Rare termite ‘tubes’ show up in Paradise Valley
Home & Gardening

Rare termite ‘tubes’ show up in Paradise Valley

Rain and humidity during monsoon season allow a pesky household pest to thrive in Valley homes – termites!

As the owner of Urban Desert Pest Control, Brad Olson can’t help but marvel at what termites created at one Paradise Valley garage.

Paradise Valley home termites


”On average, I do 5-7 bids a day, it’s been over five years since I found anything like this,” said Olson.

What he jokingly calls an Arizona mud icicle is a termite drop tube.

He explained termites come up from the soil looking to escape the heat and feast on wood while they live in humidity.

That’s part of what makes monsoon season a thriving time for these pests.

Olson says termites can build six inches of drop tubes every 24 hours. They’re coming out of the ceiling because termites think they’re headed back down to the soil – because they’re blind.

One drop tube that impressed Olson was holding on at nearly three feet.

”You don’t want to give termites time,” he said.

The Paradise Valley homeowner called an exterminator quickly enough before termites did any structural damage. If untreated, termites can deteriorate the support beams of your home and cause catastrophic damage.

Olson reminds us after a good rain, termites can fly. A full colony can eat 5-7 pounds of wood a year.

The first sign of rain means busy days for exterminators like Heath Geer.

”Anytime we get rain, typically the next week we get a lot of phone calls,” said Greer.

At a home in Avondale, the treatment done in a matter of hours can last a decade, with a yearly inspection.

A two-inch trench is built around the home, and then a termite chemical called Termidor AG is used to live in the soil. It aims to kill the termites and it’s good for 10 years.

Crews also drill and then fill a hole with the chemical, which can take 90 days to fully work.

The cost of a treatment like this can start at $750 depending on the size of the property – but dealing with termites is all part of living in Arizona.