Termites have the potential to invade your living space, even though you have done nothing wrong. This bug invasion can quickly destroy your home’s value. Preventing such damage starts with a willingness to understand these nasty little pests in order to gauge why they are so interested in infiltrating our living spaces.
Why Termites are Attracted to Homes: Wood
For the most part, termites form colonies around sources of food. Termites consume rotting or soft wood so they are in constant search of moist spaces. Homes and the nearby spaces often end up as prime environments for these pesky little devils. In particular, homes with piles of wood indoors or near the house tend to attract termites. Firewood and piles of other types of wood will draw termites that much closer to the home.
Termites will gradually move from the piles of wood to the structure of the home itself. It is only a matter of time until the termites cause significant damage to the interior of the home. Wood should be stacked at least 20 feet away from the house to prevent a termite invasion. Ideally, all wood stored near the home will be kept at a minimum of five inches above the ground to prevent termites from gaining access.
Termites are Interested in Mulch
Mulch will attract termites closer to your home just like logs of wood. Wood chips hold onto moisture, ultimately serving as a viable source of food for termites and other critters. Store your mulch a minimum of a foot away from your home’s foundation to decrease the likelihood of a termite invasion.
Foliage Attracts Termites
Dead trees rot, attracting termites and other pests. Termites will gradually shift from the excessive foliage around your home to the interior of your home. You can help reduce the likelihood of an invasion by clearing away all dead trees and stumps from your property in a timely manner.
Leaves and Tree Limbs Facilitate Termite Invasions
Leaves and tree limbs that contact the roof of your home serve as bridges for termites to invade your living space. If there are any such pathways connecting your house to other parts of your property, trim them without delay. Ideally, the trees and shrubs around your home will be trimmed every couple months.
Mind Those Gutters
Clogged gutters are one of the most surprising causes of termite invasions. Twigs, leaves, debris and random junk will gradually build up in the gutters. The additional moisture resulting from these clogs will rot, or at least soften, the roof. The resulting soft spots provide termites with a pathway into the home. Be sure to have your home’s gutters cleaned at least two times each year so you do not provide termites and other creepy critters with easy entry into your home.
Moisture is especially appealing to subterranean termites that establish colonies in soil. If your home has standing water, it will attract termites. Leaky pipes will also attract termites. Ensure the foundation of your home has the proper ventilation. Remove landscaping that permits the buildup of humidity near the crawl space. Examine the roof gutters at least once each year to guarantee there is sufficient drainage.
Openings in the Roof, Walls and/or Foundation
Termites will squeeze on in through the smallest cracks in your home. Even a diminutive crack in your home’s foundation can provide an avenue for subterranean termites to move on in. Your home’s doors, windows and other points of entry should be inspected on an annual basis for openings. If there are cracks, caulk or other fillers must be applied as appropriate. Otherwise, termites and other bugs will have an easy means of entry into your home.