If you are concerned about termites, you may be wondering what you can do to protect your home from the invasion of termites. Termites serve an important part in the ecosystem. They help to break trees and wood back into soil. Even though termites are necessary, that does not mean that you want them attacking your home or being active on your property. Here are five thing that attract termites to your property.
Old Decaying Trees
Termites like to feed on old, dead wood. If you have decaying trees on your property, even in the back corners, you are inviting termites to come to your property by offering them up a meal. It is important to clear out old decaying trees. You should also address trees that may not be well and in the process of dying because some types of termites will feed on sick trees as well. Be sure to remove any limbs or falling trees.
Wood mulch may be a good thing to help keep the moisture around your flower beds. It can also help your yard look nicer, but wood mulch can attract termites to your property. You should never use it in the beds that directly touch your home, but you may also want to consider other materials in your flower beds including a rubber mulch or a cedar mulch. There are a number of different materials you can use.
Wooden Structures Including Your Deck
The outbuildings, deck and fencing around your yard can all attract termites to your yard. The solution is to build these structures out of wood that is specially treated to not attract termites. Treated wood can last up to forty years, but you will need to check on it periodically. If you have structures that are not built of treated wood you will need to replace them.
Moist Wood in Your Crawlspace or Basement
Termites like wood that is wet or moist. If your crawlspace is hot or humid and if you dread going in them because of the way it feels or smells, it is likely that it would naturally attract termites as the floor joists and subfloor are weakened from the moisture. The best way to address this issue is to encapsulate the crawlspace and make sure that it is sealed completely from the elements.
Firewood naturally attracts termites. While you may want to have firewood on your property to help you save money on your heating bill, there are steps you can take to protect your home from termites, and your firewood. Be sure to store it away from your home, not against it. You should store it on a concrete slab, and you should keep it covered to prevent termites.
Termites can cause thousands of dollars to your home in a very short period of time. Termites will steadily eat through the wood of your home all while remaining hidden. It is important to regularly have your home inspected for termites, but there are projects you can do to your home that can help protect it from termites. These steps can help you prevent the termites from coming into your home.
Check Your Ventilation to Make Sure It Is Working
Many termites prefer damp wood and so making sure that your home stays dry and the ventilation system is working properly is important. You should take time each year to make sure that all the ventilation in your attic and other areas of your home is open and unblocked. When you check this system, you should also check to make sure that each of the vents have a grate installed that will keep swarming termites and other insects out of your home.
Fix Your Crawlspace
Your crawlspace may be the perfect place for termites to enter your home. If you dread going into your crawlspace because it is hot and humid and full of mud and puddles, then you definitely need to address this with crawlspace encapsulation. The humidity in the crawlspace can allow the wood to become damp which makes it more attractive to termites. If the ground is not covered with plastic and sealed, it makes it easier for subterranean treatments to be installed. While past practices were to allow your crawlspace to vent to the exterior, most people now recommend encapsulating it and sealing it off so that the HVAC system is safer. It also makes the home in your house cleaner and safer to breath.
Check and Repair Your Roof
Loose shingles can give termites easy access to your attic where they can set up shop without ever realizing that there is a problem. Take time each year to check out your roof and to be sure that the shingles are in good condition. If you find one or two that are loose you can repair them or you may want to hire someone to do it for you. While you are up there, be sure to check around the vents to make sure that they are sealed.
Check Pipes for Leaks Periodically
Leaky pipes allow moisture to weaken the wood in your home. The damp wood is the food that termites prefer to feed on. You should periodically check the pipes in your home to make sure that you do not have any leaks. If you do find a leak or if your home has a flood, you will need to make sure that the wood dries out completely as quickly as possible. You can set up fans throughout the room to aid with it. You should check the wood once it is dry to make sure it is still strong and that it does not need to be replaced.
Close Holes into Your Home
Take time to check around your foundation, and any areas where a pipe or wiring enters your home to be sure that they are sealed off completely. Termites can enter through any small opening and explore your home looking for a meal, making sure these areas are sealed will protect your home from termites and other insects. It can also help with the energy efficiency of your home.
Termites and carpenter ants are two different insects that can cause damage to your home. These wood boring insects can affect the property value of your home and can cause significant damage to your home. The treatment method is different for each of them and it is important to correctly identify them.
Characteristics of Termites
Termites tend to make their nests outside and come into your home looking for wood to eat. You may be able to spot a termite mound near your home or see mud tubes along your foundation leading up to your home.
Termites are black with segmented bodies, but they have thicker waists and look nearly uniform in size. The workers and guards look a bit different from each other. Termites come in a variety of colors from beige to black. When the termites swarm they have wings. These wings are about twice the length of the termite and are uniform in length. The antennae are straight.
Characteristics of Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, instead they make their nests inside of the wood. This does mean that they may chew up the wood to make their nests. They may also take advantage of any damage left behind by a previous termite colony.
Carpenter ants look like a household ant except they are quite a bit larger. They are entirely black which makes them different from fire ants. The carpenter ants will have two sets of wings with the back wings being a bit shorter than the front wings. The antennae are bent.
Either pest can be a problem in your home and cause significant damage. In fact, one termite colony can chew through a pound of wood a day. This adds up quickly. If you suspect any of these issues, you should contact a professionals at EcoTek for a free inspection and free estimate for how much it will cost to exterminate ants in or around your home.
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