We are licensed in Arizona by the Structural Pest Control Commission.
Lic. #: 040239-B2,B8
Under liscense by Strike Force #5440
We can perform your Arizona Wood destroying insect (Termite) inspection, as required by the lender, during the Arizona Home inspection. We then forward the report to the title company for your closing. This allows for one less call to make, one less inspector to schedule, meet and pay. Truly one call does it all in your 10 day inspection period!
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Termites feed on wood and serve an important function in nature by converting dead trees into organic matter. Unfortunately, the wood in buildings is equally appetizing to termites and they cause serious damage to residential and commercial buildings. Generally two species of termites are found in Arizona, Desert Subterranean and Drywood Termites. Of the two the Subterranean type are most common.
Subterranean termites are ground-inhabiting, social insects that live in colonies. A colony or nest of subterranean termites may be up to 18-20 feet below the soil surface to protect it from extreme weather conditions. These termites travel through mud tubes to reach food sources above the soil surface. The mature termite colony has three castes: a) reproductives (king and queen), b) soldiers, and c) workers. The colony reaches its maximum size in approximately 4 to 5 years and may include 60,000 to 200,000 workers. New colonies are formed when winged males and females from a parent colony emerge in flight or swarm.
The winged reproductives are dark brown to brownish black and have two pairs of equal size wings that extend well beyond the body. Swarms are common in summer, especially after a rain. After a flight, the winged males and females return to the ground and shed their wings. The wingless males and females pair off and search for sources of wood and moisture in soil. The royal couple digs a chamber in the soil near wood, enters the chamber and seals the opening. After mating, the queen starts laying eggs. The queen may live up to 25 years and lay more than 60,000 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are yellowish white and hatch after an incubation of 50 to 60 days.
Full-grown workers are soft-bodied, wingless, blind and creamy white. In early stages, they are fed predigested food by the king and queen. Once workers are able to digest wood, they provide food for the entire colony. The workers perform all the labor in the colony such as obtaining food, feeding other caste members and immatures, excavating wood, and constructing tunnels. Workers mature within a year and live from three to five years.
Soldiers are creamy white, soft-bodied, wingless and blind. The head of the soldier is enormously elongated, brownish, hard and equipped with two jaws. Soldiers must be fed by workers because they cannot feed themselves. They are less numerous in the colony than workers and their only function is to defend the colony against invaders. Soldiers mature within a year and live up to five years.
Subterranean termites feed exclusively on wood and wood products containing cellulose. Termites have protozoa (microorganisms) in their intestines that provide enzymes to digest cellulose. Although termites are soft-bodied insects, their hard, saw-toothed jaws work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, a piece at a time. Termites often infest buildings and damage lumber, wood panels, flooring, sheetrock, wallpaper, plastics, paper products and fabric made of plant fibers. The most serious damage is the loss of structural strength. Other costly losses include attacks on flooring, carpeting, art work, books, clothing, furniture and valuable papers. Subterranean termites do not attack live trees.
Evidence of Termite Infestations
Wood damaged by termites always has remains of mud tubes attached to wood galleries or tunnels in an irregular pattern. The tunnels may contain broken mud particles with fecal materials. In the case of an active colony, white termites may be found in infested wood.
The presence of flying winged males, females or their shed wings inside the building indicates an infestation.
The presence of mud or shelter tubes extending from the ground to woodwork or on foundation walls also may indicate infestation. Workers travel periodically via shelter tubes to their nest to regain moisture and perform feeding duties. Each mud tube is approximately the diameter of a lead pencil.
How Old is the Damage?
Based on normal feeding activity, it takes three to eight years to cause appreciable damage. There have been some predictions that, under ideal conditions, a termite colony of 60,000 workers may consume a one-foot length of 2″ x 4″ pine in 118 to 157 days.
The goal is to establish a continuous insecticide barrier between the termite colony (usually in the soil) and wood in a building. Sometimes there may be a secondary termite colony above the soil (in the roof or other areas with a con-stant moisture supply) that requires additional treatment. Insecticide barriers may be established during or after building construction. In an existing building, termite treatments may involve any of the following procedures: a) mechanical alterations and/or b) use of an insecticide to treat the soil, foundation and wood. In most cases, it is beyond the ability of an untrained person to attempt the termite treatment, unless it is a spot treatment or a person has work experience in this area.
Generally, termite treatment should be performed by professional pest control operators. Termite treatment requires special tools such as hammer drills, sub-slab injectors, rodding devices, engines equipped with pumps, protective equipment, etc. Several insecticides are registered in Arizona for termite control. Several baits also are available for termite control. Some of these baits are available only through commercial pest control professionals. Over the counter bait products may not provide satisfactory termite control. Make sure to discuss and understand the contract and conditions involved in use of baits for termite control if you hire a pest control professional.
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