The Bug Doctor: Adam Villareal, owner and president of Insight Pest Solutions, entomology nerd, and family man. To help demystify the world of bugs, the Bug Doctor answers your questions during our weekly “Ask the Bug Dr.” blog feature. You can submit your bug and pest control inquiries for him on our Facebook page, by tweeting @insightpest, or commenting below.
How to Prevent Subterranean Termites
Termite prevention is important to every homeowner, whether you have just moved into a new home, or have lived in your current home for many years.
Termites are one of the biggest threats to damage your home, costing well over one billion dollars nationwide in damages per year. On average, this is more than fire or floods!
Termite damage. Photo credit: rain0975
Far and away the best policy for a homeowner in regards to termite prevention is a trustworthy termite control company. This does not mean the biggest or the cheapest, this means a company that sends out a knowledgeable and professional termite technician and sales team.
These such companies send out solid, experienced employees, well trained in termite behavior, biology, and treatment methods.
In dealing with ways to prevent termites, often times it is best to discuss conditions that are conducive to termite activity and actions homeowners can take to help prevent a potential termite infestation.
Wood to soil contact
Since termites consume any cellulose material, wood is an ideal source of food for a termite colony. Any wood that goes into or touches the ground, is a potential access point for termites. Examples of this would be, wooden rear decks, sheds sitting on the ground, piles of firewood touching homes,, and any wooden stakes that were used in the construction process that were not removed. Firewood should be away from the home and stored on a metal rack to keep wood off the ground.
Termites can’t survive without a moisture source. Any source of moisture in, on, under, or around your home gives termites the conducive conditions needed to thrive. Homeowners need to ensure that all drainage directs away from their homes. Homeowners need to repair any leaks that are present in a timely manner.
Additions to your home
Any time a homeowner plans to build an addition to their home, they need to contact their termite company before building begins. The termite company will need to treat the soil below the proposed addition to extend the termite protection barrier to the new section as well as the newly created expansion joint.
Homeowners should keep on top of routine home maintenance. This would include such things as, sealing any cracks in the foundation, cleaning gutters and water lines from debris, and removing any dead trees or stumps. One final step is for periodic homeowner visual inspections of the home. Homeowners should be looking for any mud tubes on the exterior foundation wall, or new damage to any wood members. If there is ever any question, contact your termite company.
Taking these steps will dramatically increase homeowner protection from subterranean termites. The key to remember is, you need to hire a trustworthy termite company to protect what may be your single biggest investment.
If the information and tips provided helped, share with us in the comment section below. For more expert pest control tips, check out our guide.
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Posted in: Ask the Bug Doctor