As a resident of Tucson, Arizona, you might have heard of the reference to the monsoon season as the termite monsoon because it marks the onset of swarms of termites. Generally, you can detect swarms of termites just before a rainstorm. Termites are greatly favored by the moisture of the monsoon weather which is characterized by torrential rainfall. Although termites pose no real threat to human beings, they are responsible for tremendous damage to residential properties every year. The termite monsoon is the prime time for termites since they are most active during this season. Typically, they invade home structures in gigantic swarms to feed their insatiable appetites. Here are some critical facts about termites that you should be aware of as a homeowner:
- Termites cause more severe damage than hail storms, tornadoes, wind storms and hurricanes.
- Termites are typically not included in homeowner insurance policies.
- Termites cannot differentiate the wood in the wild from that which is part of your home structures.
- Termites feed on any wood-cellulose around the clock.
- Termites are naturally found in colonies that are made up of up to a million termites on average.
How to differentiate termites from ants
While termites are unmistakable, you might find it challenging to differentiate termites from ants during the termite monsoon season when they are in their reproductive stage. Termites swarm during the monsoon season in which they are known as alates. At this stage, they have a physical appearance – winged black bodies – that are similar to ant swarms. Many people may confuse the two. However, you can easily tell them apart by looking for some obvious characteristics that are unique to each species. The three primary, unique characteristics you may use to distinguish them, without a microscope, are:
- The size of the waist;
- The shape of the antenna; and,
- And the size of the wings.
Termites have straight and beaded antennas while ants have elbowed antennas. Another notable difference is that termites have a broad waist, whereas ants are characterized by a narrow girth – similar to bees. Termites possess same-sized wings while ants have longer front wings as compared to their hind wings.
Controlling a potential termite or ants infestation
According to the EPA, controlling a pest infestation should only be done by a licensed pest control company. Termites are quite widespread in the United States, which directly affects Tucson, Arizona and the surrounding area. In fact, the survival tactics of termites make them a constant threat to your home. Termites are quite cunning, and they build their colonies in hideouts that you are unlikely to stumble upon. They avoid light and air to protect themselves from detection and destruction.
Partnering with a professional pest control service provider is your best defense against a termite infestation during the termite monsoon. Your pest control service provider will be able to establish barriers to keep your home safe from a termite infestation.
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!