Prevent Termites – Why?
Termites, unlike carpenter ants, consume wood. Actually, they have a symbiotic relation with a fungus that breaks the wood down into a form that the termites can consume. At any rate, the wood that makes up your home’s foundation and framework is their food, and termites, left unattended, can literally “bring the house down”.
Prevent Termites – When?
Termites emerge in the spring, in their winged form, seeking a mate. Once they mate, the queen will establish a colony which then begins to destroy all wood within reach. Actually, damp wood is most susceptible since the fungus that feeds the termites thrives in damp conditions.
Stop termites in the spring before they have an opportunity to create a colony.
Prevent Termites – How?
Here are our top 10 strategies for preventing termites.
Prevent Termites – Keep Things Dry
- Paint all bare wood on the exterior of your home. Bare or damaged wood attracts termites. It soaks up moisture which makes it even more susceptible to termite invasion.
- Keep all wood dry. Examine the wood on both the exterior and interior of your home. Look for water leaks from damaged gutters or pipes, or from the discharge of air conditioning units and refrigerators. Thoroughly vent all wall voids. Vent the attic. Inspect the crawl space of your home. Follow the path of pipes. Fix any leaks and dry, repair or replace wet wood. Basically, keep all wood dry and in good repair.
- Water your lawn, not your house. Check your sprinkler system for areas that spray water on the house. Train all water sources away from your house.
- Clean away all yard debris (branches, leaves). These tend to collect water and create conditions favorable to termites.
- Keep plants from direct contact with your house. Trim them back. Any direct contact can become a thoroughfare for the entrance of termites and other pests.
- Don’t let soil come into direct contact with wood…anywhere on your property! Soil in contact with wood directly invites termites. Raise your wood pile off the ground. Remove soil away from your siding, from fences and fence posts. 18 inches is a good standard distance to maintain between soil and wood.
- Raise your firewood pile 18 inches off the ground. And don’t store firewood indoors. Only bring firewood into your home on the day you will be burning it in the fireplace.
Prevent Termites – Additional Precautions
- Remove dead tree stumps and their roots. These also constitute wood in contact with soil, and create an ideal condition for termites to establish a thriving colony near your home, which is then on the ready to find an entrance into your home.
- Seal any potential termite entry points. Inspect around your home for cracks in the concrete foundation. Seal them. Calk any openings around your window and door frames.
Prevent Termites – Get Skilled Help
- Hire a licensed, professional termite exterminator to give your home an annual termite inspection. Better to be safe than sorry, as termites left untreated in the home are about the same as setting a fire in your home and leaving it to freely burn! Same result!