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Common Termite Species in Arizona

Common Termite Species in Arizona

Termites can cause significant damage to homes and structures, and Arizona’s climate makes it a prime location for several species. Understanding the most common termite species in Arizona can help homeowners take preventative measures and seek timely pest control services.

Subterranean Termites


  • Habitat: Subterranean termites thrive in moist environments and build their colonies underground.
  • Appearance: They are usually creamy white to dark brown and measure about 1/8 inch in length.
  • Behavior: These termites build mud tubes to protect themselves from open air as they travel between their colony and food sources.

Common Species

  1. Desert Subterranean Termite (Heterotermes aureus)
  • Adaptations: Well-suited for the dry conditions of Arizona, often found in desert landscapes.
  • Damage: Known for attacking wooden structures, particularly those with moisture issues.
  1. Arid-Land Subterranean Termite (Reticulitermes tibialis)
  • Adaptations: Prefers arid environments and can be found in both urban and rural areas.
  • Damage: Tends to infest homes, fences, and utility poles.

Drywood Termites


  • Habitat: Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites do not require contact with soil and can live in dry wood.
  • Appearance: They are generally larger than subterranean termites, often reddish-brown or cream-colored.
  • Behavior: They create colonies inside the wood they infest, without the need for external moisture sources.

Common Species

  1. Western Drywood Termite (Incisitermes minor)
  • Adaptations: Can survive in extremely dry conditions, making them prevalent in Arizona.
  • Damage: Capable of causing extensive damage to wooden structures, furniture, and other wooden items.

Dampwood Termites


  • Habitat: Dampwood termites prefer wood with high moisture content and are often found in decaying wood or areas with consistent water exposure.
  • Appearance: They are generally larger than both subterranean and drywood termites, with a darker brown color.
  • Behavior: They infest damp, decayed wood and do not require soil contact.

Common Species

  1. Pacific Dampwood Termite (Zootermopsis angusticollis)
  • Adaptations: Though less common in Arizona’s dry climate, they can still be found in areas with high moisture levels.
  • Damage: Primarily infests wood that is already decaying or has significant moisture issues.

Prevention and Control

Tips for Homeowners

  • Regular Inspections: Schedule regular termite inspections, particularly if you live in an area known for termite activity.
  • Moisture Control: Ensure proper drainage around your home and fix leaky faucets and pipes promptly.
  • Wood Treatment: Consider treating wood, especially in areas prone to termite infestations, with appropriate insecticides or termiticides.

Professional Pest Control

  • Expert Assistance: If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a professional pest control service for a thorough inspection and treatment plan.
  • Preventative Measures: Many pest control companies offer preventative treatments to keep termites at bay before they become a problem.

Termites are a significant concern for homeowners in Arizona, but understanding the common species and their behaviors can help you take proactive measures. Regular inspections, moisture control, and professional pest control services are key to protecting your home from these destructive pests. To learn more about how to safeguard your home, contact a local pest control expert today.

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