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What Are The Pros And Cons Of The Most Common Drywood Termite Treatments?

There are two drywood termite species in Arizona that are considered to be of major economic importance. The most destructive drywood termite species in the state is known as the dark western drywood termite, and the other is the light western drywood termite, which is also known as the southern drywood termite. Drywood termite infestations are difficult to prevent, detect and treat because, unlike subterranean termites that infest homes from the soil, drywood termites infest structures while they swarm. Therefore, drywood termites can start an infestation in any area of a home, including wood located beneath shingles. After drywood termite swarmers (alates) infest external wood sources on a home they often tunnel their way into internal structural woods.

While subterranean termites infest structural wood around a home’s foundation before possibly moving to higher points, drywood termite infestations can occur in areas of a home where infested wood cannot be accessed. There is little a homeowner can do to prevent drywood termite infestations, but using chemically treated and/or pressure treated wood as lumber to build a home can effectively repel drywood termites for a period of time. There exists several ways in which a home is treated for a drywood termite infestation, and while all commonly used methods are effective at eliminating infestations, each method has its pros and cons.

The most popular method of treating drywood termite infestations is full structure fumigation. This method is especially necessary when a pest control professional cannot easily access infested areas of a home, or when an infested home is hosting multiple colonies that may not all be accounted for. The only drawback to fumigation is that it does not prevent future infestations. Another method involves heating a home to 124 degrees for a period of at least 30 minutes. This method is preferred by some, but whole structure heat treatments may damage certain items, but simply removing such items, like vinyl records, will prevent unwanted damage. Researchers are currently exploring biological drywood termite control agents in an effort to develop an optimal form of drywood termite control.

Have you ever needed a fumigation?

 

 

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If My Home’s Timber-Frame Remains Free Of Moisture Am I Safe From Termite Attacks?

It is often claimed that termites require high-moisture conditions in order to survive, but this claim may seem dubious considering that several subterranean termite species have no problem surviving within Arizona’s exceptionally dry desert soil. While not all of the termite species in Arizona are considered pests to structures, the entire state is located within a geographic region where termite pest activity is considered moderate to heavy, and termites are considered the most significant indoor insect pests within the state.

Since termites are clearly abundant in the Sonoran Desert region of Arizona, they must find water somewhere. Since the sandy desert surface is cleary bereft of moisture, subterranean termites are able to establish colonies located far below the ground surface where adequate moisture can be found. The arid land subterranean termite species maintains a habitat in particular areas where soil contains a bit more moisture than can be found within the barren sandy landscapes that most people picture when thinking of the Sonoran Desert. This species can be found in nearly all areas of the state. The desert subterranean termite is the only subterranean termite species in Arizona that can withstand periods of drought within the hottest areas of the state. This species is the most common termite pest found within structures in Arizona, but unlike the arid land subterranean termite species, the desert subterranean termite species can only be found in the southern half of the state.

Subterranean termite species in Arizona can attack new homes where lumber is dry, as these species construct mud tubes that connect the ground soil to indoor structural wood. These mud tubes provide subterranean termites with direct access to soil where they can readily quench their thirst. Subterranean termites can establish a permanent infestation within indoor wood sources that have become heavily saturated with water due to plumbing leaks or seepage from rain water, making repeated trips to soil unnecessary.

Drywood and dampwood termite species do not make contact with soil; instead, colonies maintain a constant presence within single wood items, such as dead trees and logs. However, the swarming termites (alates) that emerge annually from drywood and dampwood termite colonies often squeeze into small cracks and pores within any area of a home’s wood exterior where they proceed to establish infestations that usually spread into a home’s interior timber-frame. Since these termites do not extract water from the soil, they can only survive within wood that contains adequate moisture levels. Most homes in Arizona contain wood that is moist enough to support drywood termite colonies, but dampwood termites require more water in order to establish an infestation, making dampwood termite infestations relatively rare in Arizona.

Were you aware that dampwood termites could infest homes in Arizona?

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How Do Drywood And Dampwood Termites Come To Infest Valued Wooden Objects And Structural Timbers If They Don’t Forage Away From Their Nests?

