Types of Termites in Chicago

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Termite damage can cost Chicago homeowners a lot of money. In fact, termites cause more structural damage than most natural disasters. The type of termite responsible for up to 90 percent of that damage is prevalent in Chicago, IL: the subterranean termite. Effective termite control starts with knowledge of termites and their habits.

About Termites

The termite, a distant relative of the cockroach, evolves in three life stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The termite’s diet consists of wood fiber, dead plant debris, soil, and animal waste – basically anything with cellulose. Termites have a complex caste system in which the workers feed nymphs and soldiers, the caste’s defenders. The monogamous king and queen only mate once they find a good spot for a colony. But once they do, they grow quickly: Colonies can consist of anywhere from hundreds to millions of termites and the queen can live for 30 to 50 years — longer than any other insect.

Swarming Habits of Subterranean Termites

You’re most likely to spot termite swarms on warm days after it’s rained. You may confuse termites with ants, since they are similarly shaped and often have wings. The termite’s front and rear wings are almost equal in size, unlike ants with their longer, larger and differently shaped front wings. Termites have broad waists, while ants’ waists are small and defined.

In Chicago, IL, subterranean termites swarm during the daytime during the following times of year:

  • Eastern subterranean termite: March – May
  • Dark southeastern subterranean: March – June
  • Light southeastern subterranean: August – October

Piles of wings are a good indication they’ve swarmed. Finding wings doesn’t necessarily signal a termite invasion, though. Ants, which cause more damage, also shed their wings while swarming. Lights and windows may draw swarms of termites inside during humid weather.

Signs of the Subterranean Termite

Subterranean termites need contact with the moist earth. They build mud tubes or tunnels between the earth and wood near your foundation to allow get access to the cellulose in your home, without exposure to dry air. Since they tunnel through wood, feeding only on the interior, you may not see signs of an infestation. Hearing a hollow sound when you tap on wood, or piercing easily through it with a jab from a sharp object, generally means termites have eaten through the inside.

It’s easy to see why termite control is a must for Chicago residents. Protect your home with termite control from Anderson Pest Solutions in Chicago, IL.

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