The most common termite in Arizona is the desert subterranean termite, and though drywood termites are far less common than subterranean termites in Arizona, the damage they leave behind is often more severe. The worker termites in both these groups look similar, so the appearance of the reproductive caste and soldiers is what’s important. There are three “castes” of a termite colony: workers are approximately 1/4” long, light-colored and have no wings; soldiers have elongated heads with mandibles; and reproductives are dark-colored and have two pair of equal-length wings.
Desert subterranean termites are about 3/8″ long, including their wings. Their body is a pale yellowish brown with a rectangular head and their body is flat and almost as wide as the head. The soldiers have large mandibles with teeth, no wings, and are creamy-white in color, though their head is often brownish. Reproductives are dark brown to black, about 1/4” to 1/2” long, with two pairs of wings that are almost the same length.
Desert subterranean termites burrow underground and search for their food, building mud tunnels from their homes up the sides of your home. Drywood termites, on the other hand, do not need the soil and once they find a food source, they stay and eat ‘til their hearts’ content.
The only noticeable difference between subterranean and drywood termites is that the drywoods are a little bit larger than the subterranean termites. One of the best ways to identify an active drywood termite infestation is the presence of their fecal pellets. These pellets are often first noticed in places like windowsills and are only about the size of a grain of table salt.
Bug & Weed Mart carries a granule termiticide that is safe around pets and children and will get rid of termites. Come in to any of our five Valley wide locations to see how we can help you get rid of what’s bugging you.