Termites are a very real concern in Arizona, as much of the state sits on top of one of the most active subterranean termite ‘belts’ in North America. We are also home to the drywood termite, making it almost inevitable for most homeowners to have a run-in with these invasive and highly destructive pests.
Here’s What You Need To know About Termites in Arizona
- Are Termites Common In Arizona?
It can be tough to wrap your brain around just how prevalent Arizona termites truly are. Statewide, there are an estimated 3 to 5 termite colonies per acre of land. Recent studies in the Tucson area show a staggering 12 to 18 colonies per acre. When you realize that each and every colony can contain upwards of 100,000 individual termites, you can begin to see the enormity of the problem.
- How Much Can Termite Damage Cost?
Across the United States, termites cause more property damage than tornadoes, earthquakes, and fires combined. Depending on how severe your infestation is, it could cost from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars to repair your home. And termites don’t just destroy wood. Important paperwork, memorabilia, photographs, and even pool liners are all at risk for termite damage.
- How Do You Know If You Have Termite Damage?
One of the surest signs of a termite infestation is a swarm, or signs of a recent swarm. On a warm day or evening in the late spring or early summer, thousands of young termites leave the nest looking for a mate and a new home. They fly in tightly packed clouds known as swarms for a short time before dropping their wings and moving to their new location. Check your windowsills for droppings and discarded wings, which are clues to a recent swarm.
Other signs include wood that sounds hollow when tapped, mud tubes roughly the width of a pencil, and floors that are spongy or blistered. If you notice any of these potential indicators, call a termite specialist right away.
- Types of Termites In Arizona
Subterranean termites are the most common in Arizona. Tiny but aggressive, they use mud tubes to reach above ground wood, and once they enter your home, they chew through wood and drywall at an alarming pace.
Drywood termites pose a unique risk, because they do not require as much moisture as subterranean termites. Instead, they can live undetected inside wooden structures for long periods. By the time you notice clues to their presence, such as dried out wood pellets that have overflowed from their tunnel, large portions of your wood will already be unsalvageable.
- Biology and Habits
Subterranean termites have a relatively large range and massive colonies beneath the soil. They invade homes in search of food, and can enter through even the tiniest cracks.
Drywood termites build their homes inside pieces of wood, and their colonies are typically much smaller than those of subterranean termites. They typically find entry through poor joint work in the corners and ends of wooden structures, and do not need to return to the ground for any reason.
How To Protect Your Home From Termite Damage
- Home Inspection
Regular inspection by a certified professional is absolutely critical to preventing a termite infestation. At University Termite & Pest Control Inc., we provide free, no-obligation inspections. If no termites are found, your inspector will make suggestions for keeping your home termite-free. If an infestation is discovered, your inspector will review treatment options with you. Either way, it is important to be armed with the facts.
- How Do I Get Rid Of Termites In My House?
Depending on the type of termites you have and the severity of the infestation termite treatment options vary from aggressive to conservative. For example, a minor subterranean termite infestation might be treated by establishing a below-ground chemical barrier and instituting a customized monitoring protocol. Termite treatment cost
- Prevention Options
Your termite inspector will identify cracks and crevices where termites can gain entry to your home, and provide recommendations for improving sealing. In addition, barrier products placed in the soil create a repellant line that termites cannot cross. In many cases, it is best to use a multi-pronged approach to keeping termites away.
- Can You Treat for Termites Yourself?
Many homeowners are do-it-yourself experts, and believe that a DIY approach to termite eradication is the best solution. However, this is never the best choice. The termites that you can locate are often only the tip of the iceberg, and pest professionals have specialized equipment that allows them to find and treat the colony. In addition, professional grade chemicals are often more effective than hardware store choices. Finally, many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover termite damage. It is critical to get rid of the termites on the first try to minimize costly repairs.
- How to Choose a Termite Professional
Your termite professional should be a true expert, with documented knowledge and experience. He or she should use the latest methodologies, products, and treatment protocols, and should be able to explain the treatment protocol step by step and answer any questions you might have. Finally, a good pest control company stands behind its work with a solid, written warranty.
Termites are a fact of life in Arizona, but there is no reason that they should destroy your home. Professional inspection, preventive protocols, and quick eradication of infestations are the keys to protecting your investment.
If you are ready to take the first steps toward defending your home and family against pests, we invite you to contact University Termite & Pest Control Inc. Click here to schedule a free initial inspection and consultation. We are always happy to answer any questions you might have!