Living in a climate like Illinois, many people think that our homes are completely impervious to termites. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! While it’s true the drywood and Formosan varieties of termites stick to warmer temperatures, subterranean termites are very active in our state during the spring and summer months.
Subterranean termites, tiny ant-like inspects, feed on dead plant material, generally in the form of timber, fallen logs, leaves, and other cellulose-containing materials. They can cause can cause serious structural damage to buildings. Most live underground and make their colonies in the soil, seeking out dark, moist environments.
Subterranean termites love to attack any wood in contact with the ground. They’ll gladly sneak their way into your home and make a new colony using the wood of your home’s structure, porches, deck, fences, sheds, raised garden beds and more!
But how can you tell if you have termite trouble if they are out of sight?
- Hollow sounding wood. Although the wood that a termite may inhabit could look perfect from the outside, give it a quick knock. If it sounds “hollow,” or even worse, if you hear a good amount of debris falling from inside the wood, you could possibly have a few uninvited guests.
- Discarded wings (swarmers). Reproductive termites known as “swarmers” will leave their old colony in search of a new home to start the process over again. They are also most active in the spring, so if you see swarms of insects or notice large piles of discarded wings near your home, termites may be near.
- Working tubes/mud tunnels on exterior walls. Subterranean termites can build working tubes to reach wood several feet above the ground. Colonies nest in the soil but are known for building tunnels up to a home’s exterior while they check for food. These are usually very distinct characteristics of a termite invasion.
Termites present a serious threat to what’s most likely your biggest investment – your home! Reduce your chance of infestation through prevention: keep your foundation dry, keep scrap wood away from your home, and consider a termite protection plan from Pearson. If you already suspect an infestation, give us a call. We’ll come out to inspect your property and if we do happen to find an infestation, recommend a plan of action.