Arizona sits squarely amid the Termite Belt—the band of southern states where termites are most prevalent—and the damage they cause costs homeowners billions of dollars every year. In Vail, they’re most active in late summer and fall due to the summer monsoons which create the ideal warm, moist weather conditions for them to thrive.

Searching for Food

As social creatures, termite colonies consist of queens and male reproductives, soldiers, and workers. The workers have the responsibility for all laborious activities in the colony, including finding food–wood or other cellulose material–and bringing it back to the colony to feed everyone. The scout workers tunnel outward in a starburst pattern that radiates from the colony in search of wood. Once they find a viable food source, they use pheromones to signal to other workers to focus their gathering efforts there. However, the scouting termites will continue their efforts because they know eventually that piece of wood will run out.

Gathering the Food

Once scout workers mark a food source tunnel, the gathering termites get to work. Twenty-four hours a day they consume the wood and take it back to the colony, where they share it with the queen and male reproductives, soldiers and young termites. Young termites are unable to process the wood cellulose on their own and rely on the protozoa and enzymes provided by the older worker termites to survive.

Baiting Hungry Termites

Based on termites’ natural behavior, the most effective and environmentally friendly way of addressing a termite problem is to use termite bait treated with a slow-acting substance lethal to termites. The process is simple and straightforward. First, small blocks of tasty, treated, high-value cellulose are placed in special secure stations in the ground around a home. These small pockets of bait are found by scout worker termites, who establish pheromone trails between the bait–their new food source–and the colony. Next, gathering worker termites carry the lethal food back to the colony. Finally, the treated cellulose is passed throughout the nest which gradually controls and eliminates the infestation.

Termite Baiting Done Right

For years, the leader in termite baiting has been the Sentricon® System with AlwaysActive™ technology. The system is effective because the bait blocks are durable and withstand the harsh climate and weather conditions in Southern Arizona. It’s also considered an environmentally friendly product because it isn’t displaced into the soil but stays in the bait station. This makes the system the only termite control product that protects your home 24/7 year after year after year.

For more information about how to protect your home or business from termite infestations or the Sentricon® System, contact Bill’s Home Service at (520) 625-2381 or visit

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