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Desert Termite Facts

  • Location: Most common in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona
  • Scientific Name: Gnatham¬itermes tubiformans
  • Color: Light brown
  • Size: Alates measure from 1/2 to 5/8 inches in length
  • Desert termites swarm at sunset after a summer rain

Desert Termite Behavior

What desert termites do best is what termites do naturally in the wild. They break down dead plant material into usable soil nutrients that replenish depleted soil. Additionally, desert termite nesting habits can improve soil and increase water retention. Overall, desert termites benefit desert ecosystems and are considered a keystone species in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Differences between Subterranean Termites and Desert Termites

Distinguishing between desert termites and the destructive subterranean termite species might sound challenging but is actually easier than you might think. For best results contact a pest control professional, such as Truly Nolen to schedule a free inspection.

Desert termite alates measure from 1/2 to 5/8 inches in length, whereas subterranean termites alates are less than a 1/2-inch long. Desert termite alates’ wings and bodies are light brown but subterranean termites have black bodies and transparent wings with veins. Desert termites swarm at sunset after a summer rain but subterranean termites swarm during the day after a rain shower from January to April.

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