Termites are a serious problem for homeowners throughout the United States. They eat through wood and building materials leading to thousands of dollars of damage, often not covered by homeowners insurance. The best way to save yourself the cost of restoring termite damage is to take action to prevent termites.
Prevent Termites: Remove Common Access Points
Like other pests, termites look for the easiest way to enter your home. To prevent termites, seal cracks and spaces around pipes and gas lines. Regularly examine the exterior of your home and foundation for holes that pests could go through. Wood that is in contact with the foundation or side of the home also entices termites. Keep wood for your fireplace stacked at least ten feet from the house.
Eliminate Food Sources to Prevent Termites
In addition to keeping wood a safe distance from your house, keep any excess cellulose-rich material out of your home. Some types of landscaping mulch contain cellulose. Keep wood-based mulch 6 inches or further from the foundation to prevent termites. Alternative mulches, like pine needles, will not attract termites.
Repair Leaks and Saturated Wood
Elevated moisture levels and saturated building materials lead to mold growth, leading to termites who eat the sodden wood. If you discover a leaking faucet or pipe in your house, make repairs immediately and thoroughly dry and dehumidify the area. If the wood is beyond repair, hire a professional to replace it.
Prevent Termites: Get Rid of Tree Stumps
After a tree is removed, some homeowners opt to leave the stump in the ground to cut down on expenses. However, tree stumps are appealing food for termites. Once they run out of food in the stump, termites will look for a new food source and might end up inside your house. To prevent termites, have tree stumps professionally removed and dug up.
Apply Termiticide Around Your Home
Pest control companies use liquid termiticide as a way to prevent termites. This liquid is not hazardous to humans, and it is applied around the perimeter of the building. If you have plants right next to your home, tilling the soil and watering it will degrade the termiticide prematurely. Avoid planting shrubs or flowers within six inches of your house to avoid penetrating the barrier and creating an avenue for termites to enter.
Schedule a Home Inspection
If your home has risk factors for termite activity, scheduling an annual termite inspection from a skilled home inspector will catch action before it progresses. During the inspection, the inspector will check for signs of termite activity like tunnels, structural damage, and problems like damp wood that could lead to eventual termite activity. The cost of this inspection is far less than the cost of termite remediation.