Most Arizona termites are western drywood termites. The runners-up are subterranean termites. They seek moisture and don’t like exposure to air and light. So, Arizona subterranean termites build tunnels (“mud tubes”) from saliva, feces, wood, and soil to get them where they want to go. When we see them, our first instinct is to remove termite mud tubes.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN WHEN WE DON’T REMOVE TERMITE MUD TUBES
We shouldn’t remove termite mud tubes because they hold information that will tell us how to eliminate subterranean termites. The termite mud tubes aren’t the problem anyway.
Termite mud tubes are between 1/4″-1″ in diameter and can stretch inches to feet along walls, screens, or foundations. By the time we can see the tubes, there’s a good chance you have a bad termite infestation. Unfortunately, subterranean termites build their tubes inside crawlspaces, behind walls and baseboards, and within tiny cracks. So you can’t always see them.
The different types of tubes serve various purposes for the termite colony. If you don’t remove termite mud tubes, here’s what we can learn:
These termite tubes create a pathway between the ground and the food-source wood. They may be lighter in color than the other types of tubes because more wood is used in their construction.
These are easy to see because they branch out in several directions. Exploratory termite mud tubes are used to search for food. These aren’t “working” tubes, but they tell us there’s a colony near.
Termites preparing to swarm are disorganized at best. Therefore, the termite workers construct swarm tube “castles” to accommodate this rush-hour traffic of termites in a hurry to leave town. The castles can be big, and some are built larger than 4 feet to adequately protect the colony’s swarmers.
When it’s time, the worker termites direct the swarmer termites to the castle. There, the swarmer termites use exit holes to take flight. They travel to build new colonies.
These subterranean termite tubes are utilitarian. They are used as transportation trails, like highways. And just like highways, some lanes are used for food transport and others are used for construction.
REGULAR TERMITE INSPECTION, TREATMENT
If you remove termite mud tubes, the termites can likely rebuild it faster than you knocked it down and cleaned the area. But they won’t.
After you knock down the termite mud tube, they’ll wait a bit before constructing a new one. Termites may not be the brightest bugs, but they seem to know you’re going to call for a termite inspection. So they wait a day or two later.
Most property owners in Maricopa and Pima counties have regular termite inspection and/or treatment. If you’re planning to list your property this year or next, it provides proof of diligence. You’ve protected your home as best you can.
Your home is a big investment. Protecting it for yourself and your quality of life makes sense, too.
- 24-hour emergency service
- Affordable prices
- Escrow inspections
- Free estimates
- Monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly termite inspections/treatment
- New construction pretreatments
- One-time pest eliminations
- State-of-the-art detection/elimination technology
- The best warranty you’ll find anywhere
If there’s ever a treatment that will prevent termites forever, Budget Brothers will invest in it for you. (We have one for scorpions!) Meanwhile, there’s only one thing you can do to prevent termites, and that’s to contact Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination.