The monsoon season in Arizona begins on June 15th and ends on September 30th. During the summer, winds shift from the west to southeasterly airstreams, filled with moisture from California and the Gulf of Mexico. Once the wind shift and increased moisture react with the desert heat, the phenomenon produces storms that typically include cycles of rainfall bursts with periods of light rain.
While monsoon season brings needed moisture, it also stimulates termite activity. In fact, vast numbers of termites become aroused. Termites.com reveals that on average, homeowners who experience a termite infestation spend $3,000 to repair the damage. Read on to find out why Arizona homeowners need to be particularly vigilant during termite monsoon season.
What’s the Connection?
Termite monsoon season is this pest’s favorite time of year. The moisture and atmospheric conditions that generate rain also trigger the surfacing of alates, or winged termites, from their underground nests. Monsoon season provides the perfect weather for the launching of termite swarms: Cool, calm, overcast days following rain. During termite monsoon, swarms often include thousands of alates, which have the sole responsibility of reproducing and creating new colonies. The rain-softened ground promotes easy nest building for new mates, and the humidity aids their survival.
Termites and Your Tucson Home
For Arizona dwellers, when viewing Termite Infestation Probability Zones, you will notice that the termite infestation probability factor is moderate to heavy and the damage potential is significant. The arid land subterranean termite is the most widely spread termite in Arizona; however, in Tucson and other southern locales, the desert subterranean termite occupies a niche of its own. Unfortunately, these are the termites considered the most destructive. Desert subterranean termites feast on construction wood, rafters, floors, utility poles, and almost all kinds of dead wood, including cactus, and desert trees. They penetrate walls, roofs, and other building structures through the tiniest of fissures, as small as 1/32″. Unfortunately, the size of this termite – and their lack of dependence on moisture and decay – allow them the special advantage of being able to attack dry, sound wood.
Termites are regarded as the greatest threat to homes in the U.S., surpassing the risk of wind, fire, or flood. Because their damage is subtle, colonies often survive for years without notice. Alates typically relocate within a quarter mile of their original colony, and thus, if your neighbor has termite problems, you are likely to have them. Detection is not easy, but look for:
- Piles of wings, or dead bodies;
- Termite tubes winding on foundation footers or hanging from the ceiling;
- Small mounds of feces that resemble sawdust; and,
- Signs of termite damage, including:
- Hollowed-out, weakened, or crumbly wood;
- Sagging or discolored sheetrock on walls or ceilings;
- Loose tiles;
- Buckling, or sagging floors; and,
- Jammed windows, or doors.
Termites cause extensive damage, without visible effect, because they eat wood from the inside out. That’s scary. The best remedy is to engage a termite specialist that can detect early termite infestation warning signs.
If you are ready to take the first steps toward defending your home and family against termites, 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!