How to Prevent Termites
Whether it’s the house you’ve been in for years or one you’ve just moved into, knowing how to prevent termites is an important bit of knowledge. It’s easy and most often budget friendly to prevent them before it becomes a problem that may cost you expensive repairs and professional extermination. Termites are persistent, quickly multiply into large numbers and they could be gnawing away at your home right now.
Termites are just one of the few insects that live in colonies that are known to eat constantly. Just one termite colony can almost completely consume a 2×4 in a year. While this might not sound like much to you right now, consider the potential problems that could arise if that 2×4 is an important support beam in your house. Most often, when there is one colony of termites, there are more colonies close by, all searching for food. When the amount of damage is multiplied 4 to 5 times, knowing how to prevent termites suddenly seems more critical.
Termites have been shown to be one of the biggest contributors when it comes to destroying homes. On average, the damage they do costs homeowners around $1 billion in repairs every year, and this number continues to grow. A colony will consist of anywhere from 300,000 to well over one million termites that have various jobs. One termite queen is capable of laying thousands of eggs per day, and can live for around 30 years on average. All of this can lead to a queen easily recouping her losses, and repopulating the colony if not exterminated thoroughly. This being said, the easiest way to prevent these pests from damaging your home, is to know how to prevent termites.
Before someone knows how to prevent termites, they need to know what termites need to survive:
Soil. Many species of termites are subterranean, this means they build colonies underground. This type of termite loves soil, and will often build elaborate tunnel systems that have been found to extend as much as three feet below the ground surface. Termites often create mud tubes that will provide safe passage from their underground colonies to food sources above ground, just like the wood your home is made of.
Wood. Wood is abundant with the organic compound called cellulose, and this is the main food source for termites. This means termites devour the wood with an almost unquenchable hunger. Even a single piece of wood that touches soil can be found by a colony of termites. While it’s true that some species of subterranean termites will often consume other materials like humus, vegetation or even dung, their favorite, and most nutritious form of food is wood.
Water. Along with the majority of living things, termites usually can’t survive without a source of water. This can come from either a leaky pipe, or the rain. These pests will always seek out a source to keep moist to ensure their survival.
Now that you know what termites need to thrive, you are ready to learn some of the best tricks for how to prevent termites from entering your home.
- Make sure you’ve had all of the water leaks in your home repaired, even the minor ones can attract termites. This is the first step in preventing the pests, and it could also help you save money on water bills.
- Heavy vegetation can help provide the high moisture that termites love. Remove heavy brush and vegetation to discourage them.
- Ensure your home has no standing or pooling water around it. If water does pool in the yard near your home, install drain pipes or take measures to advert it.
- Remember that wood is a termites favorite food source, so you should always try to keep building materials and firewood away from the home. If you must store these materials close to your home, add a layer to act as a barrier.
- For any wooden structures that come into direct contact with the ground, use treated lumber. The chemicals in wood that has been treated will not be a guaranteed prevention, but it will deter the possibility for termites to snack on it. You can also buy concrete supports that are found in many home improvement stores when building a deck, these provide excellent barriers, and will prevent wood to soil contact.
- While mulch may be a great material for gardens, it provides two things that termites are attracted to, water and a food source. If you place mulch in a garden bed that’s near your home, termites will easily find their way into the wood of your home.
- Avoid burying lumber waste or scraps in your yard. This is an easy source of food, and can be quickly found by any termites in the area. Not giving them free food is one of the best tips we can give you for how to prevent termites.
- Seal up the cracks or holes in your foundation, no matter how small. These makes it more difficult for the termites to enter your home.
- Ensure there’s adequate airflow throughout all areas in your home. Proper air flow will help prevent moisture from building up, thus removing a necessary component for termites to survive.
- Have your home periodically inspected for termite damage. Termite inspections should happen once a year. Having someone trained on how to prevent termites look for signs of damage may catch something that you have missed.
Use these tips to on how to prevent termites, and have your home inspected when it’s time. This will considerably lower the possible amounts of damage termites can cause. And ensure you’ll be able to enjoy your home for many years to come.