Termites play an important role in the Arizona desert. Organic material breaks down very slowly, especially wood and woody weeds. A fallen Saguaro cactus can take decades to decompose. Without termites, the desert would quickly become cluttered and at risk for fire. It is for this reason that Southern Arizona has high populations of subterranean termites. In fact, the desert just to the South of Tucson serves as one of EPA’s test sites when they are trying to determine the effectiveness of new termiticides in development.
By understanding termites and accepting them as part of the desert we live in, we can put them in perspective and prevent them from encroaching in to our lives and living spaces.