There is peace in the spring after a long winter. Those colds days are finally back. However, with the warm weather, some surprises come to you. You may start seeing small piles of wood dust accumulated near or under your furniture. You may even see a little path made of wood dust. These are clear signs that termites came to your house with the spring. But don’t worry! It is possible to avoid that from happening. See some termite prevention tips and learn how to keep them away from you.
First of all, what are termites?
Termites are insects very similar to ants in appearance, although they are not ants and are not related to them. They are very successful and resistant, with colonies everywhere but Antarctica. Therefore, they are one of the most destructive pests since they feed on wood, and many of our furniture and even houses are made of wood.
There are more than 50 species of termites only in the United States. Three species of termites can be easily found in United States houses. They are:
Dry Wood Termites
The dry wood termites live near coastal areas and don’t need much to survive. They infest dry timber and can expand their nests by eating through the wood in every direction. In the end, the timber seems normal, but it is entirely hollow. An easy way to spot them is to see the frass ejected from the infected timber.
The subterranean termites are found everywhere in the United States. They live in nests underground built in the soil, so they need the soil for moisture. Without it, they can’t survive. When searching for food, they make mud tubes since they are very susceptible to desiccation when exposed to air. That is why they live underground, after all.
Damp Wood Termite
Finally, the damp wood termites like to live in extreme moisture places, even more than the subterranean termites. They enter homes through the wood in touch with the soil, and decayed wood is their favorite food.
A termite infestation can help anywhere. No house or building is safe from them if you don’t use the prevention tips. And no, homeowner insurance does not cover termite insurance. Termites are a responsibility that every homeowner must take care of.
Since they are so small and secretive, and many species live underground, they can already be in your house without you knowing it. Signs of termites in your residence can appear months after they arrive since they have to build their way up.
If you see signs of termites in your home or fear that you have termites living around, call a pest and termite control company, like Universal Pest.
One of the best and most important ways to avoid termites is regular residence inspections. As stated before, termites can already be living in your house months before you realize it.
Regular inspections are necessary to check if they are termites living there or not, so you can take care of them before they eat your furniture or worse. The cost of repair and new furniture is expensive, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Prevent and eliminate moisture
You may have noticed that several species of termite love being close to moisture. Many can’t live in places that are not moisturized enough. Therefore, avoid moisture and water leaks since they create the perfect condition for termites.
Leaking toilets, showerheads, and taps is one of the biggest reasons termites enter houses, so you must fix them quickly. Air conditioning units and water heater overflow pipes can create enough moisture for termites, so be careful.
Therefore, to prevent termites be sure that your air conditioning drip tubes don’t leak up against the wall’s edge of your house. You can install a drain or find a way to direct the water away from your property walls. Inspect any sign of dampness or moisture immediately. Be aware that moisture can bring other problems to your house, like fungus. If you live in a heavily rainy place, check if your roofing and guttering are in good shape.
Declutter your house
Make a spring clean in your house and take out everything you don’t need that may be lying around. Termites can thrive in old magazines, useless papers, newspapers, cardboards, etc. since they eat cellulose. If you keep something like that inside of wood furniture, the conditions are perfect for termites, so be aware. Again, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Avoid wood touching the soil
Termite species like damp wood termite and subterranean termite live nearby moister soil. Make sure that every piece of wood in your house is far from the soil. Many experts say that the distance must be at least 18 inches from one to another. Stones or cement are a great way to keep the distance between them.
Keep garden beds away from your property’s walls, and be conscious of where the water from your hose or sprinkler systems goes. Make sure that the water doesn’t touch anything made of wood. Plant vegetation some meters away from your property. Use the correct materials if you’re building wood support structures.
Avoid certain types of mulch
Many types of mulch are sold full of termites, so be aware and careful. Avoid picking mulch from the side of the road, and prioritize types of mulch termite-resistant mulch. When buying landscape supplies, always ask what kind of mulch you are getting, and do a bit of research first, if possible.
Termites can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your house, giving you lots of headaches. Although there are some ways to avoid them, sometimes they are already on your property. It is better to call a professional termite control company like Universal Pest and Termite to take care of your termite infestation and make sure that you don’t have to deal with them again. Go to their website and check their services.