Termites are one of the most dreaded household pests. The National Pest Management Association recently reported that termites cause approximately $5 billion annually in damage to homes.
In New England, subterranean termites are the termites most commonly found invading homes and causing the most damage. Termites need food moisture and warmth to survive and breed. The most commonly make their way into your home through its foundation.
There is a lot a homeowner can do to prevent an infestation. Below are seven simple tips homeowners you can use to help to help prevent a termites infestation.
1. Keep mulch away from the foundation
For most New England landscapes homeowners use mulch. Mulch has an ingredient called cellulose that attracts termites. In addition, mulch as the ability to retain moisture which is exactly what termites need to live and breed. There are certain types of mulches that contain resins that defend against termites. These mulches are made from cypress and cedar, although the resins do fade after time. The best practice is If using mulch make sure it is at least 15 inches from your foundation and not near any vents. All mulch beds should only be two to three inches deep.
2. Stack firewood off the ground
Earth to wood is probably the most common area for termite infestation. These critters absolutely love soft wood. Firewood provides the perfect living and breeding conditions for termites. Store your firewood at least 20 feet from your home to help prevent infestation. Also, a good tip is to not store firewood directly on the ground. Keep it a few inches off the ground so you don’t create another breeding area.
3. Trim trees and bushes
Overgrown tree limbs and bushes block the sunlight which creates moisture build up and in turn that moisture attracts termites.
4. Fix leaky pipes and drains
Wet environments are a breeding ground for termites. Inside your home, fix any leaky pipes and any malfunctioning air conditioner condensation lines that may be dripping. Outside, make sure there is no standing water around the house, either around the foundation of your house or on your roof. Another tip for outside – make sure to divert water away from your home by using downspouts. This will help to prevent any standing water near your foundation.
5. Seal all the cracks and crevices
Termites are able to enter your home through any small crack, services or joints. Make sure to seal all of those areas to prevent termites from entering. Sealing will also prevent any moisture from getting into your home. Applying a fresh coat of paint can seal small crevices in the wood and wood shingles. Also another easy fix is to install bug screens over attic vents to prevent entry.
6. Ventilate properly
Another way to help prevent termite invasion is to properly ventilate crawls space, basements, and attics. Without proper ventilation these areas can become damp and moist. Termites thrive in areas that have moisture as they need a water source to survive. Also, make sure to throw away any extra building materials that may be stored in that area.
7. Get professional termite treatment
After taking all the steps you can to prevent an infestation of your home the next wise step is to reach out to a professional. A pest control professional can confirm that have taken all the proper prevention steps to prevent an infestation and they can help you to take the next steps to to make sure you have properly taken all the steps as a homeowner to prevent an infestation then they can take it the next steps to eliminate any other potential problems.