Scientific Name: Heterotermes aureus
This termite is part of the Rhinotermitidae family, which includes some dampwood termites and all subterranean termites.
The desert subterranean termite feeds on many types of wood, including structural timbers in homes, utility poles, dead cactus trees and other desert trees. This insect frequently builds mud tubes, including mud tubes that drop from the ceiling. These tubes are typically yellowish and lighter in color than tubes made by the arid-land subterranean termite, which inhabits the same geographical areas.
Do Desert Subterranean Termites Damage Homes?
Desert subterranean termites are limited to the hottest, driest regions in Arizona and California. This species causes very little damage to homes and buildings.
What Do Desert Subterranean Termites Look Like?
Desert subterranean termite alates measure 1/2 inch, including the wings. They are tan or pale yellow in color.
Soldiers have broad, dark-colored heads. These soldiers look like the arid-land subterranean termite soldiers, except that the jaws of desert subterranean termite soldiers are narrower.
When Do Desert Subterranean Termites Swarm?
The desert subterranean termite typically swarms during the summer rainy season, from July to September. This termite swarms at dusk, after a rain.