Every year, termites cause over $5 billion worth of damage to homes throughout the United States.
They’re nearly every homeowner’s worst nightmare, and for good reason. Termites can quickly and, in many cases, silently cause serious damage to your home.
Naturally, you probably want to know how to prevent termites and keep them from damaging your property.
The good news is that there are a lot of steps you can take to avoid termites and termite damage. Listed below are seven steps that will help you keep these pests out of your home.
What Causes Termite Infestations?
Before we get into specific steps for preventing termite infestations, let’s go over some causes.
When they’re in a position where they need to call for termite control, many homeowners want to know if they did anything to cause it. Sometimes, they did, and sometimes, they didn’t.
Some common causes of termite infestations include:
Moisture, often from leaking pipes, clogged rain gutters, or standing water in or around the foundation of your home.
Wood and wood structures that are located too close to the home create a bridge for termites to get into the house.
Location of the home — homes in the wettest parts of the country, such as the South and Gulf Coast, are more likely to experience termites.
Cracks in your home, especially in the foundation, roof, or walls.
Some of these causes are preventable and others are not. You might not be able to control the location of your home, but you can still take steps to protect your home from termites.
How to Prevent Termites
Now that you know some of the reasons why termites might show up in your home, let’s talk about keeping them away.
Here are seven steps you can take to prevent termites.
1. Trim Shrubbery
Keep the shrubbery surrounding your home neatly trimmed. Ideally, there should be at least 12 inches of space between the exterior walls of your home and the shrubbery itself.
By creating plenty of space between the house and shrubbery, you allow for proper air flow. This, in turn, allows damp areas to dry more quickly. This will help to reduce moisture and deter termites.
Trim back your tree limbs, too. If tree limbs touch the roof, they could create a bridge to help termites get into your house through the roof.
2. Stop Using Mulch
Mulch is very appetizing to certain types of termites, namely subterranean termites.
Instead of using mulch, try using pine needles, pea gravel, or another type of non-organic material.
These kinds of materials will have the same effect as mulch, but they’re less appetizing to termites. They’re also less appealing to other pests like ants.
3. Termite-Proof Your Crawlspace
If your home has a crawlspace, take steps to make it an uninviting location for termites.
Your crawlspace should have proper ventilation and a vapor barrier. This will help to reduce moisture and keep it from reaching the sub floor and floor joists in your home.
By keeping moisture out of your crawlspace, you’ll reduce your risk of termite infestation. You’ll also reduce your risk of mold and fungal growth, neither of which is good for your home or its occupants.
4. Seal Cracks
A bit of preventative maintenance can go a long way when you’re trying to keep termites out of your home. Dedicate a day to going around your house and checking for cracks.
Seal what you can yourself and hire a professional to come in a take care of the rest. Remember that the cost of paying a professional will be much less than the cost of getting rid of termites.
You also ought to make sure that the windows and wooden siding of your home are well-maintained. If there are cracks or gaps in these areas, it’s like you’re asking for termites to come inside.
5. Move Wood Piles
If you have a wood pile, move it away from your house. This is especially important if your house has wooden siding. You might also want to treat your wood with a termite-repelling spray or product to further reduce your risk of dealing with these pests.
6. Minimize Moisture
In addition to filling in cracks, do whatever you can to get rid of excess moisture in your home.
If you have leaking pipes or other plumbing issues, get them fixed as soon as possible. Make sure there’s no water pooling on your roof, too, and be sure to address any moisture problems in your basement.
7. Check for Signs of Termites
Finally, make sure you are able to recognize the signs of termites. Check your house on a regular basis for the following signs:
Clicking sounds in the walls
Hard-to-open windows and doors
Termite droppings — they look like small black marks or a black powdery substance
Paint damage — it may be uneven or bubbled up
If you notice any of these signs, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a termite infestation.
What to Do If You Have Termites
What should you do if you notice signs of a termite infestation?
Call an exterminator immediately. Remember, termites can cause serious damage to your home, and they work fast. Don’t try to tackle this problem yourself.
The sooner you can get a professional to come out and assess the problem, the sooner you’ll be able to fix it and the less damage the termites will cause.
Hire an Exterminator Today
As you can see, there are a lot of steps you can take to keep termites away from your house.
But, what if you are past the “how to prevent termites” stage? What if you have noticed signs of termites and need to get rid of these pests ASAP?
If you’re in this boat right now, we can help at Reynolds Pest Management.
We have years of experience eliminating all kinds of pests, including termites.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate.
Worried about the cost of extermination? We offer a great financing plan — no payments and no interest as long you pay for the service in full within 12 months!