Termites are the most common wood-destroying insects. While they are more problematic in some areas, termites impact homes across the United States. By the time you notice signs of termites, property damage has likely already occurred. Take these steps to prevent termites at home and be proactive about protecting your property.
Why Prevent Termites at Home
Termites travel to your home in swarms or by accessing your home from underground. They burrow and gnaw at wooden surfaces including wood outside your home, like stacks of firewood or decking materials. Once in your home, termites can destroy wooden support beams and attic foundations. As the wood is weakened, your home’s structural integrity is at risk. Here are a few of the essential steps to follow to prevent termites at home.
1. Store Wood Away From Your House
Subterranean termites create tunnels through moist soil as they move from one wood source to another. Wood that is stored on the ground or very close to the soil line is often targeted by these pests. Stacks of firewood or any other wood materials stored outside should be relocated as far from the home as possible. Purchase a metal rack to elevate and store the wood. The rack should place the wood several inches above the ground.
2. Identify and Remedy Moist Areas
Termites are more active in damp areas. When the soil around your home remains moist due to poor drainage, leaky pipes, or excessive foliage, it attracts termites to the area. Identify all factors that contribute to excessive moisture and remedy these situations to prevent termites at home.
3. Keep the Ground Level Lower Around the Foundation
While moist soil may draw termites to the area, the termites will not climb upward indefinitely in search of wood. If your home has a crawlspace or slab-on-grade with vinyl siding, the soil line should remain at approximately a half-foot to a full foot below the base of the home, where the brick or siding begins.
4. Prevent Termites in the Home by Eliminating Favorable Conditions
Ordering a professional termite inspection every year is a step to identify termites and the conditions they prefer. A termite inspector will determine if your home has an active infestation. Early detection and treatment keep property damage to a minimum. An inspection also identifies favorable conditions for a termite infestation. Knowing these specific areas of concern, you can address problems before termites invade your space.
Preventing termites involves eliminating the features on your property that attract termites. While these steps may not entirely protect your home against a termite infestation, they reduce your risk of having to deal with damage caused by these wood-destroying insects.