Numerous insect species infest homes throughout the United States, including sub-arctic Alaska. In all areas of the country, ants, cockroaches and termites are consistently ranked as the most common pests of homes and buildings. Several species from each one of these insect groups can be found in Arizona. The German cockroach is the most common roach species encountered in homes located in all areas of the country, including Arizona. The American and Oriental cockroach species are also found throughout the US, and they follow the German cockroach in terms of commonality within homes. Cockroach pests are most abundant and species-diverse in the southern US, and 20 roach species have been documented as inhabiting Arizona, while 10 are considered indoor pests in the state. Turkestan and Surinam cockroaches cannot be found in most states, but both of these species are common pests in Arizona, particularly the Turkestan cockroach, which frequently invades homes in Phoenix and Tucson.
Termites can be found in all states within the contiguous US and Hawaii, but termite destruction is most pronounced in the southern states where various pest species can be found. Surprisingly, termites are one of the most common insect pests in relatively cold northern states where only one single termite species can be found. This species is the eastern subterranean termite, which is the most cold-resistant, widespread and economically significant termite species in the country. This species cannot be found in Arizona, as the dry desert climate in the southern half of the state is only hospitable to a unique array of termite species. The most destructive and economically significant termite pest species in southern Arizona include arid-land and desert subterranean termites, as well as dark western and light western drywood termites.
According to one study, southern fire ants, odorous house ants, desert leaf cutting ants, rough harvester ants and Maricopa harvester ants were the most common ant species collected by pest control professionals in and around homes in Tucson. In residential areas of Phoenix, the southern fire ant was collected by pest control professionals more often than any other ant species. Other common ant pests in southern Arizona include carpenter ants, Pharaoh ants and crazy ants.
Have you ever sustained painful or medically harmful ant stings within your home?