Termites cause billions of dollars of damage in the United States every year. Learning how to prevent termites from damaging your walls, flooring, insulation, and yard will save you both time and money. Termites can wreak havoc and infest buildings at any time. In most cases, insurance companies won’t cover termite damage which can leave you as the homeowner, out of luck. With the proper prevention, including periodic professional inspections, you can protect your home from this devastating damage.
Signs of Termite Damage
Unfortunately, when you start noticing signs of termite damage, there has likely been an infestation for years. Here are some of the signs to look for in your home:
- Buckling ceilings and walls
- Appearance of water damage
- Mud tubes or tunnelling in your foundation
- Discarded termite wings
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Gritty brown material on the surface of damaged wood
- Painted walls that have bubbles and are peeling
- Seeing swarms of termites, mainly in the spring
- Small entry holes through drywall
How to Prevent Termites in the House
As the weather starts to get warmer, the presence of termites will rise as they start their search for food. While termites are extremely destructive, there are some preventative measures you can take to ward off these little pests.
1. Reduce and Remove Food Sources
Termites often infest damp or decaying wood which includes logs, dead trees, and old stumps. Do a thorough inspection of your yard and remove anything of this nature from the premises. Be certain to remove any cellulose-based structures exposed to moisture. Also, make sure that if you have wood siding, it’s at least six inches above the ground.
2. Reduce Access or Entry Points
Try to prevent any wood-to-ground contact on your property. Keeping your woodpile stacked up against your house can allow termites easy passage
into your home without being detected. It’s best to stack firewood away from your home and elevated it off the ground. Be cautious not to accidentally bring infested wood into your home or property. Termites are highly attracted to porch lights. Swarmers will flock to outside lights any chance they get. Turn off all unnecessary lights at night to keep termites from being attracted to your property.
Keeping your tree branches and overgrown bushes trimmed back and away from your home will also limit termite access to your home. Shrubbery can hide infestations while fostering a moist, safe environment termites seek out.
3. Eliminate Sources of Moisture
Having any form of moisture near your home’s foundation can create the perfect environment for termites to thrive. It’s very important to be certain that your gutters and drains are diverting water away from your home and that no water is allowed to pool up near the foundation. Routinely check that your gutters aren’t backed up with rotting leaves and that no debris is piling up on your roof.
Termites can’t survive without moisture so cutting off water sources is vital in how to prevent termites both inside and outside your home. Inside your home, it’s a good idea to check for leaky drains that can dampen the surrounding wood. Proper ventilation of your crawl space and attic will also prevent prime spaces for termites to infest.
4. Schedule Regular Termite Inspections by a Professional
The onset of termites can be prevented with scheduled periodic termite inspections for your local pest control professionals. These yearly inspections can immensely reduce the amount of damage created by catching the signs of termites early. A professional can not only eliminate termites but also prevent future termite infestations and costly damages and repairs. In certain areas of the country, it’s not a matter of if you may be affected by termites but when. It may seem a daunting task for you to keep up with, but a trusted professional knows how to protect your home and property so you can rest easy.
Natural Termite Prevention
If you’ve noticed signs of termites or are concerned about having an infestation, there are several natural termite prevention remedies you can try.
Everyone should keep a gallon or two of vinegar around at all times! It does wonders when it comes to cleaning your appliances, and even your hot tub. But, it also is very effective when it comes to killing termites. You can create a termite killer cocktail by mixing a half cup of vinegar with the juice from two lemons. Spray the mixture generously in any areas you suspect termites. The vinegar will kill them on contact. Repeat this process to ensure you get them all.
Borax powder can be sprinkled around the affected area to kill termites or mixed with water and sprayed around areas of infestation. It will also need to be applied often to reach the entire colony.
The oil found inside orange peels is deadly to termites. You can buy it from any garden or home improvement store in your area or online as well. Spray this oil in areas for preventative measures or areas you suspect termites may be. The orange oil dissolves the termites’ exoskeletons eventually causing them to die.
When nematodes are introduced to a colony of termites, they will munch away. Nematodes love to feed on termites and are very effective at eliminating them. You can release them into an infested area such as a tree stump and they will seek out and destroy the termites.
Sunlight and Heat
Termites will die when exposed to too much sunlight and heat. So, taking a UV lamp to an infested area will kill the tiny pests. If you have a piece of furniture you know has termites, take it outside and let the sun and heat do their magic.
While these natural treatments work best for small or new infestations, they likely won’t be effective enough for a full-blown infestation. Termites can quickly dig deep into parts of your home you can’t see or reach. For serious termite problems, a professional pest control service is your best bet.
How To Prevent Drywood Termites
Drywood termites can make your home rot from the inside out. They live in and digest wood. These insects don’t need water to survive and can cause considerable damage over time when undetected. Here are some tips to prevent drywood termites from entering your house.
- Put 20-grade mesh screens on all vents in your home. Also, put screens on your windows and doors to prevent entry.
- Use treated wood such as Spanish, cedar, or bald cypress as these woods are naturally resistant to dry wood termites. You can also apply an insecticide to wood that is toxic to termites but not dangerous to humans or pets.
- Never stack your firewood against or near your home. Firewood attracts dry wood termites and gives them easy access to your home. Move all lumber at least 20 feet away from your foundation.
- Drywood termites form new colonies by gaining access to wood through small holes. Seal all cracks and crevices in your structure to avoid letting termites invade.
Conclusion on How to Prevent Termites
Life is too short to focus your time and attention on termites. Now that you know how to get rid of termites you’re on the right track! But if you want professional help, let Vinx Pest Control take on that worry for you. We have three locations for your convenience in Dallas, Greenville, and Charleston. Our termite control prevents termites from ever coming into your home. With Sentricon bait stations, we draw termites away from your house. These bait stations are proven to eliminate termite problems and save you thousands of dollars from termite damage. We know termites inside and out and you can count on us protecting your property.