Termite Recurrence Guide

Termites require two things to survive: food and water. When they decide to move in, it's because they have access to wood products and water. Most homes in Arizona are treated for termites before or during construction. This means that a pesticide applicator creates a chemical termiticide barrier between the soil and the wood in the structure. If termites do infest, a remedial treatment might be necessary. This may involve drilling holes in and/or around the foundation of a home and injecting termiticide to repair the barrier.

A good pesticide applicator considers climate, soil density and type of termite when deciding which application method and chemical are best. Each situation is unique; there is no standard prescription for curing a termite problem. Nonetheless, all pesticide applicators must work within federal and state laws regarding pest control and pesticide applications.


1. My home was treated for termites before or during construction so I shouldn't have a problem with termites right?

In theory that's true. However, even if the pesticide applicator treated your house under perfect conditions, there are still factors that can compromise the effectiveness of the treatment.

The chemical barrier may be destroyed if: 

  • Treated soil is disturbed during construction
  • Treated soil is mixed with untreated soil during landscaping 
  • Rain or irrigation cause erosion and soil movement 
  • Chemical agents in termiticides break down and render the barrier ineffective

Another way a house can become infested is through cracks that develop in the foundation, making easy entry points for termites. Since the foundation is not usually visible to the homeowner or pest control professional, cracks may be difficult to find and identify. If any of these conditions are present in a home, remedial treatments may be necessary to eradicate or prevent an infestation.


2. The business came out and treated my house and now the termites are back! Why do I still have termites?

Contact the business and express your concerns to management. In most cases this contact will help to solve your concerns.


3. Termites have damaged my home. Is the pest control company responsible for the repairs?

Check your contract. It will tell you whether or not the business will pay for damage caused by termites. The PMD is a regulatory agency that enforces statutes regarding the business of structural pest control. The PMD does not have jurisdiction over contractual matters. Contractual disputes are not within our regulatory authority.


4. What are the essential components of a good termite job?

A good termite job should include: 

  • A thorough inspection of the structure inside and out, including the roof and attic to identify wood-to-earth contact, such as fences or trellises in the ground that touch the home. 
  • Locating areas of excessive moisture and faulty grade (slopes toward the house that allow water to pool around the foundation). 
  • Proper application of termiticide, according to the label, and within federal and state regulations. 


 What Do Termites Look Like?

Subterranean Termites

Drywood Termites

Want More Information?

Contact the Pest Management Division at (602) 542-4373.

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