A Quick Guide to Termite Prevention
Termites are usually found in warmer climates. They house their colonies within the wood on which they feed. As the termites consume wood, they burrow mazes of tunnels and chambers within walls and furniture.
Termites who mature from colonies (swarmers) typically leave the nest either during spring or during fall. This can vary based on the species and weather conditions.
When inspecting your home for termites, look for:
- Discolored or drooping drywall
- Peeling paint that resembles water damage
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Small, pinpoint holes in drywall
- Buckling wooden or laminate floor boards
- Tiles loosening from the added moisture termites can introduce to your floor
- Excessively squeaky floorboards
- Crumbling and damaged wood
- Stuck windows or doors
- Maze-like patterns in furniture, floor boards or walls
- Mounds of drywood termite pellets, often resembling small piles of salt or pepper
- Piles of wings left behind after swarms, often resembling fish scales
- Flying termite swarms anywhere on your property
Take the time to inspect your home in fall and spring time to look for signs of damage. Termites commonly make what are referred to as “mud tubes” along structures.
A DIY method of testing for signs of termites is to press your thumb into any wood structure. If the wood gives, you may have a termite problem and it’s time to call an exterminator.
Another termite treatment tactic is to look for small piles of grass and other signs that termites have been at work.
Other spaces you should inspect include:
- Any wood structures in basements and crawl spaces
- All sills, sub floors, joists, support posts, supporting piers, basement window frames, wood under porches
- Concrete structures like steps, porches, or slabs join the wooden structure
- All the hollow blocks, cracks in cement or brick construction and expansion joints
- Any scrap wood on the exterior, old tree stumps, fence posts and exterior frames of basement windows
How to Prevent Termites
Although you should always have a qualified exterminator handle termite infestations, there are some DIY ways of preventing termites from entering your home.
- Moisture build-ups are a termite hot spot. Fix all leaks immediately, maintain proper ventilation inside your home and Keep vents free from blockage, including plants.
- After any construction, keep the soil around the foundation dry through proper grading and drainage. This includes gutter and downspouts maintenance.
- Fill cracks in cement foundations and around where utilities pass through the walls with cement, grout, or caulk.
- Ensure that trees and shrubs are not planted too close to the structure of your home and do not allow them to grow against exposed wood surfaces.
Properly store all firewood and wood debris at least fifteen feet away from your home.