Termites are not something that any homeowner wants to encounter. They have a reputation for destroying houses. A colony can eat a foot of 2×4 in just five months. That may not sound impressive but consider several of the supporting timbers in your house with 2-3 inches of wood missing.
Of course, termites eat tunnels through wood. You won’t see a missing section but you’ll find the wood becomes soft and easily broken in various sections.
It’s important to be prepared for a termite invasion. There are two key steps.
1. Detecting and Dealing With Termites
It’s best to know how to avoid attracting termites as this eliminates the issue. But, it’s also a good idea to invest in termite bait stations. These attract termites and encourage them to take the bait. They will then mark the bait station as safe, allowing you to give them poisoned food and potentially kill the entire colony.
It’s a good way of finding out you have a termite issue and dealing with it straight away.
2. Knowing What Attracts Them
There are several mistakes you’re probably making that attract termites to your home. Knowing them and eliminating the attraction will help to keep your home termite-free.
If you have a real fire or wood-burning stove you’ll probably have a stack of firewood outside. Unfortunately, this is a haven for all sorts of pests, including termites. If you have your wood stack near the house the termites will inevitably come to take a look.
But, if you make sure the wood is at least 20 feet from your home it’s unlikely they’ll travel the extra distance.
If you haven’t got round to clearing your gutters then you need to. Gutters generally fill up with leaves that prevent drainage and clog together, retaining the moisture. Termites, and many other pests, are attracted to the moisture as they need it to survive. You’re effectively giving them a nice place to stay!
Termites need to get to the wood in your house and the easiest way for them to do this is to bury under the ground beside your home and find a way into your basement or foundations.
However, termites can’t bury through concrete. If you add a layer of concrete around the exterior of your home you’ll make it hard for them to get to your foundations. Make the concrete several inches deep and ensure they come out at least half-a-foot from the house.
Mulch is a great way for your plants to retain water. However, this moisture is also attractive to termites and they’ll come straight for it. That gets them closer to your home which is not a desirable outcome. Replace the mulch with gravel, especially if it’s closer than two feet to your foundations.
It’s important to be attentive. Even with a bait trap and taking sensible steps to keep termite away, they may find their way to your home. By paying attention you’ll be able to spot them early and eliminate the issue before they do serious damage to your home.