Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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?

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

Termite Warning Signs | Phoenix Termite Control

Termite Warning Signs | Phoenix Termite Control

Magic Pest offers the following signs that termites may be present in a home:

  1. Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home.
  2. Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped.
  3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures.
  4. Cracked or bubbling paint.
  5. Small piles of feces that resemble sawdust near a termite nest.
  6. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home or swarmers themselves, which are often mistaken for flying ants.

Phoenix Termite Control Experts. Call Today For A Free Inspection!

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Arizona Is Home To One Of The Most Destructive Termite Species In The US, As Well As Some Rarer Species That Most People Have Never Heard Of

Arizona Is Home To One Of The Most Destructive Termite Species In The US, As Well As Some Rarer Species That Most People Have Never Heard Of

Termites are divided into three groups: drywood, dampwood and subterranean termites. Termites from all three of these groups are well represented in the state of Arizona. While the two most destructive termite species in the United States are generally understood to be eastern and Formosan subterranean termites, Arizona is home to neither of these species; instead, the most destructive termite in Arizona is the desert subterranean termite.

This highly destructive species is limited to the Sonoran Desert region of the southwest US, but experts claim that if it was not for this termite species’ limited desert habitat, it could be the most destructive termite species in the entire country. This is because, unlike the Formosan and eastern subterranean termite species, the desert subterranean termite does not require high-moisture environments in order to survive, and they can tolerate incredibly high temperatures that would kill all other termite species in the US. As a result of this species’ tolerance for these conditions, they can inflict far more damage at a much faster rate to dry forms of structural wood, and they would not need to secure moist conditions in order to do so.

The dark western drywood termite species is also well known for damaging numerous structures every year in Arizona. Considering the dry desert climate in Arizona, it was a surprise to researchers to learn that a water-craving dampwood termite species also exists within the state. This dampwood species is known as the desert dampwood termite, and this is the only dampwood species that inflicts damage to homes and buildings in the state. Although this termite’s habitat is limited to the sandy desert, researchers have found that this species is not well suited for thriving in dry soil. In order to survive, this dampwood species locates damp forms of wood beneath the ground, and they also attack shrubs and citrus trees in order to use the sap from these plants as a source of moisture. The desert dampwood termite is not often found infesting homes and buildings, but they frequently attack and heavily damage utility poles and fences. Most indoor infestations of these termites are limited to the baseboards and door frames of buildings.

Were you aware that a dampwood termite pest species exists in Arizona?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

A Court Ruled In Favor Of A Woman Who Hid Termite Damage In Order To Sell A Home | Phoenix Termite Control

A Court Ruled In Favor Of A Woman Who Hid Termite Damage In Order To Sell A Home | Phoenix Termite Control

Imagine finding termite damage in a home that you had just purchased. Such a find would come as a major disappointment to any new home owner. It is for this reason that termite inspections are a must before purchasing a home. Now imagine finding signs of termite damage in your new home after being explicitly told by the previous owners that the home had no history of termite infestations or termite-induced damages. This, of course, is a very different situation, and most courts would find the previous owners to be at fault for not disclosing the home’s history of termite infestations. Sadly, this is not always the case, as one couple from Arizona understands all too well. Losing cases such as these does not occur often, and when they do occur, critics often regard the verdicts as miscarriages of justice, or as misinterpretations of real estate law.

Back in 1982, a married couple, Warren and Gloria Hill, purchased a seventy two thousand dollar home. The couple visited the home several times. During one of these visits, the couple noticed a ripple in the home’s hardwood floor that resembled termite damage. After asking the seller if the damage was caused by termites, she answered “no”, and claimed that water damage had been responsible. Although, the buyers recognized the ripple as being consistent with termite damage, they trusted the seller, as a termite inspection had already determined the home to be free of termite activity during the entirety of its existence.

Shortly after the deal closed, the new owners discovered a manual that the sellers had left behind in a drawer. This manual bore the title: Termites, the Silent Saboteurs. This unsettling find made the new owners suspicious, so they decided to dig up the home’s old inspection reports. The old reports confirmed that the home had been infested with termites several times since it was built. The suspicious ripple also turned out to be termite damage that had been inflicted while the sellers inhabited the home. The new owners quickly filed a lawsuit, but they lost after the judge ruled that the sellers had no duty to disclose the past termite infestations. In fact, the new homeowners were even forced to pay for the seller’s court costs, which amounted to one thousand dollars. This ruling ran contrary to precedents that had been established in previous Arizona cases. Not only that, but this case is also often cited by legal experts as being an error in judgement, as the sellers were bound by law to disclose the past termite infestations to the buyers.

Have you, or someone else you know, ever had to attend court over undisclosed termite damage to a home?

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.

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Termites Hiding in Plain Sight

Termites Hiding in Plain Sight

Termites aren’t always easy to find. From rotting wood to water stains, strange lines on the garage wall to cracks in the foundation of your home, termites can hide in plain sight.

From Gilbert to Phoenix and Glendale, termites are invading the valley. They are causing millions in damage every year, and your home could be next.

Today, let’s talk about some of the places termites like to hide in plain sight…

Rotting Wood: When the mornings are dewey and moist, and water droplets form out of thin are and attach themselves to your car and grass, it’s easy to see some rotting wood along the trim of your house and think, “That’s perfectly normal. I’ll take care of it later.” Unfortunately, the longer you wait the more termites will invade your home. If you have rotting wood in your home, you have a termite problem…I can pretty much guarantee it.

Paint Chipping: Another tell tale sign of a termite problem is paint chipping along the wood of your home. Either on the wood trim around your roof, doors, and windows or the pain on the inside of your walls, these are all signs of a termite problem. Paint chipping could mean that the wood underneath that paint is moving, Moving would, disturbed wood, is a tell-tale sign of termites.

