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JANUARY 07 2020 / PEST AND TERMITE
It’s a common misconception to think there is nothing you can do to protect your home from termites because they’re underground, right? Actually, there is a lot you can do! There are three things termites need to survive: food, water, and shelter. Reducing these conditions around your home can greatly reduce your risk of having an infestation of termites.
As mentioned above, termites need water and it doesn’t matter where they get it. Be sure to identify and fix all water leaks in your home, both internal and external. Remove any standing or pooling water from around your home, and keep all gutters clear of debris. Vegetation can create areas of intense moisture, so removing any brush or heavy growth can also help eliminate their water source.
We know mulch looks good, but try to avoid using it near your home. The qualities of mulch that make it attractive to use in the garden are the very qualities that attract termites. Mulch provides two things to hungry termites: a food source and a water source. If it is placed near the exterior of your home, it is only a small step for a colony to move into your walls. As an alternative to wood mulch, try using one of the newer rubber mulches now available at your local home improvement center. They have the look and benefits of mulch without providing the risks.
Remember, wood is their primary food source. Try to store all excess building materials and firewood away from the house. Scrap wood touching the ground is an open invitation to hungry termites. If your property is not large enough for wood storage away from the house, create barriers beneath the wood to prevent direct access to the termites. Thick concrete slabs or heavy-duty metal stands can be used to raise the wood off of the ground. If possible, remove any dead trees or roots, and old stumps in your yard. As they decay they attract termites to the area by providing a food source. When the food is gone, the termite colony will look for new sources of food. This includes your house.
Seal any cracks or holes within the foundation of your home. This will help prevent easy access for foraging termites. If your home is on a crawl space, make sure the crawl space area is properly ventilated. Adequate airflow prevents the buildup of moisture needed by termite colonies.