Subterranean termites have been present in Michigan for a long time. They were reported as being destructive to buildings in 1920 (Anonymous, 1961), and apparently damage done at that time was increasing over what had occurred earlier. Notwithstanding this long time presence of termites in the state a majority of the population still looks upon the termite as a strange insect most likely to be encountered in the South. All too many home owners and building proprietors as well as others are unacquainted with presence of termites in their areas. At the same time monetary loss due to termite attack is considerable. As an example, control costs and losses to structures in Tennessee due to termites in 1971 were reported (Anonymous, 1972) as over $8 million. Expenditures are less than this in Michigan but still substantial. Because of these facts it was felt that a wide cross-section of the public would benefit from knowledge of locations in Michigan where termites are present and most likely to cause damage. Unfortunately the general public is not aware that there are effective control methods to prevent damage where termites are a hazard.
Retieulitermes flavipes (Kollar) is the most commonly encountered termite in Michigan. Other species found in the State are Reticulitermes arenincola Goellner and R. tibialis Banks. Areninocola is reported from the very southwest corner of the State and R. tibialis is known from scattered localities.
Behr, Etdon A.
"Termite Distribution in Michigan,"
The Great Lakes Entomologist: Vol. 6
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol6/iss4/2