The Hidden Threat: Dos And Don’ts To Prevent A Termite Infestation
It’s hard to miss an infestation of ants or paper wasps, but the more secluded colonies of termites can live for months without being detected. According to Pestworld, termites are not only reclusive, but are also more efficient at destroying wood than any other pest. By the time an exterminator is called in, it’s often too late to prevent damage to the house they’ve inhabited.
While you shouldn’t lie awake at night wondering if termites are setting up house within your walls, you should take the time to educate yourself about termites’ habits so you can effectively counter their efforts to invade your home. This article offers dos and don’ts of protecting your home from termite damage.
- Do discourage the termites before they get started. Since several species of termites enjoy high humidity levels, maintain low humidity inside your house. Try to keep your house sealed up and use dehumidifiers.
- Do establish a barrier to keep termites from attacking your home straight from the ground. You may opt for a professionally installed chemical barrier around your house, or you may prefer to establish a space barrier. This means making sure there’s a gap of an inch or more between the soil and any wooden parts of your house.
- Do keep your gutters and downspouts in working order. Excessive moisture around your foundation tends to attract termites.
- Don’t encourage termites to set up a colony near your house. If you have unprotected wood (such as scrap wood for building projects or firewood for burning), don’t pile it within twenty feet of the building. You should also check the garden beds and landscaping around your home. Be sure not to use wood chip mulch or wooden retaining walls, which can also attract termites.
- Don’t allow termites come in through cracks in your walls near the foundation of the house. This means you’ll need to make the rounds every so often with sealant in hand to catch any new cracks before the termites find them.
As a responsible homeowner, you can have a clear conscience after you’ve taken these steps to protect your house. A final word on termite damage prevention: If you do detect an infestation despite your best prevention efforts, you must nip it in the bud. Since it may only take a few months for a colony to structurally impair your home, waste no time in calling the exterminator, if you suspect that termites are ravaging your home’s internal structure.