Termites are one of the most destructive pests, causing significant damage to homeowners in the United States each year. Termites often go long periods of time undetected, allowing a termite infestation to proliferate inside your home. But what causes a termite infestation in the first place? What attracts termites to your home?
Termites are attracted to moisture, especially subterranean termites. Damp basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, leaky pipes, and stagnant water around foundations are common areas that termites are attracted to. Rotten or water damaged wood should be replaced immediately. Leaky or broken pipes should also be repaired as soon as they are discovered. Make sure roofs and gutters are cleaned properly and that proper drainage systems are established. Check and repair issues with foundations. Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in attics, crawlspaces, basements, and any other rooms where humidity is high.
Termites will feed on just about any type of wood. This includes new wood, painted wood, treated wood, rotted wood, water damaged wood, wood mulch, wallpaper, and shelf paper. As such, care should be taken to reduce access to wood in and around your home. Foliage and mulch should be kept at least 28″ away from foundations. Wood mulch should be replaced with another coverage medium, like rubber mulch or treated cedar. Anywhere wood comes into contact with the sides of your home also provide a bridge termites can use for access. This allows them to make their way inside, even bypassing soil that has been treated with termiticides. Get rid of any vines, trellises, mulch, stumps, firewood, etc. that is close to your home’s foundation. Trim limbs away that touch the roof, as well.
Termites are silent destroyers, eating wood from the inside out, allowing them to establish colonies and infestations before any signs of their presence arise. It is important to recognize the signs of termites so they can be detected earlier before they can cause significant damage. It is also beneficial to have an annual termite inspection performed by a termite control company. These professionals will inspect the interior and exterior of your home, looking for signs of termite activity or previous termite damage. They can then present you with the best termite control options when necessary.