As a homeowner, your property is one of your biggest investments. However, a termite invasion can quickly and quietly destroy your home’s value. Preventing termite damage begins with understanding termites, what they eat and key signs of an infestation. Here are some things you could be doing that are attracting termites.
WHAT ATTRACTS TERMITES?
In general, termites create colonies near sources of food. Because termites eat soft or rotting wood, they usually seek moist places or places where decayed wood is present. Homes and the surrounding property can become prime environments for termite colonies if wood is not treated or maintained. These situations encourage termites to move from their natural habitats into developed areas.
There are several different types of termites that you’re likely to find infesting your home. Subterranean termites create colonies in the ground near sources of wood and use specially dug tunnels known as mud tubes to move from place to place. A subterranean termite nest can be huge, spanning multiple properties. Dampwood termites are specifically drawn to moist, soft wood. They build colonies in structures where moisture is often present, such as cellars, crawlspaces, sheds and other outdoor wooden structures. Drywood termites don’t require as much moisture to survive, so they will often build their colonies in other locations with lots of wood. They can be found throughout a home and even in places like attics and garages.
Here are some DIY things you can do to prevent a termite problem from developing in your home.
PILES OF WOOD
Firewood and woodpiles can attract termites, drawing them closer to your home. Then, termites will migrate from the piles of wood to the housing structure, causing a great deal of damage inside. To avoid a termite invasion, stack wood 20 feet away from your home and keep it at least five inches off the ground.
Dead trees and stumps attract termites as they rot. Termites will migrate from this excess foliage to your home. To prevent this, clear stumps and dead trees from your yard.
TREE LIMBS AND LEAVES
Tree limbs and leaves that touch the roof can attract termites to your home. These branches give termites a pathway from the ground to your house. Regular tree trimming can dissuade termites from migrating to your roof.
Similar to tree limbs, mulch can draw termites closer to your home. The wood chips retain moisture, providing an attractive food source, especially for dampwood termites. Lower your likelihood of developing a termite problem, especially in your home’s foundation, by keeping mulch at least 15 inches from your foundation.
As leaves and twigs build up in your gutters, the excess moisture softens or rots your roof. These soft spots allow termites to penetrate your home. Clean gutters lower the opportunities for termites to invade by preventing a soft or rotting roof