Drywood Termite Control Services in Arizona
There are two Pest species of Drywood Termites in Arizona:
The Dark Western Drywood Termite (Incisitermes minor) and the Light Western Drywood Termite (Marginitermes hubbardi).
The Dark Western Drywood Termite (Incisitermes minor) is the most destructive Termite in the U.S. Adult Drywood Termites swarm during daylight hours usually during the months of May through early August in Arizona. They fly into attics and accessible areas of poorly vented houses. A favorite place for entry is in the crack created by drying plaster or stucco as it pulls away from window and doorframes. It is necessary for most Drywood Termites to get a purchase on the wood it intends to invade. Normally, Drywood Termites will not just land on wood tunnels effectively. However, if they can crawl down into cracks and crevices, their chances of tunneling successfully are greatly increased.
Dark Western Drywood Termite swarmers are about 7/16-1/2-inch long, including wings, which are 3/8-inch or longer. Alates of the Dark Western Drywood Termites have an orange brown head and pronotum (first segment of the thorax, behind the head), the abdomen is dark brown, wing membranes and pigmented veins are blackish. The soldiers have orange to reddish brown heads with whitish eyespots. Western Drywood Termites infest wood with a moisture content of 12% or less.
The Light Western Drywood Termite (Marginitermes hubbardi) is found in the Sonoran desert areas of California and Arizona. It is also referred to as the Southern Drywood Termite. This Termite has very similar habits to the Dark Western Drywood Termite but can tolerate drier conditions and higher temperatures.
Alates of the Light Western Drywood Termite are pale in color. Soldiers have a club-like third antennal segment almost as long as all the succeeding segments combined. This characteristic makes the species easy to distinguish from others.
The Light Western Drywood Termite reproductives are a uniform light chestnut brown in color, and about 7-8 mm in length without wings. This species swarms at dusk May through early September.
Both Termite species attack the sound dry wood in your Arizona property. These Termite species require no contact with the soil—living entirely within their food source.
Why be concerned about Drywood Termites?
In the U.S., Termites strike five times as many structures as fire, and do more economic damage annually than all tornados, hurricanes, and windstorms combined. Because property insurers do not cover Termite damage, property owners spend an estimated five billion dollars each year out of their pockets to repair these problems. When left untreated, Termites have the longest lifespan of any structural Pest—with individuals living up to 15 years under favorable conditions—and entire Termite colonies living in structures for even longer. In this time, Termites may feed on the wood of your structure until little is left but non-supportive remnants, leaving a structure that may be physically weakened and exorbitantly costly to repair.
Identifying Drywood Termite Infestations:
Generally, the first indirect sign of Drywood Termite infestation is the discovery of fecal pellets or the presence of alates (winged insects) on windowsills or near lights. Alates found inside the house (if windows and doors have been closed) are an indication of infestation within the structure. Another indication of infestation is the presence of discarded wings near emergence sites, on windowsills or caught up in cobwebs. The presence of alates outdoors is a natural phenomenon and is not an implication of structural infestation.
Drywood Termites spend their entire lives inside wood. They construct round “kick holes” in infested wood, through which the fecal pellets are eliminated from the galleries or tunnels. These pellets accumulate in small piles below the kick holes, or will be scattered if the distance between the kick hole and the surface below is very great. Fecal pellets also may be found caught in spider webs.
Fecal pellets are distinctive and used for identification of Drywood Termite infestation. Drywood Termite fecal pellets are hard, elongated, and less than 1/25-inch long. They have rounded ends and six flattened or concavely depressed sides with ridges at angles between the six surfaces. The characteristic shape results when the Drywood Termite exerts pressure on the fecal material to extract and conserve moisture in its hindgut. Typically, the pellets are a light tan in color with some black ones mixed in.
Dead trees, branches, brush and firewood from residential areas are the primary habitat of Drywood Termites. When land is cleared and houses or other buildings constructed, these structures are then subject to attack. Drywood Termites enter structures through attic or foundation vents, directly through or under wood shingles, under eaves and fascia boards, and through natural cracks, checks and joints in exposed wood trim, window and door frames and sills. Drywood Termite alates can penetrate flat wood surfaces, but prefer to wedge themselves into narrow places to begin tunneling. Most new homes are constructed on concrete slabs and have tile roofs. However, attic areas are normally vented and wood trim is still commonly used externally.