How Do Drywood And Dampwood Termites Come To Infest Valued Wooden Objects And Structural Timbers If They Don’t Forage Away From Their Nests?

It is well known that termites are divided into three different groups that are known as subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites. It is also widely known that subterranean termites are responsible for the majority of termite infestations within structures. In the United States, subterranean termites are responsible for more than 80 percent of all termite infestations in homes and buildings. The most destructive subterranean termite species in the country include the native eastern subterranean termite, the invasive Formosan subterranean termite and western subterranean termite.

Like all social insects, termites live within colonies that are divided into different social castes. Unlike subterranean termite colonies, drywood and dampwood termite colonies do not contain workers that forage below the ground. While all three termite groups contain reproductive swarmers (alates) that establish new colonies as queens and kings, most termite infestations occur when foraging workers locate a structural wood source below the ground. Reproductive alates can also establish infestations by swarming directly to wood sources, but infestations rarely begin this way, as 99 percent of alates die before mating. Since both drywood and dampwood termite colonies do not have a worker caste, only alates can establish infestations. Therefore, drywood and dampwood termite species do not access wood sources nearly as often as subterranean termites.

Generally, termites only swarm once a year during a one to three month period, which gives drywood and dampwood species little chance of establishing infestations within structural wood sources. This explains why subterranean termite infestations occur far more frequently than drywood and dampwood infestations. Drywood termite infestations are common in the southwest, as western drywood termite populations are high within urban and residential areas in the region, particularly in metropolitan areas of Arizona. It should also be noted that drywood termite colonies can move into homes if they infest tree branches that make contact with a home’s structural wood. Many drywood termite infestations start this way, and it explains why so many drywood termite infestations are found on the roofs of houses in the southwest.

Have you ever located a termite-infested tree within or on your property?

 

 

 

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The Elevation Of Urban And Residential Areas Of Arizona Determines When Termite Swarms Emerge

The Elevation Of Urban And Residential Areas Of Arizona Determines When Termite Swarms Emerge

At least 45 termite species have been documented as inhabiting the United States, and 30 of these species are known to inflict damage to structural wood or wood products. While Arizona is home to 17 termite species, only five are considered species of serious economic importance. In addition to causing a greater amount of property damage than any other pest species in the world, termites can also be a nuisance to homeowners. While subterranean and drywood termite workers are responsible for locating and initiating destructive indoor infestations, termite swarmers (alates) can annoy homeowners during the spring and early summer seasons, as swarms are of significant size and they often emerge in residential and urban areas where some species gravitate toward porch lights and street lights.

Termite swarms emerge when queen termites secrete pheromones that prompt reproductive alates to take flight from existing colonies. These swarms are comprised of male and female alates that attempt to find a mate in order to establish new colonies in areas where termites may not normally pose a threat to the structural integrity of homes and buildings. Fortunately, about 99 percent of swarming alates die before establishing a new colony as queen and king. Unfortunately, the alates that do survive often establish new colonies near the artificial light sources that lure them into human-populated areas.

There exists three subterranean termite species in Arizona that are considered highly destructive pests. One of these species, the arid-land subterranean termite, naturally inhabits unpopulated desert regions where they feed on vegetation. One reason as to why this species is becoming progressively more destructive is because new homes and buildings are being built over land where these termites are abundant. When structural developments remove their natural food source, the termites naturally turn to structural wood as their primary source of sustenance. This explains why swarms are so common within and near new homes in Arizona. While experts state that arid-land subterranean termite swarms occur in between the months of January and March, this is not always the case, as swarms emerge at different times of year depending on the elevation where colonies are established. In urban and residential areas below 4,000 feet in Arizona, residents can expect swarms to emerge during the winter and early spring seasons, but at elevations higher than 4,000 feet, arid land subterranean termites swarm during June and July.

Have you ever witnessed a termite swarm in your neighborhood?

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How To Know If A Particular Home In Arizona Has Ever Been Infested With Termites, And Do New Homes In The State Require Preventative Termite Treatment?

How To Know If A Particular Home In Arizona Has Ever Been Infested With Termites, And Do New Homes In The State Require Preventative Termite Treatment?

