Top 10 Tips for Termite Control

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

As the winter comes to an end, the warmer spring and summer months can’t come fast enough for the majority of people. With longer days, more greenery, blooming flowers, sunshine and the opportunity to do more outdoor activity, however, also comes the dreaded appearance of swarmers, or winged termites. As it’s the season for breeding and establishing new colonies, springtime is prime termite season – so ensuring that your home is protected against these pests is essential. 

With the ability to chew through wood, wallpaper, carpets and other floorings, it’s no surprise that termites cost homeowners $5 billion in property damage annually, and can even permanently damage the structure of a home depending on the species of termite and how long the damage goes undetected. Luckily, there are a number of steps that homeowners can take to protect their property from termite damage. Here are the top ten. 

1. Check Wooden Areas

Because termite damage can go unnoticed predominantly in wooden areas, it’s important that you check any wooden floors, window panes, door frames, and skirting boards regularly for any noticeable changes possibly caused by termites. Although it’s essential that these checks are carried out during the warmer months, it’s a good idea to continue checking all year round. 

2. Eliminate Damp

Because termites need moisture in order to breed and thrive, it’s important to reduce or eliminate any moisture around the house. If there is any damp in the property it’s important to get it repaired, and set measures in place to prevent it from returning again in the future. 

3. Check the Roof

If there is any rot, mold, or other moist areas on your roof, it can become a prime breeding area for termites. Routinely checking your roof and ensuring that any soffits, fascia or rotted roof shingles are replaced immediately is vital to preventing termite infestation.

4. Divert Water

Because termites thrive in water and other moist areas, diverting the flow of water away from your property is important to preventing them. The use of correctly functioning guttering, downspouts, and splash blocks can achieve this. 

5. Inspect the Foundations

You should inspect the foundations of your home frequently for any signs of termites. Mud tubes, which are used by termites to gain access to a source of food, bubbling or cracked paint, and wood that has a hollow sound when tapped are all signs of a possible termite infestation.

6. Keep a Gap

Because soil is moist, this makes it a perfect breeding ground and area in which termites can thrive. In order to keep the termites in the soil and out of your home, it is advised that you maintain an 18-inch gap between the soil and any wooden areas of your property. 

7. Store Wood Safely

If you have a log fire and use firewood to heat your home, the stored wood can become a prime location for termites, even if it is dry. For this reason, those homeowners who do use a log fire should store any firewood at least twenty feet away from the house when not in use. 

8. Ask a Professional

Even if you don't think that you have a termite infestation in your home, it’s advisable to schedule a routine annual termite inspection. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover for termite and wood-boring insect damage, meaning that if you do spot a problem late on, it can be expensive to repair. A professional will not only be able to provide expert advice on how best to protect your home from termites, they will also be able to spot any early signs of termite infestation that you may have failed to notice.

9. Maintain

Stripping and mortar around the foundation and windows of your home can quickly become a breeding ground for termites if left unattended or in need of repair, so it’s important to pay attention to these areas and make repairs whenever necessary. 

10. Don’t Ignore Leaks

Although a leaky faucet or a dripping tap may not seem much of an urgent job, allowing these problems to go unrepaired can only attract termites to your home by producing extra moisture. Keeping on top of your water and drainage system and ensuring it stays in top condition is essential 

to preventing termites. 

How do you ensure that your home is protected from termites? Do you have any handy tips or advice on termite control for other homeowners? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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