Arizona has its fair share of termites, but one of the most abundant types is the Subterranean Desert Termite(Gnatham¬itermes tubiformans). These pesky termites do well in the wild because they are able to survive in hot, arid conditions, hence the name desert. Desert termites are very annoying once they invade your home or business, but that doesn’t stop them from being interesting creatures. Here are three interesting facts that you may not know about desert termites.
1. These termites don’t really want to eat your home.
They generally feed on live or dead plant matter. They can, however, eat the wood in your home and that wood doesn’t even need to be moist or decaying. This means they can cause some serious structural damage if they do decide to invade your space.
2. Desert termites have a caste system.
Unlike the free citizens of the United States of America, desert termites don’t get to choose their own paths in life. In their colonies, they are judged by the color of their skin (or rather, in this case, the shape of their bodies). Each colony has a Queen and King. They reproduce and when the eggs hatch, they are separated into four different classes depending on how they look: a supplementary reproductive termite, a worker, a soldier, or a nymph. Nymphs are like princes and princesses. They are destined to become Queens and Kings to keep the colony going or to create their own colonies.
3. Desert termites are actually great for plant and crop growth.
Since desert termites prefer plant matter instead of wood, they are often found in plants such as cacti and prickly pear pads, or in grass. They borough in the winter and the tunnels they create make the soil more porous. This allows rainfall to infiltrate the soil more easily which can lead to increased plant growth.
Desert termites may have some interesting qualities but they are still pesky termites. They cease to be interesting once they invade your home because they can cause costly destruction. If they invade your home, call our reputable pest control company as soon as possible. Otherwise, admire these social creatures from afar.