I get asked all the time if there is termite activity in Arizona. People are always surprised by the answer: “There are two types of houses in Arizona, those that have termites and those that will get termites.” It’s funny, but you wouldn’t think that those lil’ buggers would thrive out here in our “dry heat.” But they do. Boy do they ever. The ones that call the southwest their home are Subterranean Termites.
The majority of home inspections we conduct usually include a termite inspection (and why not, we are there for 3 hours verses a typical termite inspection that usually lasts 25 minutes). Easily about 65 -70 percent of the time, our inspectors find evidence of termites or evidence of previous treatment (finding termite bait stations or drill holes that show remediation has been done). About 15 percent of the time, we observe actual termite damage.
The silver lining with subterranean termites is that they live underground and only come up to feed on cellulose (wood or wood products). Since sub-termites live underground, they only come up to feed on the wood they damage far less and slower, as compared to other types of termites that live in the wood 24/7 and thrive in other areas of our country.
Someone recently asked me if I have ever seen actual live termites. Yes, on a few occasions I have. I have seen them when I come in contact with a termite tube and then they came marching out. It is interestingly creepy.
So don’t despair if you live in Arizona and find out you have termites. It happens to the best of us (including my house) and it’s a problem that can easily be fixed. Just call a reputable termite remediation company. It’s part of living in the desert, like sharing our living space with scorpions, rattle snakes, oh my!