Phoenix’s Ultimate Guide To Subterranean Termite Control

subterranean termite crawling on wood

Phoenix has been called the Valley of the Sun and is located in the Sonoran Desert. Living in Phoenix means residents must embrace the heat. With the reward of beautiful and vibrant sunsets, the heat is a small price to pay. Another occupant of Phoenix who also embraces the heat is the subterranean termite, and they are a dangerous pest that can cost Phoenix residents a pretty penny.

Everything You Need To Know About Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites come in three distinct types. Identifying the types, their habitat, and how they behave can help property owners combat these destructive pests.

The three types of subterranean termites are reproductive, workers, and soldiers. Reproductive include the king and queen, also called alates. The queen is the largest termite with the king being much smaller. The alates have long, dark brown to almost black bodies with translucent, slightly milky-colored wings. Their bodies are usually about ¼”- ½” in length. Workers and soldiers do not have wings, and are usually ¼” long or less and have creamy colored bodies. They have a small jaw that lets them chew wood and move materials. The soldiers have larger jaws, rectangular-shaped heads, and bodies that are flat and wide. Their body is similar to the workers, but their head is darker and brownish in color.

Subterranean termites are social insects and can live underground or in moist, secluded areas above ground. Their colonies can have up to 2 million members.

Some above-ground attractions are as follows:

  • Dead trees
  • Fence posts
  • Homes
  • Stacked firewood
  • Wood debris from construction projects

It's important to be aware of the places on your property that may be attracting termites as one colony will branch into many. A group of termites in a nearby downed tree could soon result in a colony in your home.

Because subterranean termites live underground and feed on wood, they have to find a pathway from the soil to the wood they need. They construct earthen tubes that give them a connection between the wood and soil. Once the connection has been made, they eat away!

Why Phoenix Property Owners Should Be Aware of Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites can cause extensive damage to structures. With their hard, saw-toothed jaws that work like shears, they eat 24 hours a day. Termites bite off extremely small fragments of wood; a small colony can eat about 1/5 oz. every day. This comes to a full 2x4 piece of wood being consumed in about a year.

They will also eat the following:

  • Pallets
  • Crates
  • Furniture
  • Wallpaper
  • Cardboard
  • Flooring
  • Fiberboard

Over time, these termites can collapse an entire building! Because termites can work “silently” and out of sight, they can damage property for years unnoticed resulting in costly repairs.

Get Rid Of Subterranean Termites Once And For All

There are multiple ways property owners can prevent subterranean termites from establishing a colony within their structure.

Six ways to prevent subterranean termite infestations are as follows:

  1. Avoid water accumulation near your structure’s foundation.
  2. Divert water run-off from your property by installing downspouts, gutters, and splash blocks.
  3. Properly ventilate crawl spaces to reduce humidity.
  4. Seal cracks and crevices in foundations.
  5. Create a barrier between wooden structures and the soil.
  6. Routinely check around building foundations to spot any earthen tubes.

Prevention is always the best way to address pest populations but if a population has already made it into your home it will take more than these tips to get it out. 

The Best Company Protecting Phoenix Residents From Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites cannot be eradicated with do-it-yourself fixes and, worse still, damage caused by termites is typically not covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Since the damage these termites cause is potentially devastating to your home and pocketbook, professional assistance is needed. At Overson Pest Control, our professionals will check both inside and out for termite damage and infestations, treat the soil, and guarantee our work with a 2-year warranty which you can extend as needed. Contact Overson Pest Control today, and let us help you protect one of your most valuable possessions.