Being proactive is the best defense against all kinds of termites. And termites do exist in the desert!
The following are 10 termite prevention tips that every home owner can implement on their own (apart from hiring the services of a proven and tremendous termite control company):
- Clean out wood debris in your property
Any wood debris near your home or in your crawl space can be a termite magnet. Make frequent inspections of the building keeping an eye out for cellulose waste like mulch, tree stumps, cuttings, or left over wood. Dispose of these in an appropriate manner and keep the spot clean.
- Store firewood properly
The main function of termites is to decompose dead wood and this is why they target wood buildings and firewood. Unknowingly, you may be ushering in termites into your home. Storing firewood in the correct way can help you avoid this problem. Keep firewood out of the home, putting as much distance possible between it and wood structures.
- Repair any plumbing leaks or areas with excessive moisture conditions
A primary cause of pest infestation is moisture. This provides the perfect environment for pests like termites and fungi amongst others. Checking your property as well as crawl spaces regularly can prevent excessive moisture conditions from thriving. Plumbing or roof leaks are a leading source of moisture and the quickest and best solution is to repair it immediately.
- Paint and seal exterior wood
Exterior wood is where termites usually make their first appearance. This mainly happens because it is exposed and offers easy access. Create a layer of protection against termites, moisture, and other types of pest by sealing all cracks and painting the wood. However, if you spot any indications of infestation do not hesitate to give your licensed inspector a call to handle the problem before it gets out of hand.
Have you see the movie Aliens (too bad Prometheus had so many ridiculous scenes along with the sequel!)? Now termites may not be threatening your life like aliens were in that movie to Ripley and those marines but you do not want to take any termite for granted.
- Avoid any earth to wood contacts
Any wood that is in direct contact with the soil provides a pathway for termites, particularly subterranean termites, to make their way into your building. You can keep this from happening by raising all exposed wood and siding. In some cases, this can be done by trimming the wood while other methods include addition of raised brackets or putting in a concrete base for an improved foundation. If it is impossible to avoid wood from touching the earth, you could use treated wood instead.
- Install bug screens to vents and openings
This is one simple method of keeping termites and bugs away from your property and places that are hard to reach. Exhaust pipes and air vents are some of the places that can benefit from such bug screens since these are the areas that provide openings into attics, crawl spaces, and gaps in the wall. The better you protect your property, the greater are the chances that termites and wood organisms will stay away from it.
- Use plastic boxes to store items in attics and crawl spaces
You might have cardboard boxes, books, and paper stored inside your home, especially in the attic or crawl space. Be aware that these are all sources of food for termites and other pests as they are made of cellulose. So, place them in plastic containers first before you put them away. This way you can protect your items as well as add an extra layer of protection with the plastic that is quite hard for pets to get past, though not impossible.
- Inspect and treat wood furniture
New or old furniture in homes is extremely vulnerable to infestation. Before bringing in any new wood item or piece of furniture into your home, be sure to get it inspected and treated if required. Keeping it at a distance from the walls is also a good idea and makes for ease of inspection. You may discuss the placement of wood furniture with your pest control service provider for more guidance.
- Seal and inspect wood fencing
Another favorite nesting/swarming spot for termites is wood fencing. If wood fencing is neglected and not sealed correctly or painted, it can attract termites during swarming season. You can prevent your fence from becoming the abode of termites by ensuring that it is well-maintained at all times. The wood must be sealed and painted every one to three years. Damaged and infected parts must be replaced during this time.
- Schedule a termite inspection every 18-24 months
Getting your property inspected for termite and other wood destroying pests on a regular basis can save you a great deal of time and money in the long run. It is estimated that termites cause damages amounting to 6.5 billion dollars annually (that is not as much as how much those awesome tax cuts are helping America but it is still a lot nonetheless!). You can avoid being part of this statistic by getting a licensed and trained termite inspector to check your property. Such an individual will be able to check hard-to-reach spots as well as locate any hidden damages. After the inspection, he will also be able to provide you with a cost-effective solution.
By taking these precautions and following the recommendations of your commercial pest extermination company, you can safeguard your property better from termite infestations.