Both drywood and subterranean termite species exist within Arizona, but subterranean termites are far more destructive to homes and buildings than drywood termite species in the state. The most destructive termite species in Arizona is the desert subterranean termite, and they are particularly abundant in the southern half of the state. Due to Arizona’s mild winters and picturesque landscapes, the state’s population continues to grow. Most people who move to Arizona likely plan to buy a home, and certain areas of the state contain many vacation homes that are frequently purchased by “snow-birds” who spend most of the year in other states. Understandably, it is important to investigate a house’s history of termite infestations and damage before purchasing a home in Arizona. Luckily, it is not hard to access a house’s history of termite-related issues, as all termite inspections carried out within Arizona homes are documented and made available to the public.

When a house is inspected for termites in Arizona, the pest controller specifically records their findings in Termite Action Report Form (TARF). This form is then submitted to the state’s Pest Management Division (PMD) so that it can be viewed by anyone with an interest in purchasing a home in Arizona. However, a particular home’s TARF is only available for public viewing for a period of three years, and after this time span, records are no longer available to members of the public. In order to search for a particular Arizona home’s TARF, the home’s address can be typed into a search bar on the Arizona Department of Agriculture website. Although homes in Arizona are not required by law to be inspected for termites before being sold on the market, lending agencies in the state will not issue loans to home-buyers unless a termite inspection report is submitted to them. Also, most new homes in Arizona are built with a surrounding termiticide barrier that prevents subterranean termites from accessing properties.

Do you think that termite infestation rates will increase in Arizona has more homes are built on termite-rich desert land?

 

 

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Why Problematic Termites Are Beneficial In Times Of Drought

Why Problematic Termites Are Beneficial In Times Of Drought

Just about everyone is well aware of the fact that termites inflict significant damage to timber-framed structures, but fewer people are aware of the fact that termites consume wood in order to secure the nutritious cellulose that makes up all forms of plant material. Therefore, termites can also consume smaller wooden items, the paper in books or even champagne corks. Termite damage to structural wood is almost always inflicted by subterranean termites, while both dampwood and drywood termites are the most frequent culprits behind infestations found in smaller objects containing cellulose. Pest control professionals encounter subterranean termite infestations in structural wood far more often than they encounter drywood or dampwood infestations in smaller wooden objects. Subterranean termite damage to structures accounts for a majority of the economic costs of termite damage, which is around 5 billion dollars per year. While subterranean termites may be one of the most economically devastating insect pests that exist, they may also mitigate the negative effects of long-running droughts.

Scientists have long known that termites play an essential role in the health of the ecosystem, as they aerate soil with their subterranean tunneling activity and convert dead plant matter to fertile soil. But now, scientists have found evidence that termites allow soil to retain significant levels of moisture during times of drought. In a large forested area, researchers compared the moisture levels in soil that had been inhabited by subterranean termites with soil that had been free of termites. When droughts did not occur, moisture levels in each area of land remained the same, but during a 20 year drought, termite-inhabited soil retained enough moisture to allow for plant growth. Considering this finding, subterranean termites, although harmful to structures, can maintain a soil fertility during even the most significant of drought periods, thus allowing for the survival of economically valuable cropland.

Considering the above described study, do you believe that subterranean termite activity in crop-soil could be of benefit during dry spells?

 

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Man Is Arrested For Transporting Exotic Scorpions, Spiders And Earwigs Via Airline Travel

A Man Is Arrested For Transporting Exotic Scorpions, Spiders And Earwigs Via Airline Travel

It is well known that transporting certain animals across national and/or state borders is illegal, and this is especially the case when it comes to the international transport of endangered species. In addition to endangered species, it is obviously in violation of most country’s national and/or state laws to transport potentially dangerous animals, and animals that are known disease vectors across certain set borders. This makes the international transport of many insect and arachnid species illegal. US laws prohibiting the transport of certain insects and arachnids vary from state to state, but in some countries where certain exotic bugs are plentiful, individuals can be met with harsh penalties when caught smuggling particular arthropod species beyond national borders. Although such laws are usually well known to citizens of such countries, it is not uncommon for customs agents to catch individuals violating these laws. For example, in the country of South Africa, the act of transporting certain arthropods out of the country is well understood by its citizens to be legally prohibited. Despite this, one individual was recently arrested for being in possession of certain scorpion, spider and earwig species with the intention of smuggling them out of the country by airline.

