What Attracts Termites to a Home?
Termites can put holes not just in your property, but in your wallet, too. These pests can cause extensive damage to your home, and repairs are often expensive.
Some people mistakenly believe that cold winter temperatures hinder termite activity. In reality, winter, or cold weather, has nothing to do with termites entering homes. Let's discuss some conditions that might attract termites to your home, as well as the signs of termite infestation and measures you can take to make your home less prone to termites.
Wood and cellulose material: Termites feed on lumber, firewood, newspapers and other cellulose materials. Do not store such materials near places that are easily accessible to termites, such as the foundation. Get rid of any decayed lumber or firewood, which termites prefer over sound wood.
Warm, dark places: Termites prefer moist, undisturbed places such as crawl spaces. Reduce moisture in your home's crawl spaces by having your home inspected and evaluated for moisture sources and solutions.
Moist soil: Termites are attracted to moisture and there is usually plenty of moisture in the soil upon which your foundation is built. Keep the soil next to your home's foundation as dry as possible by repairing any leaking faucets or pipes. Divert excess water from your foundation with properly functioning gutters, downspouts and splash blocks. Use lawn sprinklers and irrigation systems in a way that minimizes water accumulation near your foundation.
Signs of termite infestation
Tree stumps, stored lumber or firewood, cardboard boxes, untreated fence posts and buried scrap wood are all susceptible to a termite infestation. Inspect your home's porches and other structural or foundation wood for signs of termites. The most common signs of infestation include:
- Wood damage found below and behind surfaces like walls and floors. This includes cracks in the veneer or maze-like tunneling in wood. Also, look for small holes in drywall or plaster walls that suggest termite activity.
- Discarded wings found near closed windows, doors and other entry points.
- Pencil-sized mud tubes found wherever the ground meets your home or near any other possible food sources, like trees or sheds.
How to help prevent a termite infestation
While houses do not attract termites actively, when termites find them they are quick to come in. You'll need to take measures to help keep an infestation from happening in your home. Usually, termite infestations are only spotted after they've become severe. Measures you can take to help prevent an infestation include replacing damaged wood and taking proper steps to correct the termite-attracting conditions listed above.
A more permanent solution to preventing termites involves the use of pesticides, which should be handled by a licensed pest control professional. If you suspect a termite invasion or are looking for ways to prevent one, schedule an inspection with a Terminix® professional today.