What to Do If You Find a Termite in Illinois

Identifying termite species is essential! In Illinois, there are many different kinds. Size, color and behavior may vary. Knowing the type of termite can help you decide whether to call a pest control specialist or take care of it yourself.

This section looks into the different types of termites found in Illinois and what to look for to identify them:


Determine if the insects are termites

It’s vital to properly identify a termite if you find one in your home. Don’t confuse it with an ant or other insect. Illinois has three kinds of termites: subterranean, drywood and dampwood. They all belong to the Isoptera order and have brownish-black bodies and wings.

  • Subterranean termites live near soil and make nests underground or in wet places like basements, bathrooms or leaking joints. They enter homes through walls and foundations needing high humidity and temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees.
  • Drywood termites feed on hardwood and softwood and live in wood or wall voids. They don’t need soil or much moisture.
  • Dampwood termites prefer moist wood like near plumbing leaks or water sources. Their colonies are large and they prefer temperate climates of 70-80 degrees.


Once you’ve identified a termite, it’s time to figure out the best treatment. Knowing the colony’s location (subterranean, drywood or dampwood) helps to determine the most effective treatment for Illinois.


Identify the type of termite

Identifying the type of termite present is crucial when it comes to treatment and assessing damage done by an infestation. In Illinois, two main types of termites are found: subterranean and drywood species.

  • Subterranean Termites live underground and rely on soil moisture. They build mud tunnels from their nests to wood sources above ground. The workers are white, soft-bodied and can be up to 1/4 inch in size.
  • Drywood Termites live in wood and have enough moisture to survive. They can be found in furniture, door frames, windows and walls. The workers are light yellow, have hard exoskeletons and measure up to 1/3 inch.

Signs of termites include mud tubes, mud chunks, sawdust, softening paint, swarms near windowsills, and wings. To identify the type of termite, obtain a sample from a damaged timber and consult an entomologist for help.


Contact a Professional

Eek! Finding a termite in your Illinois home can be startling. They can cause serious harm to your house if not addressed right away. Get in touch with an expert quick!

A pro pest control operator will recognize the type and level of your infestation. Then they can create a plan of attack.


Find a qualified pest control company

In Illinois, find a pest control company that knows termites. Check if they have a license and insurance. See if they have specialists in termite control.

Have the company come do an inspection. They should look for infestations and potential ones in walls, foundations, etc. Check if there is damage from previous infestations, too.

If they find infestations, they can give options. These may include:

  • Liquid termiticides in the ground
  • Bait systems with stations monitored by professionals

Follow instructions and use reputable companies. Make sure services are safe and no adverse effects on your environment or family.


Schedule an inspection

If you think there might be termite infestation in your home, make an appointment for an inspection. A trained pest control specialist will inspect the area and find out if there are any termite problems. The inspection should include:

  • Spotting mud tubes going into or coming out of walls, as they can mean there is an active termite colony;
  • Examining wood for discoloration or tiny holes, which may show a past infestation;
  • Checking for winged reproductive termites, called swarmer alates; and
  • Looking for droppings from bugs that could attract termites.

The professional can tell you the different ways to get rid of termites, as well as how to stop future infestations. This includes tips on how to use treated wood and how to avoid too much moisture near possible entry points like foundation cracks.


Treatment Options

In Illinois, if you discover termites in your home, the initial step is to contact a pest control expert. They can provide you with the optimal advice on how to manage the situation. Treating termites is costly and complicated. It is imperative to comprehend your options and make a knowledgeable selection.

This article will provide details on accessible treatment methods and advice on how to make the best choice for your home:


Understand the different treatment options

Stay proactive when it comes to termites. Avoid costly repairs due to their damage. If there is an infestation, understand the treatment options. They depend on the extent of the issue.

Options include baiting. This uses a pesticide in small amounts in trays. Worker termites take it back to the colony. It’s mostly used for prevention.

Fumigation uses gas to exterminate all stages of wood-destroyers. It requires an airtight seal, with gas chambers. It must be done by a licensed professional.

Insecticide is a liquid with cypermethrin or lambda-cyhalothrin, added around active termites. It may be used with other methods if multiple areas need treatment.

Remember that not all treatments are the same. A professional may be necessary before proceeding.


