Rural Development Company Profile #1: Tucson Exterminating

If you know our story, you know we love showing companies who’re actually making a difference (responsible rural development) while taking names in their industry.

Our first company that we’re stoked to profile?

Tucson’s pest control mogul, Tucson Exterminating.

Not only do these guys honor veterans, give military discounts and only use eco-friendly pesticides, they’re also committed to go completely solar and green with all of their warehouses.

So, how does their business work? Think you’ve got a termite problem? It’s easy to do, with roughly a dozen species of termites living our fair state of Arizona. The truth is: not all the termites you see are actually home invaders- that should calm your nerves if you’ve recently spotted termites around your home. There’s a chance the ones you see aren’t interested in your home at all…but how can you tell?

Here’s a handy guide to getting to know the termites of Tucson. We’ll cover the species you’re most likely going to encounter around your home and in your yard, but remember only a pest control professional will be able to identify with certainty the type(s) you’ve got crawling around your property.

But it’s always good to know your termites if you’re a homeowner, so take a look below. We’ll start with the ones that cause the real damage:

1. Eastern Subterranean Termites (Reticulitermes). These are the nationwide terrorists that plague homes from New York to Tucson to California. They’re responsible for most of the termite control dollars we Americans spend each year, and can invade your home in numbers quite difficult to fathom.

If you have Eastern Subterranean termites, call a Tucson pest control specialist right away.

2. Native Termites (Heterotermes).Although more commonly found in the Sonoran Desert than Eastern Subterranean termites, these native termites are easy to spot because they create horrifying “drop tubes” of dirt from infected ceilings. Again, call your pest guy right away if you see these spooky tubes anywhere in or around your home.

3. Desert Termites (Gnathamitermes tubiformans). If you live in Tucson, then you’ve probably seen desert termites more than once in your life! They’re everywhere, especially after a rain or during Monsoon season. Look at a pile of dead grass and you might see them. Look at some loose clay after it rains, and you might see them. Look at a cactus that’s fallen over, and you might see them. It’s a plain fact: they’re everywhere.

They’re not typically in homes, thank goodness. That’s not to say you have your home checked every so often. Desert termites like dry conditions, whereas other types like moist conditions. Sometimes manufactured homes will have Desert Termites in their crawl spaces.

They’re even considered beneficial to soil, since they break down organic matter into soil nutrients. They even have a beneficial effect on the levels of carbon and nitrogen in the environment*. Predators include skunks, who get tons of nutrients from the Desert Termites.

Even though it’s pretty tough to distinguish termite species in general, it’s relatively easy to know when you’re looking at a Desert Termite. They’re larger and they come out just before sunset during summer. Subterranean termites, on the other hand, swarm during Winter and Spring.

So now when you see termites, you’ll know not to panic if you suspect all you’re looking at is a Desert Termite. Of course it’s best to be safe, and call a professional the first time you see termites, even if it’s just to confirm that you don’t have a problem…you’ll sleep better!

*Source: Texas A&M Agrilife Extension “Desert Termites”