Simple Ways to Protect Your Home From Termites [Video]
It's termite season, and the last thing any of us want is for our homes to damaged by them. Termite damage can be not only frustrating but quite costly as well. Here are some tips to help keep those house munching menaces from ruining your happy home.
The Entomology Department at the University of Kentucky has put together some easy-to-follow tips that can help you in your battle against termites this season.
1. Check your house for, and eliminate any "earth-to-wood contact". Look for things like wooden latticework and piles of mulch that may have contact with the ground and your house. Things like this can be used by termites for food and shelter and can be the perfect way for them to work their way into your home. It's recommended to keep anything wooden on the outside of your home at least 6 inches above ground level.
2. Don't let moisture accumulate around your home. Termites look for moisture and will nest in the wet soil. Check the outside of your home for leaking faucets, pipes, and your outside AC unit for water. Also, check your gutters, concrete splash blocks, and downspouts to make sure they're properly diverting water away from your home.
3. If your house or building has any crawlspaces, look for any moisture and check to make sure humidity is low. Again, high humidity buildup and moisture can be a breeding ground for termites. If you discover you have an issue with ventilation, proper vents and vapor barriers can be installed by most pest control companies.
4. Make sure you don't have anything like firewood, cardboard boxes, lumber, or piles of newspapers resting against your house or stored in a crawlspace. Obviously, things like this are an all-you-can-eat buffet for termites. Remove plants such as vines and ivy from growing on your house and remove and tree stumps and dead roots as well.
5. Let's talk about mulch again. If you're like me, you've probably used too much recently sprucing up your yard and flowerbeds, and it's probably spread too close to your house. Take a look and remove as much excess mulch as you can and make sure it's at least two to three inches away from your home. It doesn't matter what type of wood the mulch is because it all retains water, and termites love that.
6. Call a professional! All of the above tips will certainly help to keep termites away from your home, but the best defense is to have your home protected with a termiticide from a professional.
There are a few things to look for that can let you know you have a termite problem. The University of Kentucky says to look for the following -
Pencil-wide mud foraging tunnels on foundations, piers, sills, joists, etc.
Winged "swarmer" termites, or their shed wings, on windowsills and along the edges of floors.
Damaged wood hollowed out along the grain, lined with bits of mud or soil.
Read more over at entomology.ca.uky.edu.