Table of Contents
Termites are, have been, and will likely be known as one of the most destructive creatures until the end of time. This is because they are extremely destructive creatures, with the ability to make quick work of any wood structure. You could have never had a termite infection before and still know that these creatures are bad news. Despite this, they’re fragile creatures. They can easily be overpowered by the ant. You wouldn’t believe this when you consider these creatures do billions of dollars worth of damage in Chicago alone. These are just some interesting things about termites. To fully eradicate the creature from the property, you’ll need to arm yourself with as much information as humanly possible. That’s what we are here to help with.
- One of the things that make the termite such a formidable enemy is that the entire colony works together. They work together with the common goal of bettering and growing the colony. If only civilization still worked like this.
- Termites are known for feeding on wood, but it is the cellulose they are after. This is a bi-product found in wood, but it can also be found in a variety of other products, including cotton fibers, paper, cardboard, and furniture.
- When you see a termite mound it means that the primary colony has grown too large to support the initial population. These creatures prefer to build their colonies outside, in the ground, and at right about 300 feet or so from the property.
- While there is a whole slew of termites known throughout the world, it is the Subterranean termite that is so destructive. This is especially true in Chicago, Illinois. This is the termite you’ll have to worry about, as it is responsible for 95 percent of those billions worth of damage every year.
The Queen Reproductive Termite
- The queen is the largest member of the colony. She is the member that the other members of the colony are working to please. While they are trying to grow and better the colony, it comes down to pleasing the queen.
- The queen is such a large creature that it takes hundreds of worker termites to move her if and when the process is required.
- She is the one that creates the colony by laying the initial eggs. She does this until there are enough workers and nymphs to continue the process and growth.
- A queen termite can live to be as old as 10 years ago. During these 10 years, she’ll lay as many as 30,000 eggs in a single day. Truly astonishing!
The King Primary Reproductive Termite
- Just like in a monarchy, in a termite colony, the king’s job is to assist the queen. Although it might be more of the other way around in a monarchy, you get the gist of the operation here. He assists the queen in laying and tending to the eggs during the initial developmental stages.
- The king will continue with this process long even after the queen has stepped away.
- The true workhorses of the termite colony are the worker termites. These guys go 24/7 caring, tending, feeding, maintaining, and doing whatever else is necessary for the colony.
- They are soft-bodied, light in color, and don’t grow wings. They only grow to be about 10 millimeters in size, but get a lot done.
The Soldier Termites
- With their white, soft, wingless bodies, these guys might not look like much, but it is entirely up to them to defend the colony from oncoming threats. Most oncoming threats will be the ant.
- The soldier termite has a long head with two powerful jaws that are used as weapons against oncoming threats.
- Winged reproductive members of the colony can be both male and female. And interestingly enough, they are both capable of producing offspring for the growth and betterment of the colony.
- These guys are the ones that develop wings and fly off to start secondary colonies.
- While there is only 1 king and 1 queen in the termite colony, there will be hundreds to thousands of winged reproductive members.
Comparing The Flying Ant And Flying Termite
The Chicago, Illinois area is plagued with both flying ants and flying termites. While these insects are completely different, they are commonly mistaken for one another. And, this is because, upon first glance, they look a lot alike. They not only look alike, but they share a lot of common characteristics. Despite this, there are a lot of little subtleties that make them entirely different. Here’s what you need to know about these two creatures:
- Both have front and rear wings.
- The front pair of wings on the flying ant is longer than the back.
- The font and back wings are the same in length for the flying termite.
- The wings on the flying termite can easily be snapped off, while this is not the case with the flying ant.
- The waist of the flying ant is narrow and pinched, while the flying termite is thicker and less defined.
- Both have antennae, but the flying termites are straight while the ants are elbowed or 90 degrees.
More To Know About Termites
- Termite colonies eat non-stop, 24/7.
- A termite colony can live and survive for 50 to 70 years if properly tended and cared for.
- A typical termite colony in the US consists of 500,000 insects.
- Many consider termites useful creatures because they can break down deadwood in forests and turn it into useable soil.
- The Subterranean termite must have access to water or it will die.
- Ants can attack termite colonies at any time.
- There are over 2,000 termite species, but most of them are favorable to tropical and subtropical surroundings.
- There are only 40 termite species known and reported throughout the United States.
- Termites could eat through concrete, but never choose to do so.
- Only the worker termite can digest cellulose. This is why it has to chew it up and feed it to the other members.
Are Termites Dangerous?
Believe it or not, termites don’t pose you a physical direct threat. They don’t bite, they don’t sting, and they don’t transmit diseases. This does not mean they aren’t dangerous, as they are destructive to wood structures. They can damage a structure to the point of collapse and when you walk in it falls. This might be something that would take a long time, but with their potential to do untold amounts of damage to wooden structures, it’s entirely possible.
How Do You Get Rid Of Termites
Any pest management professional would not recommend an average Joe trying to tackle a termite problem. This is because of the potential to only spread the infestation. Termites build colonies 300 feet away from the structure with hundreds of access tunnels, similar to that of the ant. It just takes missing one termite or one passageway and this colony will go on to live another day. They’ll scatter elsewhere and just further spread the infestation deeper into your property. This is why termite removal and elimination is a job best left to the pros. A team like ours can tackle the problem with the utmost efficiency.
How Soon Will You Get Here?
While our Illinois offices stay pretty busy, we are more than willing to make exceptions. This is probably one of the reasons we are so busy. This and the fact that we also handle other critters. That being said, all you have to do is pick up the phone, give us a call, and we’ll get someone out to the property within the next 24 to 48 hours. That being said, we do always have emergency crews standing by if and when they are needed.