Termite Prevention Tips

by J on August 20, 2010

The last thing most of us want to have to worry about is a bug infestation of any kind—creepy crawlies just belong outside. Much worse, however, than the creepy factor is the damage that certain types of insects can inflict on houses—particularly termites. It is far better to take measures to prevent a termite problem than it is to fix one, so read on for some tips on how to make your home not so appealing to termites.

Basements are often the places that termites infest, because termites are most active in soil. The only way to prevent an infestation in your basement is to be sure that your basement is completely sealed with no cracks. Most basements have cracks of some sort in the foundation or in the slab—and a small crack is all that a termite needs to get through.

Poured concrete foundations, block and brick foundations, crawl spaces, slabs and finished basements all have their Achilles’ heels, which make them vulnerable to termite infestations. A foundation repair specialist will be able to spot any problems and fix them. Food (wood) and moisture are important to termites as they move through dry air, so eliminating conditions that are conducive to their survival will help prevent a problem from starting.

  1. Wood structures should be six inches above grade level. Having wood in contact with the ground is like sending an invitation to the termites to move in to your house.
  2. Move any wood debris far away from the house. Wood debris left on or below the surface of the ground is food for termites. Check under your porches and crawl spaces and rid them of any construction or other wood material. Store logs away from the house and preferably up off the ground.
  3. Move plants and mulch away from the house. These things trap moisture, which can lure termites. If the plants are particularly dense, it makes an infestation hard to spot. Studies have been done that show a higher incidence of termites living under mulch (because of the moisture content) than living under bare soil. Experts recommend bare soil rather than mulch next to your foundation.
  4. Fix moisture problems. Make sure that all your gutters and downspouts drain away from the house and fix any grading problems to be sure that your property drains properly away from your home. Have a basement waterproofing expert check your lower level/crawl space for moisture problems. These experts will be able to pinpoint problem areas that may not be so obvious to homeowners and remedy them before an infestation gets started. For more information on this topic follow this link to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Being diligent with eradicating the conditions that make termites flourish and calling expert help when needed can help ensure that the creepy-crawlies you see will stay where they belong—outside.

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