subterranean termites exposed

Subterranean Termites in Arizona

Subterranean termites are very common in Arizona. In Arizona they say that a house has subterranean termites or will have them. No house in Arizona is immune to these little creatures. It’s difficult to get rid of them once you have them. They can enter homes through cracks, expansion joints, plumbing, bath traps and anywhere where the home is in direct contact with the soil. Only two castes of subterranean termites enter through their mud tubes into the home, the soldier and the worker.

How Subterranean Termites survive:

Only the worker feeds off of the wood in your home. They need a micro organism in their gut called Protozoa in order to break down the wood into a liquid cellulose. They then regurgitate the liquid cellulose to feed the rest of the colony. Workers, when they molt (shed their skin), lose their hind quarters that Cary the Protozoa. In order for new workers or old workers to gain Protozoa they have to feed off the shed material from the workers molting. Sounds gross doesn’t it. The soldiers, young nymphs, and reproductive termites depend on workers to feed them. That being said, if the workers don’t return home with resources, the colony dies.

Protecting the colony:

Subterranean Termites need a moisture content of 20% or greater to survive. Building mud tubes protects their fragile bodies from hostile environments. All subterranean termites are blind and have no eyes accept for the swarmer reproductives. In order to communicate they follow pheromones, feel and smell with their antennae, and listened to intrusion warning from soldiers banging their heads against the sides of their tunnels. They work together to communicate. Each subterranean termite colony is recognized by the pheromones of their colony. A neighboring termite colony can’t join with another colony because they are loyal to their own through the same pheromones of their home colony. Pheromones is like their citizenship papers to their colony. If anything enters the colony that does not have the colonies pheromone, it is attacked immediately then blocked off.

Treatment of Subterranean Termites:

We use a product called Termidor He to treat termites. It is a non repellent with the active ingredient fipronil. When termites cross the product, they take it back to the heart of the colony undetected and the whole colony dies. Termidor he has an oil based synergistic that allows it to stay in the soil up to 5 year.

If you have a termite problem, call us today at 520-424-5244