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How To Prevent Termites

Termites are an invasive species of insect that can cause considerable property damage.  They can chew through flooring, wood and wallpaper undetected.  They are also capable of causing significant structural harm at the property exterior.  Of all the insect colonies that can set up camp near your abode, this is one of only a select few that eats continuously.  For this and other reasons, learning how to prevent termites is one of the best things that you can do to protect what is for most people, their most expensive investment.

Eliminate Or Cover Standing Bodies Of Water

Like many other invasive insects, termites need adequate moisture to survive.  Standing bodies of stagnant water create the ideal drinking and breeding grounds for this species, especially subterranean termites.  Covering or draining pools and ponds, particularly during the spring months will limit the number of termites that congregate on or around the property.  Also fix any water leaks in your home as soon as possible and replace any water damaged timber in your home because termites love damp partially decomposing wood.

Close Off Entry Points

Termites are not just a problem at the property exterior.  They will go wherever there is sufficient food and water for their survival.  There are many structural materials on the inside of the home that are just as desirable as the ones outside.  Sealing off gaps around water and gas lines will eliminate the most common entry points for these insects.  It is also a good idea to repair all leaks at faucets, pipes and outside AC units.  Window air conditioning units should be properly installed and sealed to ensure that these do not permit termite access as well.

Recognize That Prevention Is A Three-Fold Process

An effective prevention plan will be a multi-pronged effort.  Homeowners can have regular, preventative treatments performed by termite control professionals.  These are especially important in regions in which termite populations flourish.  Consumers should also use strategies at the property interior and throughout all landscaped areas for making their homes less appealing.  Finally, it is important to take diligent action to identify and address any existing termite colonies on or around the actual building structure.  A prevention plan that lacks any of these steps is not an effective one.

Reduce Areas Of Wood To Ground Contact

Among the most common entry points for subterranean termites are areas in which structural wood comes in direct contact with the ground.  It is therefore important to eliminate or minimize wood to ground contacts around the property.  Bait systems and termiticides can be used in these areas to prevent infestation.  These efforts also pertain to secondary wood structures on the property such as wood tool sheds.  Termite infestations that affect secondary wood structures can begin to migrate to the actual home as the population expands.

Eliminate Wood Landscaping Features

Avoid landscaping features like wood mulch.  These are an attractive and abundant food source that will lure termites closer to your property.  Although wood mulch is becoming an increasingly common addition to yards given the limited amount of maintenance and resource that it requires, the related risk of developing a termite infestation more than offsets the benefits of this design strategy.  Consider artificial lawns or native plants instead.  There are also a number of low-cost mulch alternatives on the market that are cellulose-free.  Dead trees and fire wood should also be removed as these materials can harbor drywood termites as well.

Install Bug Screens And Paint Your Home

Seal off all vents at the attic and foundation by installing bug screens.  You should also resolve any moisture issues in crawlspaces, attics and basement areas at this time.  Adding a fresh coat of paint to your property is another way to prevent termite invasions.  This will effectively seal off any small cracks and holes in wood surfaces.

Inspect All Lumber Used In Home And Garden Projects

Before beginning a new home or garden project, carefully inspect the wood that you’re using for signs of termite activity.  This is especially important when using railroad ties and used lumber on your property.  It is also important to properly store these materials throughout the course of your project in order to ensure that they remain termite-free and do not serve as an attractive food source.

Identify And Treat Existing Colonies

Although termites can do extensive damage in a relatively short period of time, many infestations go unnoticed by homeowners until the problem has spiraled out of control.  If termite infestations are common in your area, having your property expected once or twice each year will allow you to limit damages and overall repair costs.  In addition to termiticides, termite control professional can also use a variety of other pest management tools to cull existing populations.  Some of the more common pest management strategies for termites include:

A large part of learning how to prevent termites is being able to recognize termite activity.  Whenever these bugs are found on our near the home, contacting local pest control services is essential.  These bugs breed rapidly and eat constantly.  Having seasoned pest control specialists address small colonies in a timely fashion will prevent minor and treatable infestations from spiraling out of control.

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