The Subterranean Termite

Your Chicagoland Guide on Subterranean Termites

The Breakdown






1/4 – 1/2 in



The Subterranean Termite

Subterranean termites are said to be the most destructive wood pests in the United States and cause billions of dollars in damage. They are lighter in color then other termites, sporting a creamy, pale, almost translucent appearance. This type of termite can either be wingless or have wings with distinct patterns.

These termites live in colonies underground and you could go years without detecting them. In order to get food such as wood and cellulose material, they create tunnels that reach ground level.

A subterranean termite colony has one queen which can produce thousands of eggs in her lifetime. However, winged termites can also lay eggs in their colony. For this reason, as soon as you think you have an infestation, contact a professional immediately.

Signs of an Infestation

A subterranean termite infestation will have some obvious signs. When there is rainfall and the temperatures begin to warm up, you might begin to see swarms of the winged termites. These are called the ‘reproductives’ and greatly resemble winged ants. The difference you will see is that the termites are slightly smaller and have straight antennas. As reproductives, these creatures mate, and when they are done their wings will shed. Because of this, you can see piles of wings that look like fish scales collecting on your windowsills and other places. If you have an infestation, you want to be sure to get it checked out right away because these termites can cause a lot of costly damage.

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Understanding the Seasons

Weather has a profound effect on pest life cycle. Most pests, rodents and insects breed aggressively during spring and go through periods of hibernation during autumn and winter.

When the weather slowly begins to heat up, pests start to get more active after having stayed dormant over the colder winter months.

  • Birds often start to find mates and start building their nests.
  • Moths which consumer leaves usually become active again.
  • Flies often emerge from their winter hibernation places and start to breed and spread out.
  • Squirrels also spend the winter in hibernation. When spring approaches these creatures start looking for a new home. This is usually the time when they make their way into lofts and other spaces.

Summer is arguably the best season for pests. It is the time when they are in full swing and breed as rapidly as they can. Wasps are one of the most common summer pests followed by flies and rodents. Many a summer picnics and BBQs have been ruined by the ‘home invasion’ of these pests.

  • Wasps build their nesting grounds and lay their eggs during this time. Although the creatures are not directly harmful, they can be very aggressive and territorial at this time of the year, because they’re at their strongest.
  • The number of fleas also multiplies. Since pets spend more time outdoors during summer, they are more likely to bring the pests back indoors with them.
  • Bees are also more active during summer as they go out to gather nectar. Many times, homeowners find a new beehive in their garden and require pest control to take care of it. Because of their sting, bees are more dangerous than some of the other pests and you should call our professional service to get rid of them.
  • Moths and flies usually start to multiply significantly during summer.
  • Ants begin to swarm to find new mates and start new colonies during summer.
  • Cockroaches become very noticeable in the summer, especially in the kitchen and toilets. This is due to the hotter temperatures and stronger smells.
  • Bedbugs are also very active in the summer.

Autumn is the month when things start to get cooler. The number of pests starts to dwindle as they begin to slow down their breeding activities.

  • Wasps start becoming dozy and docile. You may find them buzzing around occasionally as if they are drunk. This is usually the end-time for their life.
  • Spiders in particular are more active at this time of the year.
  • Squirrels will gather their food and start to look for shelter.
  • The second breeding phase for flies begins. These pests remain active during the season.
  • Rodents also become more active. Due to the approaching cold, rodents usually find shelter inside homes in the loft or inside walls.

The coldest months are when pests seek out warmth and shelter. You will find a number of insects especially rodents and lizards make their way inside your home.

  • Spiders come into our homes to escape the web-destroying frosts.
  • Rodents move indoors to escape the cold, increasing infestations.
  • In many cases, homeowners find squirrels nesting in lofts when they go to get their Christmas decorations.

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