The biggest threat to your home may be attacking you right under your nose—or floors. Termites affect more than half a million homes in the U.S. each year. Unfortunately these silent destroyers can go undetected for quite some time, often until the damage has harmed not only your home but also your wallet. If you’re not careful, you may be chipping into the $5 billion spent each year on termite-related expenses.
Concerned that your home may be at risk? There are several precautions you can take to lower your chances of a termite infestation. Check out these five ways to protect your home from termites.
1. Keep your yard and surrounding areas clear of wood.
Wood serves as both a habitat and food for termites. It’s best to remove all decaying wood, including dead trees and stumps, wood piles, and wooden structures (sheds, barns, etc.) sooner rather than later. The longer wood sits, the longer it has to rot and become a termite nesting ground.
If you do keep a scrap or firewood pile, maintain it in an area as far from your home as possible. Schedule regular burnings, and be sure to inspect the pile frequently during the summer, which is when termites begin mating. It’s also helpful to monitor wooden fences and decks to catch signs of termite damage as soon as possible. If termites have made their nest in your yard, they’ll be coming for your home next!
2. Reduce unnecessary moisture production.
Termites thrive in moist, damp areas. Whenever possible, use a dehumidifier to keep water levels down in unfinished areas of your home. Reduce moisture levels by maintaining and repairing leaky faucets, water pipes, and air conditioning units. Don’t allow water to puddle in crawl space or basement areas. Make sure to clean out gutters and downspouts to allow rainfall to flow away from your home, keeping the surrounding soil as dry as possible.
3. Maintain your landscaping.
Remove wooden mulch, damp soil, and overgrown greenery from around your home. These conditions, much like a rotting tree stump, provide food and shelter for termites and can become the perfect pit stop on the way into your home. Keeping shrubbery and trees closest to your home trimmed and manicured can also aid in bringing these pests out of the shadows. Be sure to clear plants and bushes away from vents in your home’s exterior as these entryways are where termites have the easiest access into the structure of your house.
4. Seal all of the exterior cracks on the structure of your home.
Use multi-purpose caulk, wood sealant, or paint to coat and protect your shingles, deck, and foundation. Termites can get into the drywall of your home through miniscule cracks, so be sure to address any areas that may become problematic. Repair wooden structures like decks, arbors, and trellises that are in direct contact with your home; damaged wood is the perfect entryway for hungry termites.
5. Schedule annual inspections with a Des Moines-area pest control professional.
Utilizing the help of a professional pest control agency will help you to protect your home and prevent termite infestation. Pest control professionals will be able to inspect problem spots and detect potential infestation areas. Unsure of whether your home is at risk? There are various ways pest control professionals can help keep your home free of termites, from inspection to control and removal of termites.
How to Detect a Termite Infestation
Potential warning signs of a termite infestation include the appearance of pale, sometimes winged, soft-bodied insects ranging from ¼ to ½” in size; the development of pencil-wide mud tubes on your foundation, walls, or joists; or damaged, hollowed-out wood.
Your house isn’t just the building you live in; it’s where you’ve built your life. Protect it. If you are concerned that your home may be under attack from termites or other pests, contact Springer Professional Home Services. Our team has been providing quality home care to the Des Moines area for decades. Our trained professionals will work with you from start to finish on your project, whether you need a routine inspection or a full-fledged removal. Call us today!