Arizona, with 6.731 million residents making them the 15th most populous state in America, is famous for being the home of majestic canyons, arid desserts, snow-capped mountain peaks, and rich forestry. Its seemly terrain can quench your summer thirst and your winter wants with just hours apart. Where else can you get your high from adrenaline-inducing rafting or skiing in the morning and enjoy pool parties at night? Their sunsets are so picturesque that people flock to this Western State in order to witness them. Convinced with moving west now? Well, if one of your major concerns as budding homeowners is the threat of termites, gird your loins before uprooting yourself from your current state.
Termites are the number one urban pest in the arid-state of Arizona. You might think that “ooh, the place is too hot for termites to survive”. Think again. Its geographical makeup is the very thing that makes it so appealing to both man and insects alike. Northern Arizona is filled with forests of pines and deep canyons with moderate summer temperatures and significant winter snowfalls. While down south of this state is where you find the deserts with very hot summers and mild winters. Wood and moisture is just as rich as the state motto Ditat Deus (God Enriches) making it the go-to place for your friendly-neighbourhood “woodchuckers”.
These small animals have an affinity to tropical regions; they recycle wood and other cellulose-based products. According to research, 45 species occur in the continental US, 30 of which cause destruction of wood and its products; 17 species are found in Arizona; but only 3 are considered of significant importance to the state’s economy. Scientists have classified these Arizonian termites based on their habitat: Dampwood, Drywood, and Subterranean. Dampwood termites are not as problematic as the other two; Drywood termites do more damage while subterranean termites are deemed as the major urban pest and most common since they can thrive in areas with high temperatures and low humidity.
Drywood termites attack and infest, as it name implies, dry wood, and they are not easily detected since they do not form the obvious mud piles for their colony and earthen mud tubes. Instead, these gnawing creatures target wood that are not found on the ground such as doors, windowsills, and wood furniture. The most common and most destructive specie of this type of Arizonian termite is the Incisitermes minor which attacks sound dry wood and those that are found in house fixtures.
While drywood termites leave no trace in their wake, subterranean termites are easier to detect because of the mud tubes they form when moving to sources of wood. This kind of termite lives in contact with soil as their source of moisture. Even though the Arizona environment has high temperatures, they burrow their way deep underground for the necessary moisture they need. In fact, all three species of subterranean termites are found in arid lands. Reticulitermes tibiale are found in the Southwest dry regions and they attack creosote and grasswood bushes. As studies of these termites assert, they swarm regardless the altitude or the depth of the land. Heterotermes aureus, on one hand, is the most common and most destructive of the brood; they attack a variety of wood ranging from cactus vines, desert trees, and human structures such as utility poles, posts, and structure timbers. Lastly, Gnathamiteres perplexus chew on various desert plants. They are also found in trees where they feed by scraping dead wood off the exterior.
Your eyes may now be gouging out of its sockets with the facts presented, but don’t be such a queasy. Termites, being a familiar resident on any geographical location, can be quite expected and infestations of these tiny crawlers shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Hence, moving houses and having Arizona as a prospect for your new hometown would be just the same as transferring to any other state or country even. Furthermore, there are many ways to gear you against present and future termite invasions.
If you are planning of purchasing your new home or if you are presently residing here, it is best that you study the vicinity and get to know the location really well in terms of termite infestation in Paradise Valley. Your best sources of information would be local offices such as the Better Business Bureau and the Structural Pest Control Commission as well as the residents themselves since they know the area pretty much like the back of their hands. Hackneyed as it may seem but “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Therefore, intelligently studying and adequately planning your move would be wise.
Building design is a major factor to consider when aiming to prevent termite invasions in a termite-prone area. There is a myriad of structural materials to choose from that are resistant to different types of termites or ones that have more guile against specific species, say subterranean termites. Consulting with the areas local building codes would be of much help since the information they have are based on longstanding study and experience. Once you have purchased and begun to construct your new home, it is imperative to eliminate any source of wood that is in contact with soil which may cause termite infestation. Inspect the location for tree stumps, stored lumber, untreated fence posts, and buried scrap wood. The same goes for old-time homeowners.
Arizona is an idyllic place to live in; its phenomenal natural resources and highly urbanized cities offers the best of both worlds. Though it still may come with few, well swarms of creepy-crawling hang-ups, the problem of termites invading your home is inevitable. The cost of lack in proper building structure and design will pave a broad road for termites to do what they are good at which, in turn, would lead to expensive repairs. However, it can be prevented, slowed, and managed should the circumstance present itself. Thus, worrying about this possible threat is, really, the last option.
West Valley Location:
Glendale, AZ 85310
East Valley Location:
Mesa, AZ 85206