What To Do Before Termites Strike
May 11, 2018
We recently covered several reasons homeowners should not ignore the warning signs of a termite infestation. In it, we looked at some of the damage that termites can do to a home. But, long before termites create loose floor tiles, peeling paint that looks like water damage, squeaky floorboards, pinholes in drywall, carved wood that looks like mazes, laminate that buckles, and other visible damage, there are things every homeowner should be doing to protect their property from these wood-destroying pests.
In nature, termites play a key role in getting rid of dead trees. If it wasn't for all those termites, we'd have logs and dead trees everywhere. But this desire to feed on dead wood can draw these insects into your yard. When swarmer termites take flight, they look for the best place to establish a new nest. They're going to try to find a location that has lots of food. Your job is to make your property as uninteresting as possible.
Move firewood away from the outside of your home and elevate it so that no wood is touching the ground.
Keep construction materials like plywood and 2 x 4' s stored in your shed or garage when you're not actively using these materials.
If you have a flower bed or garden that is surrounded by a wood border, consider replacing that border with stones.
If you use mulch, consider making a 2-foot buffer between the mulch and your foundation wall or replace the mulch with crushed rock.
Keep sticks, twigs, and leaves raked up.
Subterranean termites are moisture pests. And, since subterranean termite damage runs in the billions and drywood termite damage is only in the hundreds of millions annually in the United States, it is important to pay close attention to moisture conditions. If you have moist soil around your foundation perimeter, your home will be attractive to subterranean termites.
Address leaking spigots, hoses, and plumbing.
Check gutters and downspouts for obstructions or breaks.
Trim trees and bushes to allow sunlight into shaded locations where rainwater tends to sit.
Address any condition around your home that makes your soil damp.
Termites don't just eat wood, they will also feed on vegetables and ornamental plants. Termites eat cellulose and cellulose is found in the cell walls of plants. The more plants you have on your property, the more important it is to invest in professional termite control.