Are You Inviting Termites

termitesTermites do have a place in the environment and have been an important part of our ecological systems since the beginning of time. Termites infest dying trees and speed up the natural cycle of deterioration - allowing for new growth to begin.

Make Them Unwelcome

The first thing to do is to make your home a poor candidate for infestation. In general, the goal is to reduce moisture and organic matter around your home, and to prevent wood fiber from making contact with the ground.

  • Don't affix wooden trellises to exterior walls.
  • Keep mulch, wood debris, scrap lumber, sawdust, and firewood away from buildings.
  • Don't bury wood debris near your home.
  • Remove infested trees and stumps.
  • Repair leaking faucets and water lines, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Fix leaky roofs and gutters.
  • Don't allow leaves to accumulate in gutters or drains.
  • Grade soil so that water (including air conditioning condensate) runs away from foundations.
  • Ventilate crawl spaces and attics to reduce humidity.
  • Cover at least 90% of the soil in crawl spaces with plastic sheeting.
  • Make sure wood siding, stucco, and foam board are at least six inches away from the ground.

How Termites Get In

Once termites have discovered your house, they will search it for food - wood fiber. They will squeeze through cracks as narrow as the thickness of a sheet of paper. Expansion joints, foundation cracks, tiny gaps around plumbing, and electrical service entries are all opportunities for termites to enter your home. In homes with basements, they can enter where the floor and walls meet, and through small openings in the walls themselves.

Look For Signs

termitesTermites often leave some evidence of their presence. Look for small holes in wood, crumbling drywall, or sagging doors or floors. Insect wings are another sign, as termites shed their wings when they swarm.

Look, too, for the shelter tubes termites build to serve as their passageways across masonry or along pipes.

Keep in mind, though, just because you don't see any termites or termite damage, that doesn't necessarily mean they're not there. That's why it's important to have a professional inspection of your home to ensure it's termite-free.

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