The Trouble Underground: Protecting Your Home From Subterranean Termites

23 August 2016
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog

If termites are a problem in your area, there are certain things you can do to make sure that your home does not suffer extensive damage. Prevention is an important part of termite control, and little things can make a big difference when it comes to your house's structural safety. 

Install Barriers

One of the simplest ways to protect your home is to install termite barriers around your foundation. Contrary to popular belief, termites don't live in your house; they live in the ground and come into your home for food. Termites dig through the ground and enter your home through the foundation. For existing homes, the best barrier treatment is chemical. The ground around your house is treated to make it hostile toward burrowing termites. Chemical barriers can be quite effective, but you can add an extra layer of protection with a physical barrier of mesh stainless steel surrounding your foundation. Physical barriers are easier to install in newly built homes during initial construction. 

Control Tree Roots

Termites feed on wood and cellulose, including tree roots. Termites can use tree roots that brush up against your foundation as a highway through chemical or physical barriers. If you have trees growing close to your house, have them inspected for termite activity frequently, or remove trees if you are very concerned about an active termite colony in the area. 

Store Wood Smartly

Subterranean termites surface to look for food. You can keep them from munching on your home by keeping wood away from the outside walls of your house that will lead termites to your home. For example, don't stack firewood against the outside wall, choose chainlink or steel instead of wood fencing, and build decking and other exterior structure like pergolas with lumber that has been treated with pesticides. You should also avoid putting wood mulch in flower beds that are close to the walls of the house. 

Keep Moisture Levels Down

Termites find trees and other organic material to feed on by following moisture in the soil. Keep your foundation well drained and fix any foundation leaks as soon as they happen to reduce attraction to burrowing termites. 

Have Your House Checked Regularly

It's best to have a pest inspection regularly just to catch any infestations early before they get out of control. Talk to your local pest control company about insect activity in the area and how often they would recommend an inspection based on other calls and treatments they have done in the area.