Determine the best option for your situation

If you discover termites in your house or business, it’s urgent to find the right option. In Illinois, 3 main treatments exist: chemical soil treatments, baiting systems, and whole structure fumigation.

  • Chemical Soil Treatments – For prevention, insecticide or termiticide is applied to the building’s foundation. This liquid can be sprayed on affected areas or poured into the soil around and beneath the structure.
  • Baiting Systems – Bait piles are put out and monitored. If termites eat the bait, more bait is added and observed till all signs of infestation end. This is an eco-friendly approach since fewer chemicals are used, but it takes longer and needs frequent monitoring.
  • Whole Structure Fumigation – This is usually the most efficient way to eliminate an existing infestation. An insecticidal gas is pumped in and circulated through the building. This method should only be done by a licensed expert due to the hazardous gases present. It’s pricey and disrupts activity while the gas is being used.



Stop termites from entering your home! There are several preventative steps you can take. This will help you dodge a costly infestation and give you peace of mind.


Understand the risk factors for termites

It’s essential to recognize the elements of risk for termites when preventing an invasion. These wood-eating creatures are frequent in Illinois, yet certain environmental conditions can make homes and other structures attractive for nesting.

Moisture is one of the greatest risk factors, as it creates the ideal environment for colonies to grow. Thus, damages occur mostly under decks, patios, and above basements or crawl spaces. Seek potential entry points like cracks in foundations or around utility pipes, window sills or frames. Even with vigilance, there’s no assurance of keeping your home termite-free. This is why professional inspection and treatment are the best option.

Think of nearby developments that could already have an infestation. Inspect areas with wood such as attics, garages, and sheds regularly. Lower humidity levels near where these pests feed on wood. Remove any wood that touches the soil – this serves as a bridge for the colonies between natural and artificial habitats.


Take steps to prevent termites from returning

Identify and remove any termite infestation to protect your home in Illinois.

  • Seal gaps and crevices on the exterior of your house with caulk or sealant.
  • Replace any damaged wood with treated wood or paint-on products.
  • Eliminate moisture sources, such as leaky pipes or overflowing gutters.
  • Install a dehumidifier in basements and crawlspaces to reduce moisture levels.
  • Remove dead trees, stumps and decaying wood near the outside of your house.
  • Clean debris, leaves and firewood away from the foundation once a month.


Legal Requirements

Got termites in your Illinois property? You must act according to the law. Illinois has regulations for dealing with termite infestations. Knowing the legal requirements is key to finding the right solution. This article will tell you all about the legal rules for termite control in Illinois.


Understand the state laws regarding termites

In Illinois, homeowners are responsible for controlling termite infestations in their homes. The Illinois State Structural Pest Control Act states which steps must be taken. Breaking this law can result in civil penalties of up to $1,500 and an extra $250 per day after being reported. People may even sue if they suffer losses from the violation.

To protect your home, you should:

  • Seal cracks around windows and doors.
  • Inspect areas with wood every few months.
  • Have certified pest professionals inspect structures around your property every 3 months during peak activity times.


Follow guidelines for treatment and prevention

Got termites in your Illinois home? You must take steps to protect it. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has resources for homeowners. IDPH requires a licensed exterminator for structural pest control services. Homeowners must complete an assessment to find the right treatment.

For prevention, check for wood-damaging insects around walls, floors, windows and doors. Seal any visible holes or cracks. Inspect crawl spaces for water leaks. Replace old, insect-damaged wood. Taking the right steps can save time and money.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of termite infestation in Illinois?

Signs of termite infestation in Illinois include mud tubes on the outside of the home, visible termite swarms, piles of discarded wings near windows or doors, and visible damage to wood or other cellulose materials.

What should I do if I find a termite in my home?

If you find a termite in your home, it is important to act quickly to prevent the infestation from getting worse. Contact a local pest control company to inspect your home and assess the damage. If necessary, they can then recommend a treatment plan to eliminate the termites.

Is it safe to do my own termite treatment?

No, it is not recommended to do your own termite treatment. Professional pest control companies have the knowledge, experience, and products necessary to properly eliminate a termite infestation. Additionally, they can provide preventative measures to help protect your home from future infestations.