Authorities with the Prince Albert and Stock Theft Unit at Beaufort West in Western Cape, South Africa arrested a 23 year old man after 21 scorpions, 2 spiders and 2 earwigs were found in his hotel room. This man, who’s name has not been released to the media, was arrested for failing to provide documentation to prove that was in lawful possession of the arthropods. The arthropods were found in buckets within his hotel room closet, and the particular species of each arthropod group were not mentioned. The arthropods were seized and handed over to the Nature Conservation in South Africa. The arthropods are highly valued on the black market, as they are estimated as being worth R16,000, which is around 12,000 US dollars. The Nature Conservation will later provide an exact dollar amount.

Have you ever witnessed an individual being taken into custody for smuggling arthropods at an airport or border check?

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Cockroach Prevention is Necessary for Protecting Health

Cockroach Prevention is Necessary for Protecting Health | Phoenix Pest Control Experts

Often times when people are experiencing allergy and asthma symptoms, they automatically chalk it up to the time of year without considering that their stuffy nose and itchy eyes could actually be triggered by the presence of cockroaches in their home. In addition to exacerbating asthma and allergy symptoms, cockroaches are also capable of spreading 33 kinds of bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli. This makes it all the more important to take the necessary steps to eliminate food, water and harborage sites for cockroaches within the home.

Maintaining excellent sanitation is one of the best practices in protecting the home against cockroaches. Magic Pest Control recommends the below cleaning tips:

  • Kitchen: Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors meticulously clean every day. Clean dishes, crumbs and spills right away, store food in airtight containers and always avoid leaving food out—including pet food. Vacuum any crumbs stuck in corners and around cabinets, and regularly clean cabinets out with soap and water. Check under sinks and clean under appliances for moisture issues, and quickly address any found.
  • Bathroom: Cockroaches are attracted to moisture and can only survive for a week without water, so always wipe up standing water around sinks, tubs and toilets. Fix leaky faucets and ensure sinks are clear of water before bedtime—cockroaches are nocturnal and will typically emerge to search for water and food at night when the house is dark and quiet.
  • Basement: Eliminate clutter where possible to reduce hiding spaces for cockroaches. Basement windows and areas where weather-stripping has become worn are frequent points of access for cockroaches, so homeowners should be sure to seal any cracks or crevices using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.

For more information visit www.magicpest.com

Why Scientists Want To Preserve Fireflies

Why Scientists Want To Preserve Fireflies

Fireflies may be the most beloved of all insects. As children, the sight of fireflies glowing on and off in the distance was nothing short of fascinating. For many adults, fireflies not only conjure up pleasant memories from childhood, but their glowing bodies indicate that summer has officially arrived. Fireflies are immediately recognizable, and many children never tire of attempting to capture the bugs in mason jars, but how much do people really know about fireflies? As it turns out, fireflies are more than just an interesting group of insects, as firefly activity can indicate the relative health of a particular ecosystem. Unfortunately, this means that, much like other insect species today, firefly populations are decreasing due to environmental hazards. In response to this loss in firefly life, experts formed the Firefly Watch project at the Museum of Science in Boston. This project aims to preserve and track firefly populations in America.

The Firefly Watch project recruits thousands of citizen scientists from all fifty states and several Canadian provinces in order to track trends in firefly populations around North America. Starting just a couple of months ago, the Firefly Watch program was taken over by Mass Audubon. This organization is working closely with Tufts University in order to continue the research started by the Firefly Watch program. Mass Audubon is still looking for more citizen scientists; anybody can sign up for the project by visiting the Museum of Science in Boston website.

Researchers also want to preserve fireflies due to their value in the field of medicine. Fireflies are helping researchers to understand how diseases such as cancer and muscular dystrophy attack human cells. Fireflies have also been used to detect food spoilage and bacterial contamination. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that fireflies are even used by NASA officials when developing instruments that are designed to detect life beyond our own planet.

Have you ever attempted to catch fireflies as an adult? Did the fireflies that you captured as a child live longer than a single day in captivity?