Termite Tunnels?According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage every year. Regardless of the type of home you live in – stucco, brick, block…even on those concrete slabs – none are immune to an invasion by termites and the damage they cause. Worse, termite damage can remain hidden for years, going undetected until the costs for repair are gigantic. Most homeowners are unaware that their homeowners insurance does not cover termite damage, leaving them on the hook for the entire repair bill!

What’s a homeowner to do? Here in the Desert Southwest that problem is even trickier than in many other places around the United States.

Why? We asked Rick Rupkey, Sr., owner of University Termite & Pest Control, to look at some of the Q&A forums on his competitor’s websites, and here is what he had to say:

“Termite swarms are common in many places around the country. In areas such as Texas, the South, Florida, and even California, operators can point their customers to look for termite wings around their homes, particularly in basements and on window sills. In Arizona, this indicator is simply not a reliable one. Termites don’t swarm here with any regularity, and we cannot count on that as a sign that termites are in a customer’s home. If we waited for that as a sign, it would be entirely too late.”

“Excess moisture is often the culprit in many other parts of our country as well. Crawlspaces with too much humidity and  stucco below grade wicking moisture into the walls of homes create ripe environments for termite activity. Here in Arizona, however, we need to be looking for other things.”

“Arizona is my home and I have spent my entire life here. Termites act differently in our arid climate, and that is something that we at university have come to appreciate. We have 40 years of experience taking care of Arizona’s homes, and we know exactly what it takes to make termites a memory for our customers.”

At University Termite & Pest Control, we recommend that all Arizonans look for the following around their homes:

  • Mud Tubes: Mud tubes are made of particles of soil, wood, and debris. These tubes allow subterranean termites to reach food sources above ground level.
  • Damaged wood: Damaged wood includes wood that sounds hollow when tapped with the handle of a screwdriver or wood that is soft when probed with a sharp object.
  • Small Holes or Ripples In Drywall: When termites damage wood within your home, they often create tiny holes in the drywall. Extensive damage to the wood can make the drywall look rippled.
  • Pellets: Drywood termites excrete pellets that are kicked out of holes. These pellets often accumulate in piles on window sills, baseboards, and under wooden objects.
  • Powder: Powder post beetles leave evidence of their presence with piles of a fine, talc-like powder around furniture, flooring, and any housing structure made of wood.

If you see any of these signs around your home and would like a free termite inspection, contact the professionals at University Termite & Pest Control. We’ll complete a thorough analysis of your home – inside, outside, over, and under – and recommend a termite protection program that’s right for your home.


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