Isn’t it customary for the builder of a new home to protect it against termites?
There are only a few states that require soil pretreatment for control of subterranean termites during construction. It is usually the mortgage lender that requires this, especially in termite-prone areas.
I have an old tree stump about three feet from the house that is infested with termites. I inspected the house and it is free of termites. Should I have the stump treated for termites?
You don’t need to treat the stump, but you may want to give your home termite protection. In areas of the country where termites are common, it is not unusual to find them in the ground, in tree stumps or in debris near a structure. If your home has not been treated to control or prevent termite entry, you should maintain a close watch for termites and have a termite control professional, like Terminix, implement a termite control program.
Subterranean termites nest in the ground and forage for food (cellulose or wood) over areas up to 1/2 acre or more in size. There is a high probability that if they are detected close to your home, will eventually infest it—if they have not done so already. Treating the stump will not have any great impact on the colony or its continued search for new food sources. Contact your local Terminix branch for an inspection and to find out your control options.
Preventive action makes good sense in any termite-prone area, and you should also consider having a professional termite control company, like Terminix, implement a termite control program before you notice an infestation.
- Remove all wood debris from around your home, especially after new construction and remodeling. This includes wood from boards along foundations, tree stumps and roots, as well as firewood stacked near the house
- Since termites need moisture to survive, grade the soil around your foundation so it carries water away from the house. Maintain gutters and downspouts in good repair
I have experienced termite swarms year after year even with regular treatment. Is there anything I can do to get rid of them?
Continued swarming after a conventional soil treatment can mean one of four things:
- The termites are still finding an “unprotected” access point into the structure where the termiticide application has not created an effective barrier to stop entry.
- Termites are swarming into an area where there is no food source (wood) to sustain ongoing activity. They swarm at this location, then go elsewhere for food requirements.
- The soil barrier is in place, but the termites are able to find a “bridge” over the treatment. The underside of concrete slabs can permits this to happen.
- The barrier is working to stop movement of termites back and forth from the ground to the structure, but the termites are able to obtain moisture from inside the structure and do not need to return to the soil. This moisture source is usually a leaky pipe, shower pan or roof/gutter leak.
Will subterranean termite swarmers inside my home infest other areas of the house, furniture, closets, etc.?
Subterranean termite swarmers are looking for moist soil in close proximity to wood in order to start a new colony. The likelihood of these conditions existing inside your home is very low, so unless the swarmers get outdoors, they will not survive.
Can you offer any advice on how to prevent a termite infestation at my new house?
As a homeowner, you can take some action in making your home less attractive to termite infestation. Although this will not prevent or control potential entry by subterranean termites, these recommendations will reduce or eliminate some of the conducive conditions that make it easier for termites to gain entry.