Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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?




Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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?



Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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?


Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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

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?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Everything You Need to Know about Bees in Gilbert

Everything You Need to Know about Bees in Gilbert
Bees are amazing. They bring us luscious and beautiful flowers, tasty local honey as well as vegetables and fruits, and keep many aspects of nature running as it should be. In Arizona, it is at exactly this time of the year when flowers are at their full bloom, somewhere between February and April, depending on the weather, when bees make their full appearance known.

There are 2 main types of bees: non-social bees and social bees. Let’s break down what you can expect to see this bee season and how to react when you do see some bees.

Read more

How To Keep Termites From Destroying Your Home

How To Keep Termites From Destroying Your Home

The professional word for these ravenous mash eaters is cryptobiotic: They’re so great at finding the stowaway, you may not know they’re there—but rather they are. The most widely recognized underground assortment settles in the clammy soil in each state spare Alaska. While termites might be useful in the woodland, where all that crunching dispatches dead stumps, when they move from the yard to your home, they can wipe you out. What’s more, think about what: Insurance doesn’t cover the harm. Here’s the way to abstain from transforming your greatest speculation into a creepy crawly gut work.

They’re subtle

Termites tiptoe through soggy mulch and soil, while winged ones fly amid swarming season—which is currently. Be that as it may, they settle outside of anyone’s ability to see. An invasion may not become visible until the point that you remodel or an auditor jabs around.

They overshare

Scavenging laborers leave the home looking for sustenance, frequently scored in a warm, moist place, similar to an inadequately vented slither space. They at that point return home to share the ingested products, utilizing an expertise known as “the common trade of gut substance”— net, yet accommodating in conveying poison through a state.

They have a desire for…

Foragers are attracted to rotting wood and plants, a few sorts more than others, and warmed up if conceivable—a board under a releasing high temp water pipe, say. They burrow through the delicate springwood, deserting the harder grain, making the present milder, quick developed wood a genuine termite treat. FYI: Several settlements can flourish in one house.

They eat relentlessly

Eating every minute of every day, they utilize dampness, sharp mandibles, and intestinal smaller scale living beings to hand cellulose over wood, plants, and even paper into sustenance.

They leave confirm

Giveaways incorporate light wood and thin mud tubes, which termites make with spit and bits of wood or drywall; on the off chance that you tear one open and see specialists, you have an issue. Swarmers shed their wings previously tunneling outside of anyone’s ability to see; in the event that you discover shed wings inside, bring in an ace.

They have complex social lives

A detailed standing framework doles out errands: rummaging; bolstering and preparing different termites; shoring up the settlement’s safeguards; and basically increasing. When swarmers discover succulent landscape and shed their wings, they begin reproducing to shape a subcolony or another one. It might take a long time to develop, and afterward it implies inconvenience.

Step by step instructions to Keep Them Out

Remove their nourishment and water

Store kindling no less than 20 feet from the house. Keep up a 6-to 12-inch line between mulch or soil and wood parts of the house; foliage ought to be no less than 3 feet away. Point garden sprinklers from the establishment, and direct downspouts far from the house.

Play it safe

Try not to bring home wood unless it’s been dealt with to kill termites—most new sheets have. Keep vents clear so dry air can flow. Freshen up upper rooms, cellars, and creep spaces consistently.

Go on edge

Fill or fix any passage focuses, from torn blazing to breaks in your storm cellar’s solid. Screen patios, fence posts, and ledge plates for indications of termite intrigue.

Let down your monitor? Contract an ace

Get three offers, check references, analyze fight designs, and read the fine print. Fluid termiticides work by entering the foragers’ stomach related frameworks and traveling through the state when nourishment is shared. It’s a monstrous business, however get genuine: This is your home, not theirs.