Did you know that termites date back more than 120 million years? The most commonly found termites in Northern Illinois are subterranean termites, who build nests underground around areas with good food sources; that is, moist wood. Unlike carpenter ants who create tunnels in wood but eat other things, termites feed on wood. They can leave large wood beams hollow, rendering them dangerous and weak.
Termites find their way into your home looking for food. People report seeing “swarms” of flying insects in or around their home in springtime. While the termites may look like flying ants, a close inspection of their wings reveals the difference: termite wings tend to be straight, while carpenter ant wings tend to fan out at the end. When termites find their way into your home, they will look for wood that has been water damaged or is currently damp and start chewing away. Some signs of termite damage include baseboards that are hollowed out, wood that’s too lightweight for its bulk, warped wood, or the appearance of termite wings on the floors of your home. They can be active year-round.
How can you prevent future termite infestations? Take every precaution to keep the outside of your home dry, including making sure you have proper drainage away from the house, and that all leaks are repaired. Don’t store damp wood, firewood or other wood items close to your home.