Termites account for billions of dollars in damage annually in the United States, and Arizona homeowners are especially at risk. The high temperatures in Arizona prompt these pesky insects to make their way underground and indoors. Even during the summer wave, termites can find the perfect climate inside walls.
From dampwood termites to desert dampwood termites – these insects weaken the house structurally and can lead to dangerous situations. Read on to find out how to identify these insects and their presence in your home.
What Are Termites?
Termites are tiny, winged insects that live in colonies and feed on wood and other dead plant matter. The damage they cause doesn’t just look bad from the outside but can ruin a house if it goes unchecked.
While you’ll rarely see them, termites can chew through the wood from the inside. Whether you’re dealing with a subterranean termite infestation, a desert subterranean termites infestation, or any other termites in Arizona – the damage and habits are the same.
Their target is damp wood, and termites can eventually eat into the structure and damage doors and window frames, support beams, siding, floor, decks, etc. They construct mud tubes and leave fecal pellets wherever they go. Additionally, they can damage swimming pool liners and filters, insulation, and even books.
What Do Termites Look Like?
These social insects live in large, complex colonies, and it can be easy to mistake them for ants. While the front wings of ants are longer, and their antennae are bent at a ninety-degree angle, winged termites are nearly equal in length, and their antennae are primarily straight.
The most common species of Arizona termites are subterranean and smaller drywood termites.
- Subterranean termites: Their underground colonies contain 60,000 to 1 million termites. Since they are built in the soil below ground, these colonies can be hard to find.
- Drywood termites: Built inside the wood and never coming in contact with soil, drywood nests can house approximately 4,800 termites. Drywood termites don’t have “worker termites.”
Signs of a Termite Infestation
Since they live underground or inside wooden structures, even the most active termite infestation can slip under the radar. Here are the signs that can tell you if you have termites in Arizona:
Changes in Wood
Look for structural weakness and keep an ear out for settling cracks. Damaged wood can sound hollow or crumble easily. Termites bring in moisture that can cause blistering and peeling paint or darkened areas on wood paneling.
While other termite species swarm during the spring and early summer months, Arizona’s subterranean and drywood termites can swarm from July to September and June to August, respectively. The subterranean termite is active during the rainy season, but both species may be less active in winter.
Termite droppings are known as frass and are barrel-shaped pellets that can look like sawdust. Another warning sign is discarded wings on windowsills.
How To Get Rid of Termites
In the U.S., property owners spend over $2 billion treating termite infestations. They can be challenging to identify until the damage becomes severe, and the structural damage to your house can be permanent and extremely expensive.
Their colonies are enormous, and they reproduce quickly. Since it is constantly growing, getting rid of the colony is tough. And a termite colony can restart itself even after the queen dies.
Prevention is better than cure, and there are ways to protect your home against termites. Ensure that the wooden components of your building aren’t in direct contact with the ground. You can pull the soil back or use supporting steps on a concrete base. Reduce moisture and humidity near the foundation and inside crawl spaces.
Do not store firewood or wood debris against the foundations. Wood is a food source for termites, and they can use these piles to enter the structure.
How Often Should You Spray for Termites in AZ?
A full termite treatment should be done every 5-6 years and your home should be inspected on an annual basis.
However, a spray is a topical application that will affect only the termites on the surface, not those hiding inside the walls. Missing a spot means leaving an entry point open, and a DIY solution can be dangerous and ineffective.
A professional, meanwhile, will not only know which treatment to use but where to use it.
Termites in AZ? Call Budget Brothers
Termites can chew through your home in front of your eyes. Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination is here to help you.
An Arizona leader for over 25 years in pest control, Budget Brothers’ team of trained and experienced professionals will inspect your property to identify entry points and the correct cure. Contact us for fast and safe termite extermination.