Termites infesting a home

Termite Control

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Termite Prevention in Your Home

Termites are very destructive pests, their insatiable hunger for wood causes billions of dollars worth of damage in the US alone each year. These crawling insects can cause major structural damage to a property in just six months, and can completely destroy a home in just two years. 

Termites feed on cellulose. Cellulose is the main component in the cell walls of plants. It is the most abundant organic compound on Earth. This dietary requirement means that termites can, and will, devour the wooden structures of buildings as well as furniture, money, and even clothes. 

Termite swarm season, which usually happens during the early months of spring, is when your home is most at risk. During this period, winged termites leave their nest to mate and start a new colony, which could be in your home! 

Below are a list of areas in your home that are susceptible to termite infestations and tips on how you can prevent them.

How To Prevent Termites

Exterior

The exterior of your home can often act as a portal to your home, putting it at risk of termite damage

Roof 

Broken tiles create moisture which attracts termites, and can provide a gateway inside. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Repair broken roof tiles 
  • Check for dampness in your roof and dehumidify if you find a problem 

Air conditioner unit 

Air conditioning units provide moist environments, something which termites love. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Ensure the moisture release of air conditioning units are away from the foundations of your home

Attic

Your attic can be a prime location for termite activity, which can often go unnoticed for years. 

Wooden beams 

The wooden beams in an attic are often exposed and provide termites with a free meal. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Check regularly for termite damage by pressing thumb against the timber to check if it feels spongy 
  • Apply a termite treatment spray or call an exterminator if you are concerned! 

Boxes 

Cardboard boxes filled with paper and photos are a good source of food for termites. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Use plastic boxes to store items in the attic

Living Room

A living room is a gold mine in terms of food. Many items of furniture are made from wood. 

Wooden flooring 

Wooden floor boards are a great source of food for termites. Being close to the ground they can act as a stepping stone for subterranean termites to the rest of your home.

Prevention tips: 

  • Carry out regular inspections for termite activity 
  • When building a new home lay down a termite barrier 

Skirting boards

Skirting boards are like a giant t-bone steak for termites, they also provide dry wood termites a stable living environment. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Check for termite damage by pressing thumb against the skirting board. 

Wooden furniture 

Wooden furniture makes your home all that more inviting for termites. It’s sort of like turning up to an all-you-can-eat buffet and finding out that dessert is included in the price. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Keep furniture away from walls 
  • Opt for items made of other materials such as metal.

Laundry Room

It may come as a surprise but even your clothes are subject to termite damage, although it is quite rare. 

Clothing 

Items of clothing are made from materials such as cotton which contain cellulose, a termite’s favorite dish. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Keep laundry off the ground and away from walls

Garage

Garages can act as a goldmine of food for termites depending on what’s stored inside. They can also act as a passageway into your home if the two are connected. 

Storage units 

Storage units are a good source of food for termites depending on the contents. They can also provide termites with easy access to shelves and other areas of the garage high up. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Keep storage units away from walls 
  • Use metal stands instead of wood

Kitchen

A kitchen can be a haven for termites due to the limitless sources of food and entry points. 

Windows and doors 

During swarming season windows and doors make it easy for termites to inhabit your home. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Make sure windows and doors are kept shut during swarming season 

Leaky pipes 

Leaky drain pipes create moisture and damp which termites are attracted to. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Inspect external and internal pipes regularly 
  • Repair any damages to pipes to stop them from leaking 

Cupboards 

Built in wooden cupboards provides termites with a food source. They are also close to walls and floors providing termites with an easy opportunity. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Regularly inspect your cupboards for termite activity. If you are worried, call professional pest specialists!

Garden

Ever seen the movie Hook? Remember the banquet scene? Well, that’s exactly what a garden is like for termites. 

Tree Stumps 

Tree stumps are a good source of food for termites. Trees are a great way for termites to get one of their five a day, five pieces of wood that is. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Remove old tree stumps from your garden 

Mulch 

Garden mulch is not only high in moisture, it is also mainly made up of wood chippings. Think of it as a giant bag of candy for termites. 

Prevention tips:

  • Use mulch made from other materials such as gravel, plastic, and rubber 
  • Leave a gap between the mulch and the foundations of your home 

Fencing and decking 

Subterranean termites use underground tunnels to search for food. Fence posts and decks that come in contact with the ground provide termites with a free meal. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Use termite-resistant or treated fence posts 
  • Replace wooden fence posts with ones made from metal and rock 

If you live in an area prone to termite activity opt for an alternative garden feature to decking. 

Wood stacked against the house 

Fire wood stacked against the house can act as an open invitation to your home for termites. It’s sort of like when supermarkets hand out free samples. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Store wood elevated off the ground and away from your home.

Termite Inspection and Removal

You may have noticed that the majority of these prevention tips involve carrying out regular inspections for termites. In doing so you are creating a proactive method in keeping your home safe from these wood boring insects. 

A termite exterminator will be able to correctly inspect a property for termites, and identify any issues as well as recommending the correct course of termite control options. An annual termite inspection will help ensure your property is protected against the potential for termites to much their way through your home. 

For more information on our termite control program, call your local Western Exterminator pest control specialists at 888-674-0921 or fill out our online form.


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