Preventing Drywood Termite Recurrence:
A successful Drywood Termite Pest Control program requires more than the application of pesticides. Such methods include the client’s cooperation in properly preparing and maintaining the property being serviced.
Properly preparing and maintaining a Drywood Termite-free environment includes:
- reducing the potential for Drywood Termite infestations,
- preventing Drywood Termite entry,
- removal of infested wood, and
- applying chemicals for remedial treatment
Treating Drywood Termite Infestations:
There are several alternatives for dealing with Drywood Termite infestations or damage, depending on the extent of the problem. This places great importance on an extremely accurate inspection of the structure. Among them:
Where Drywood Termite infestation is limited, remove and replace damaged wood, preferably with pressure-treated wood that will protect against both Drywood Termites and wood decay. It may be more practical to have your Pest Control operator apply special formulations of wood preservatives. They penetrate fairly deeply into unpainted wood surfaces, particularly cut ends and structural joints. Certain precautions are necessary to protect ceilings and painted surfaces from staining.
If Drywood Termite infestation is widespread or suspected in areas that cannot be inspected or replaced (such as wood shingles, between walls, or in eaves or attics), fumigation is a control alternative. First, a structure is completely enveloped in gas-proof tarpaulins or heavy plastic sheeting. Masonry construction with flat, composition shingle roofs may be sealed around the doors, windows, and vents. Then a fumigant gas is released into the structure. The gas penetrates into cracks, crevices, void areas, and directly into wood to kill Drywood Termite colonies. Lethal concentrations are contained by the tarpaulins long enough to permit uniform penetration deep into all infested areas.
Despite its effectiveness, there are disadvantages to fumigation. It does not leave any chemical residue to deter future Drywood Termite infestation. Fumigation is extremely hazardous and the occupants of the home may have to vacate for several days. Also, fumigation is labor-intensive and requires the specialized knowledge of a licensed, professional Pest Control firm and is expensive. Fumigation as a treatment for Drywood Termites requires special certification because of the extreme hazard. It is imperative to remove all household pets, plants, and food products from the property prior to treatment.
Your WATTS Pest Prevention technician will be involved closely with you to educate you regarding Drywood Termite Control, ensuring you are aware of what you must do to assist us with a successful plan. This will include tips that only you, as the property owner, can ensure are completed. Some things your WATTS Pest Prevention technician will do as part of our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan.
Pest Control products, if misused, can potentially poison or otherwise harm you, your children, or your pets.PLEASE NOTE:
Professional pesticides are only permitted for use by your licensed Pest Control professional! When their use is deemed necessary, WATTS Pest Prevention technicians follow stringent policies and procedures governing such use
We utilize an Integrated Pest Management (I.P.M.) approach for Arizona Pest Control. This comprehensive approach includes:
- Inspection - Service specialists conduct a thorough inspection of the property.
- Identification - Pests are identified for appropriate control measures.
- Environmental Modification - All possible environmental modification solutions are considered prior to any material application.
- Material Application - When a thorough inspection has been performed, a proper identification has been assessed, and all environmental modification options have been made (if applicable), a material application will be performed in a judicious, environmentally responsible manner.
During the Termite Inspection Phoenix AZ, our technicians are looking at three specific areas: soil, wood and water in conjunction with a customized Termite Treatment Phoenix AZ program.
The following Arizona Termite Control applies to: soil - most Termites are subterranean (colonies built in-ground) with mud tubes leading from underground to above ground food sources; wood - Termites consume cellulose (in wood) as their primary foodstuff; water - Termite survival depends on available water source(s).
Along with our professional Termite Treatment Phoenix, there are steps you can take to enhance our Termite Control protocols. Soil: do not use mulch near building(s); remove brush / vegetation near building(s). Wood: use only treated lumber on structures having direct wood-to-ground contact; never bury waste lumber or wood scraps; remove dead trees, stumps and roots. Water: fix all water leaks (internal and external); eliminate standing / pooling water; periodically clean gutters and waterlines. Miscellaneous: seal all cracks / holes in foundation(s); ensure structure(s) (including attic / crawl space) are properly ventilated.
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