Termites In Arizona: Species Types, Prevalence & Treatment

Here, we will be looking at Arizona termites.

Termites can be found in pretty much all locations or geographical territories with the only exception being Antarctica. While this is true, we’ve singled out the state of Arizona to discuss the termites within this region.

If you live in Arizona, you would have dealt with or experienced termite issues in the past.

Here is for termites in Georgia.

Knowing how they behave will be of immense help to you.

So, without further ado, let’s get into details on the different termite species and how they operate.

Dealing With Termites In AZ

Every homeowner dreads the prospect of dealing with a termite infestation. These insect pests have gained notoriety for their relentless destructive nature.

To make things worse, their presence can remain undetected for significant periods of time until major damage is caused on a property.

Prevalence of AZ Termites

The state of Arizona can be categorized as being among the states with the most termite presence.

Other states that are ahead of it in termite prevalence include Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. The states of Louisiana, Texas, California, Arkansas, and North Carolina are also known for their significant termite presence.

Types Of Termites in Arizona

What do termites look like in Arizona?

The most common termite species found within the state of Arizona are the arid subterranean termites, the desert subterranean termites, the desert dampwood termites as well as western drywood termites.

The western drywood termite variety can also be divided into the light western drywood termite and the dark western drywood termite.

These Arizona termite species can be broadly categorized into three types; subterranean termites, dampwood termites as well as drywood termites.

All termite species mentioned above will be discussed under these three categories as follows;

i. Arizona Subterranean Termites

As the name implies, these termite species predominantly live below ground. In other words, their colonies are built underground.

Subterranean termites need the moisture provided by the soil to stay hydrated. When seeking food (cellulose-containing substances), they build mud tubes to help retain moisture.

Such tubes form pathways by connecting subterranean termite colonies to the food source. These termites are spread across the state of Arizona.

Other species belonging to the subterranean termite category include the arid subterranean termites and the desert subterranean termites.

  • Arid Subterranean Termites

Arizona being mostly arid is home to this species of termites. These are the most common in terms of spread. Now, don’t let the name confuse you because these termite species aren’t only restricted to arid areas of the state.

You’ll also find them around rivers, and canyons.

Of course, arid subterranean termites are also found around dunes and high-altitude areas of Arizona.

Contrary to their name, arid subterranean termites have a preference for damp or moist wood rather than dry timber.

  • Desert Subterranean Termites

Another species of termites belonging to the subterranean termite category are the desert subterranean termites.

They thrive in desert environments which are mostly found in the southern part of Arizona. These termite species have a craving for springwood which is the porous ring in timber.

This is why they’re most notorious for causing damage to structural timbers and utility poles. Floors, rafters, and construction lumber aren’t left out.

ii. Arizona Dampwood Termites

The name alone reveals what type of habitat dampwood termites live in or prefer. Wood with high moisture content tends to be their major attraction.

However, there are fewer damp conditions in the state of Arizona due to arid conditions. Nevertheless, you’ll still find dampwood termites here.

The desert dampwood termite species has a preference for moisture sources such as living shrubs & trees, as well as citrus groves. Moisture is obtained from the sap of such trees.

Like subterranean termites, dampwood termites mostly infest from below the ground surface.

However, dampwood termites aren’t only restricted to living trees as they can also be found around fences as well as untreated poles buried to the ground.

iii. Arizona Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are the third category of termites found in Arizona.

Two main species belong to this category and include the light western drywood termites as well as the dark western drywood termites.

So, what’s the difference between these two?

Let’s consider each as follows;

  • Light Western Drywood Termites

As the name implies, this termite species are lighter in appearance compared to the dark variety. These are mostly found in the desert regions of Arizona, hence their tolerance for drier conditions.

One key distinguishing factor is the limited spread or distribution of light western drywood termites.

  • Dark Western Drywood Termites

Dark western drywood on the other hand has a wider spread.

This is greatly helped by their ease of movement in furniture. Apart from homes, you’ll find dark western drywood termites in dead branches of living trees as well as in dead trees.

Of course, buildings aren’t left out as these termite species can easily attack structural wood.

If you wonder where exactly to look out for these termite species in homes, there are lots of areas to inspect. Dark western drywood termites can be found in fascia boards, flooring, roof sheathing, and doorframes, etc.

Outside of homes, these can attack utility poles and stored lumber.

How Common Are Termites in Arizona?

When it comes to their spread or distribution within the state of Arizona, termites can be found in pretty much all locations.

As a matter of fact, a recent study showed the Tucson area to have an estimated 12 to 18 colonies per acre. This is significant and a worrisome finding for homeowners.

Your best bet as a property owner is to take drastic steps towards preventing and curtailing termite activity. You can always enter into a contract with reputable pest management companies for frequent inspections.

Such inspections may be yearly or more.

Identifying an Infestation can be Challenging if you don’t know where to Look

A lot of homeowners within the Arizona area have no idea of where to look to identify a termite problem.

Fortunately, there are tell-tale signs you need to be attentive to. Whenever any of such signs are noticed, urgent action will be necessary.

Termite swarming leads to lots of dropped wings. This can be seen around homes or other infested areas.

Whenever this is seen, it’s necessary to take urgent action by calling for treatment. A hollow sound on wood when tapped is a sure sign that termites are active.

By now, you should have basic knowledge about the termite species in Arizona and where they’re found. Due to the high prevalence of these pests, it’s necessary to take treatment seriously.

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