I get a lot of calls about termites here in Arizona, normally we deal with the Desert Subterranean Termites (Heterotermes aureus). The Desert subterranean termite lives in the desert in the Phoenix general area on plants including dead cactus, but can severely damage structural timbers in buildings, utility poles and other timber structures. The damaged timber appears honeycombed, with soil or dirt in the galleries. These termites prefer to forage in shaded soil or areas made wet by irrigation.
The other termite here in Arizona are the grass eaters Gnathamitermes perplexus or tubiformans. These termites prefer grasses including cactus and vegetation; there has aslso been a debate over competition between livestock and termites. These termites are of little concern to homeowners but they made occasionally find them on fences, trees or bushes in their yards or old lumber set in the yard.