Termites, those ant-like, wood-eating insects, do more than five billion dollars in damage each year to American homes and businesses. Fortunately, termites are slow eaters. Therefore, taking steps to prevent termites from setting up housekeeping in your basement, walls or attic, can help these damaging bugs decide against your home in favor of another nesting site.
Tips for preventing termites from invading your home
1. Keep mulch and other wood away from your foundation line. Termites thrive on organic matter, such as wood chips. To help prevent termites from making the jump from your yard to the interior of your home, be sure to keep wood mulch at least two feet away from your foundation. You can fill in this area with shrubs or colorful perennials. In addition to keeping the mulch away from the foundation, wooden siding and trim boards should be at least a foot off of the ground.
2. Take care of any water issues promptly. Water and moisture are the other elements that are necessary for termites to thrive. Seemingly innocuous things like a dripping pipe, a leaky basement window or a bad seal on a toilet can all be open invitations for termites to move in. Outdoors, gutters and drain pipes should be kept clear of debris so that water doesn't pool around your foundation.
3. Inspect your trees regularly for any dead limbs. Dead trees, tree stumps and tree limbs can also be enticing to a termite colony. Prevent this by inspecting your property well at least twice a year and removing and disposing of any dead limbs promptly. Tree stumps should be ground down to the soil line.
4. Avoid storing newspapers and wood products in your attic or crawl spaces. Newspapers are made of cellulose and also an attractive food source for termites. Avoid storing newspapers, magazines and firewood in your attic as these can be an open invitation to termites. Are you really going to read those papers again anyway?
5. Seal all cracks in your foundation and around your doors and windows. It doesn't take more than a slight crack for termites to gain entry to your home. Slam the door in their faces by making sure that you seal any gaps or cracks you find promptly with quick-drying cement or caulk.
If you find that you do have a termite problem, despite taking all of these precautions, it's time to call a pest control professional like Palm Springs Pest Control Inc. Eradicating termites requires special equipment and training. It's not a good DIY project.