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Termites What are termites?

Termites What are termites?

Termites are wood-destroying insects. In Northern Illinois, Eastern Iowa, and Central Wisconsin, subterranean termites, or termites that nest underneath the ground, are most common. In nature, termites are beneficial, helping to speed up the decomposition of decaying trees and plants. However, inside homes and other buildings, termites are destructive.

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Termites are social insects, living and working together to maintain their colony. Their complex social structure allows them to divide themselves into three different groups, or castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductives.

Worker termites
Workers make up the largest group of the colony. They are responsible for tunneling through wooden structures to gather food for the colony.

Soldier termites
Soldiers use their large, powerful jaws to protect the colony from threats.

Reproductive termites
Reproductives are females and males that are fertile. They are the only members of the colony that are winged.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are considered dangerous due to how destructive they can be to property. Termites pose no direct threat to people, and in fact, rarely ever come into contact with people. However, termites are responsible for causing more than 5 billion dollars in damage to structures across the country each year. Adding even more insult to injury, their damage is not typically covered by homeowners’ insurance. In addition, termites are difficult pests to deal with. They enter properties unseen, and have the ability to work undetected for weeks, months, or even years. The presence of termites is often only discovered once their damage is extensive.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites are on your property because it is providing what they need to survive – moisture and materials made of cellulose to feed their colony with. Termites often find their way onto a property during a termite swarm. A termite swarm is when reproductives “swarm” from a mature colony to find mates and start a new colony of their own. Termites find their way into homes while foraging for food. They travel through the soil and make their way through cracks in the foundation of homes or through wood siding, deck supports, or porch steps. Once inside your home, they are attracted to wood that has been previously damaged by water. They don’t live in the tunnels they create. Instead, they travel back and forth from their food source to their nests daily. Their nests may be located on your property, or on a neighboring property.

Where will I find termites?

Outside, subterranean termites create their nests in the ground, underneath moist, rich soil. Inside homes and other buildings, termites tunnel through and feed on structural wood. However, if the infestation is allowed to continue and develop, over time termites begin to feed on non-wood items like structural supports, flooring, wooden trim, insulation, plastic plumbing pipes, sub-flooring, brick, and cement.

How do I get rid of termites?

The best solution to a termite infestation is a professional solution. At Pest Control Consultants, our certified home pest technicians and commercial termite exterminators provide outstanding termite control solutions to completely eliminate your current termite problems, and prevent future problems with these wood-destroying pests.

The St. Charles pest experts at Pest Control Consultants are dedicated to using the latest scientific techniques and up-to-date products, practices, and procedures to get rid of and control termites and other household-invading pests. To learn more about ridding termites from your Northern Illinois, Eastern Iowa, or Central Wisconsin area home or property, or to schedule a free inspection, call Pest Control Consultants.

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Keeping termites off of your Northern Illinois, Eastern Iowa, or Central Wisconsin property and out of your home can be difficult.

There are a few things you can do to help deter them:

  • Clean gutters regularly.
  • Install weather stripping around windows and doors to keep water from backing up and seeping into your home’s walls.
  • Repair leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures located inside or outside your home.
  • Install a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels in your home.
  • Rid your property of fallen trees, tree stumps, and other organic debris.
  • Place a stone barrier (12-18 inches) between your home’s foundation and any mulch or soil.
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