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How Many Dampwood Termite Species Can Be Found In Arizona

How Many Dampwood Termite Species Can Be Found In Arizona, And Which Species Are Considered Serious Pests In The State?

Around 50 termite species have been documented as inhabiting various regions of the United States, and a little more than a third of these species are categorized as either serious or minor pests to structural wood within homes and buildings. Termites are divided into three groups based on their nesting and foraging behaviors, and all three of these groups are well represented in Arizona. Subterranean termites are the most destructive group of termites in Arizona and elsewhere, and unlike most regions of the US, the desert southwest is also home to multiple drywood termite species that are considered serious pests of economic importance in Arizona. Lastly, multiple dampwood termites can be found in certain areas of Arizona, but dampwood termites are not as economically damaging as drywood and subterranean termite pests in Arizona. This does not mean that dampwood termites should be dismissed as non-pests by residents, as the desert dampwood termite species often inflicts extensive damage to damp structural wood located outside of homes. These outdoor structural wood sources include wooden fences, mailbox posts, landscaping ornaments, and possibly cosmetic wood on homes.

While the desert dampwood termite is the only dampwood termite species in Arizona that is categorized as being a pest of economic concern, three other dampwood termites are also occasionally found in the state. These dampwood termite species are commonly known as Arizona dampwood termites, Pacific dampwood termites and Nevada dampwood termites. Arizona residents sometimes confuse dampwood termite species with drywood termite species since both of these termite groups remain within the wood items that they inhabit and never make contact with soil, as subterranean termites do. However, in order to remain cool in its desert habitat, the desert dampwood termite species often attacks wood located below the ground surface. Dampwood termite infestations are relatively uncommon within homes since they can only infest wood that has a high moisture content. This is why structural wood sources that are exposed to rainwater, like fences, decks and posts, often become infested with dampwood termites. When desert dampwood termite infestations do become established within a home, colonies are usually limited to baseboards, window frames, door frames and other areas that may become exposed to rainwater and high moisture.

Have you, or anyone you know, ever experienced a dampwood termite infestation?