Termites can do a lot of damage in a short period of time, and once they invade, eradicating them from your home is not easy. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to prevent your home from falling victim to termite damage. Follow these six tips to keep the wood-chewing invaders away.
1. Repair or Replace Leaky Windows
Many termite invasions begin on window sills. Old windows develop leaks, allowing water to seep in and damage the sills. Termites are then attracted to the moist, decaying wood. Once termites move into the window sills, they may travel to your baseboards, wall studs, and the other wooden components in your home.
If you notice that your old windows have begun to leak, then have them replaced before the wood begins rotting. In the meantime, use rope caulk to seal any gaps between the frame and sash. This will keep water from seeping in and making the problem worse.
2. Don't Place Plants Directly Against Your Foundation
When homes are built in termite-prone areas, builders usually place a layer of insecticide along the foundation to prevent termites from entering the home. If you plant shrubs, flowers, or other plants directly against the foundation, you'll disturb this layer and make a termite infestation more likely.
Do not disturb the soil within 12 inches of your foundation, and plant all shrubs at least three feet back from your home's foundation.
3. Keep Your Gutters Clear
If your gutters become clogged with dirt and debris, water will build up on the roof, leading to moisture damage. The rotten wood surrounding the gutters may attract termites. Make sure you clean your gutters twice a year—or even more often if you have a tree overhanging your roof. Consider having gutter guards installed over your gutters to keep leaves from accumulating quickly.
4. Check for Plumbing Leaks Regularly
Small plumbing leaks can easily go unnoticed if you are not looking for them. However, even a small amount of water can cause damage to your walls, floors, and foundation, thereby attracting termites. Every couple of months, look over any exposed pipes and make sure you do not see any spots of moisture.
Another good way to check for leaks is to turn off your water and all the water-using appliances in your home. Then, look at the water meter. If the dial is still spinning, then you probably have a leak somewhere. Have your plumber come locate and repair the leak.
5. Store Wood Carefully
When termites are on your property, you'll have a harder time keeping them out of your home. To avoid attracting termites to your property, make sure you store wood carefully. For example, you should stack wood outside, rather than indoors. If possible, store your wood in a shed, first placing a plastic tarp on the floor to prevent contact between the wood and the soil.
Check over firewood before purchasing it, and do not buy wood that shows signs of termite damage.
6. Remove Dead Trees and Stumps
Dead trees and rotting tree stumps can also attract termites to your property. If you have a dead or dying tree, then have it removed sooner rather than later. Have your tree care company remove the stump as well. If you have any stumps on your property, then rent a stump grinder to grind them down, or use a chemical stump remover from your local home and garden store.
When you follow the tips above, your home should be safe from termites. If you do notice signs of termites, such as frass and loose wings along your window sills, contact the experts at A-All Pest Termite Exterminators Inc. We can inspect your home and provide you with safe, effective extermination services.