Termite Prevention Tips For the Homeowner
It doesn’t matter if you have just moved into a newer home or an older one, or if you have been living at your home for years- it is important to stay ahead of a termite infestation. Termites are one of the very few insects that eat continuously, and can consume about 2.3 feet of 2X4 pine in just one year. When there is one termite colony, there are usually others, and each colony is in constant pursuit of food. Termites cause about $1 billion in damages each year, and are the biggest contributors in home destruction. A colony of termites can consist of over a million bugs, and one termite queen can lay thousands of eggs every day. Prevention of termites in the first place is the best plan to keep them from destroying your home.
Termites need water in order to survive. To help prevent an infestation, find and fix any and all water leaks that are in your home. This includes leaks that are both internal and external. If the termites find a water source in your home that is easily accessible, they do not need to work as hard to get their water supply. With no water source, you have eliminated a requirement for the termites to survive. Additionally, make sure there are no standing pools of water anywhere near your home, either in the ground or in containers. Gutters should be kept clean of all debris. A clogged gutter can leak, which can create a pool of water for termites to gather at.
All heavy growth or unneeded brush should be removed from all around your home. Too much vegetation will create areas that have a lot of moisture, which termites also need if they are to survive. Termites like wet, damp spaces, so eliminating as much of this as possible will help keep them at bay.
Wood is a termites primary food source. Any excess building supplies and firewood is an invitation for disaster, so make sure these are both stored far from the house. Even scrap wood should be picked up and discarded or stored elsewhere. In the event you do not have additional storage, create a barrier between the ground and the wood by using thick concrete or metal stands. Waste and scrap wood should never be buried on your yard, as well. Any dead trees, roots and old stumps should be removed from your yard as soon as possible. Decaying wood will attract termites as they are a food source, and when they consume this, they will look for a new source, such as your home.
Mulch should not be used near your house if at all possible. Mulch is an excellent food source for termites, and when mulch is put outside of the home, it can be just steps away for the termites to get into your house. Alternatives to wood mulch are new rubber mulches, which can be found at hardware and home improvement stores, as they will not attract termites.
All cracks and holes in your home and foundation should be sealed tightly. This helps to prevent an easy access point for termites. Additionally, be sure that your house has proper ventilation, especially in your attic and in any inside crawl spaces. Without proper ventilation, moisture can build up in these areas, which termites can then use to colonize.
It is extremely important to take the proper steps to prevent a termite infestation of your home. It is recommended to have your home checked once a year for the presence of termites. While it may seem an unnecessary expense, an early detection of these pests can save thousands in damage in the long run. The pest control specialists can also help you go over areas of the house you may have missed, and give you other recommendations to help avoid an infestation.