Hollow Trees: If you have any trees of firewood on your property, you probably have had termites, or you currently have a termite problem. It’s difficult to tell if termites are invading your trees unless you look closely. Any frass on the ground or sawdust could be a sign of termites hiding in plain sight. If you were to cut a branch off of one of your trees and notice termite tubes within the tree itself, you have a termite problem.

Oddly Shaped Designs: I drove past a home the other day with oddly designed lines running up from the patio roof to the bedroom window. Initially, these designs looked like water lines, perhaps left over after some house cleaning or heavy rain. Maybe you’ve noticed these strange lines on your foundation, the inside of your garage or the outside of your home? These strange lines are not water stains or dirt stains, they are termite tubes….termites hiding in plain sight.

If you think you might have a termite problem, call Magic Pest Control immediately.

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Heavy Termite Season Hitting Arizona

Heavy Termite Season Hitting Arizona

We have been seeing an influx of termite infestations here in Arizona. From Gilbert to Phoenix and Glendale, termites have invaded the valley. Part of the problem is that homeowners aren’t being diligent enough to seek out termite symptoms and signs of a termite problem until it’s too late.

Termites will hide within the walls of your home, but there are nearly always signs and symptoms of a termite problem.

Today, let’s talk about some of the termites that might be living in your home right now, and what to do about it…

Subterranean Termites

This termite species is extremely common in southern states and hotter climates. Subterranean termites live in underground colonies with as many as two million members and are also found in moist, secluded areas above ground. They build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as “mud tubes,” to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species — their hard, saw-toothed jaws work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. Over time, they can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner.

Signs of a Termite Problem

Symptom of Termite: Discarded Wings

What To Look For: Wings all of the same size (look like tiny fish scales) shredded near an entry point to your home.

Swarmers are usually winged and as a part of their behavior, they usually discard their wings in places like windowsills, doors or in cobwebs.

Symptom of Termite: Mud Tubes

What To Look For: Mud tubes are usually built by Subterranean termites, which are the most destructive species. As they move out from their colony in search of food, they build mud tubes to provide moisture. These mud tubes are often found near the foundation of the home, so those places should also be checked regularly.

Symptom of Termite: Wood Damage

What To Look For: Termites often eat wood from the inside out thereby making the wood soft. The damage may not be visible on the outside. The wood’s surface might still appear smooth even if termites are causing damage from inside. So if the wood sounds hollow when tapped, it may be because termites are eating the wood from the inside.

Symptom of Termite: Cracked Paint

What To Look For: Swarming drywood termites can enter through very tiny openings. Always try to cover up cracks in the home’s foundation, near roof siding, vents and windows. If your paint is cracking, it means there is moisture build up in it which could be as a result of either water damage or termite problems.

Symptom of Termite: Frass

What To Look For: As Drywood termites infest wood, they leave behind wood-colored droppings called frass. You can prevent this by keeping gutters and crawl spaces free of debris and cellulose materials so that termites don’t use them as sources of food.

Symptom of Termite: Noise

What To Look For: Some species of termites, like the soldier termites, usually make loud noises while eating or while trying to sound alarm to warn others of impending danger. The soldier termites make a banging noise with their heads on the wood to serve as an alarm to alert others. So if you tap on a piece of wood where you suspect termites, and you hear a loud banging sound, then there is termite infestation in your home.

Scary Arizona Pests of October

Scary Arizona Pests of October

Termites, scorpions and all sorts of Arizona pests that can not only be a nuisance, but can cost you thousands in home and property damage, are still active in October, especially because the temperatures have been higher than normal.

While scorpion season is, in fact, coming to an end, that does not mean that scorpions will not seek shelter and safety within your home.

And, while termites might not be as active simply because monsoon season has come to an end and the ground is dry and hard, termites in Arizona are still incredibly dangerous and costly. You cannot let your guard down with any of these Arizona pests…not even for a moment.

A termite problem can occur at anytime, and knowing what to look for is crucial for avoiding extreme termite damage.

So, what signs should you be looking for over your home in Gilbert?

#1: Termite Shelter Tubes

You can usually see these signs on foundations, walls, or metal capping. These tubes are crucial for termites because they are protecting themselves from their predators. Plus, it’s the perfect nest for them. It usually is a humid and dark place which is perfect not only for their development as well as for food storage.

#2: Subterranean Tunnels

There are different termites species and the subterranean ones don’t make their nests on tubes. Instead, they prefer to make their own subterranean tunnels that they use to transport food.

#3: Blowholes In Trees

Despite both kinds of termites can use trees, the ones that use them more often are the subterranean ones. They tend to form their colonies on the trunks and in the tree root crown. If you have a suspicion that you might have some termites hiding here, your best chance to find them is to call an exterminator. Since they will need to hear through the tree to see f they notice the termites presence, they already know the kind of sound they should expect and where it is more likely to find them.

#4: Earthen Packing:

When termites decide to work inside a timber, you’ll notice the earthen packing on the surface, and the places where you’re most likely to find them is on joints and the foundation’s walls.

#5: Termite Noises And Wood Excavation:

One of the things that allow termites to go undercover and you don’t notice them is that they usually tend to leave a thin layer intact. However, they will then excavate deeper into the wood. One of the things that some Gilbert homeowners say is that they can actually hear them, especially if you already have a huge infestation.

#6: Piles Of Termite Frass In Or Around The Home:

Frass usually is referred as the termite droppings. You can usually find them either near or at the entry of the termites.

#7: Presence Of Wings

Every termite has its own function or job. And in what concerns the reproductive termites, their job is to fly around to try to find a good place for their nests. So, when you have an infestation in your Gilbert home, you may find some wings discarded. In case you do, make sure that you immediately call a specialist to get rid of them as soon as possible.