A home is one of the biggest investments one can make and termite damage can be one of the most costly. Termites can colonize your home and cause significant destruction undetected over a long period of time. This can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in treatment and repairs.
Termites will colonize near readily available food sources, typically soft or rotting wood. They will seek out these moist areas in and around your home in search of a new colony site. The best plan is always termite prevention. The first step in prevention is recognizing what attracts termites to your home in the first place. Here are five things that could be attracting termites to your home:
Firewood and other wood piles are a huge termite attractant and also provide them with a quick and easy ride into your home. Firewood should be stored at least 20 feet from your home and elevated at least 5 inches off the ground.
As trees die and rot, the dead trees and stumps will attract termites. They will then move from these stumps and trees to your home. Remove and clear any dead trees and stumps from your property.
Poor drainage, lack of airflow, and leaking pipes all contribute to moisture problems in the home AND create conditions conducive to termite infestations. Subterranean termites need an abundant source of nearby water to survive, so reducing moisture is an easy way to help prevent a termite infestation and damage. Consider enclosing your crawlspace to further enhance the overall health of your home, by reducing excess moisture, decreasing humidity, preventing mold and wood rot, controlling pests (including termites!), and lowering utility bills.
While aesthetically pleasing, mulch can actually be a big attractant for termites. Mulch is comprised of wood chips which can retain moisture, making them an attractive food source for termites. Consider replacing mulch with another medium or, if you do use it, try to keep it at least 15 inches from your foundations.
Clogged gutters can lead to damage to your home on their own but they can also be an attractant to termites. As leaves, twigs, and other debris build up in your gutters, the excess moisture can soften your roof and cause it to rot. These soft spots attract termites and also provide them with an easy access point into your home. Keep your gutters cleaned out regularly or consider installing gutter guards to prevent clogs.
Another component of termite control and prevention is the professional termite inspection. There are three circumstances where a termite inspection should be performed:
- As a prospective home buyer. During the buying process, potential homeowners should request a termite inspection which can show any potential termite damage and provide time for treatment and repairs during the negotiation phase of the transaction.
- As a homeowner. All homeowners should have a professional termite inspection every 3 to 5 years. By doing this, homeowners can catch infestations early and appropriate treatments or prevention techniques can be implemented before the damage progresses.
- If termite treatment has been performed previously. Homeowners who have had termite treatments done in the past should also schedule ongoing, routine termite inspections to maintain treatment and monitoring going forward. Most termite control companies offer these services as part of their termite protection plan with their treatments.
If you suspect you have a termite problem, contact a professional pest control company who can provide you with a thorough inspection and comprehensive treatment and prevention plan.
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