Although we don’t see them as often, size-wise, dampwood termites are the big guys. They live within the wood, but they need humidity to survive. Dampwood termites seek moist, decaying wood which is possible if you have an undetected plumbing leak or an outside pile of firewood.
One of the reasons we encourage home buyers to have a termite inspection is not to panic them if we find termites. But the type of termites we find can indicate serious problems exist.
If we find dampwood termites inside the property, which doesn’t happen very often in Arizona, there’s a good chance there’s hidden water damage behind the walls, floors, or ceilings.
Drywood and subterranean termites are prevalent in Arizona cities and desert dwellings. Drywood termites thrive in…dry wood. They’re most often found in more humid, coastal areas. These termites don’t need moist wood or earth to survive and can make any type of wood their home.
Subterranean termites might be “the official termite” of Maricopa and Pima counties. They create telltale mud tubes along the sides and foundation of your house. If you find a subterranean termite mudtube, don’t knock it down. We can tell a lot about the size and age of the colony by looking at termite tubes.
Subterranean termites use the soil as their primary water source, but they’ll use what’s available. They consume the water and their abdomens fill. They will share their water with other termites by carrying it back to the nest as they transport particles of dirt for nest-building.
The soil and water are mixed to create a type of “mortar” for their nest. They instinctively know the ratio of water-to-dirt (It’s about 30/70), and when it dries, the nest becomes a sturdy, cardboard-like structure.
Places You Might Find Termites
Termites are attracted to clogged gutters which can give them access to your home’s insulation. Diverting rainwater properly (away from your roof and foundation) can also send termites to seek more favorable lodgings. A rotting stump or a firewood pile on the ground are potential habitats.
Because termites like water, some of the common places you might find them include:
- Leaky pipes
- Near ceilings/corners
- Concrete walls
- Overhanging tree branches
- Painted wood trim
- Tree stumps
- Plumbing areas/cabinets in bathrooms/kitchens
- Storage areas
- Support beams
- Window/door frames
Your Partner for Termite Prevention
Statistically, there are a minimum of 3-5 termite colonies per acre of ground in Arizona. (Some studies show 8-12 colonies.) And each colony has 300,000-400,000 termites. It can be intimidating but living the good life here in Arizona makes it all worthwhile.
Arizona homeowners schedule flea remedies for their pets, lawn upkeep, and termite prevention treatments. These are facts of life for diligent Phoenix families. (That’s why there are so many pest control companies around here.)
It’s important to partner with a company that cares about your property value, your family, and your budget.
Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination professionals care. We’ll offer the best service at the best price – not because it’s so competitive we feel we must – but because we are invested in living and working here. We want what’s best for our city, county, state…and our neighbors.
Let our family serve yours. We’ll begin a family tradition! Call Budget Brothers today and let’s develop the plan.