One of the most important things you can do as a homeowner is to learn how to prevent termites at home. Termite damage is costly and rarely covered by homeowners insurance. Let’s look at ways to effectively keep a termite infestation from happening in your home.
Trim the Shrubs
Remove foliage near the exterior walls of the house. Keep a one-foot wide area clear around the foundation to increase the airflow and help wet areas dry more quickly. The other benefit is that you’ll see any future termite damage or termite tubes more quickly.
Replace Mulch with Pine Needles
Subterranean termites like to eat mulch. On the other hand, they don’t like pine needles. Using pine needles instead of mulch also helps to keep other insects away, like ants. If your local area doesn’t have a large supply of pine needles, use pea gravel or rubber mulch. These are helpful barriers to place between mulched areas and your house.
Keep Your Foundation Dry
Subterranean termites love moisture. One way to keep the foundation dry and prevent termites at home is to point sprinklers away from the house. If your sprinklers are wetting down the foundation during every cycle, you may be attracting termites. Also, keep the gutters cleared so that rainwater is properly directed away from the foundation.
Prevent Termites at Home with Exterior Preventative Maintenance
Maintain the exterior areas of your house. For example, keep wood siding and windows in good condition. Termites are attracted to already damaged or rotting wood. Keep all exterior wood painted and sealed.
Ventilate the Crawlspace
Does your home have a crawlspace? If so, it needs to be ventilated correctly and have a proper vapor barrier. This controls moisture so the floor joists and subfloors don’t get wet. Moisture attracts termites. Crawlspace moisture will also cause bad odors inside your home and even attract the kind of beetles that eat through wood beams under your home.
Natural Ways to Prevent Termites
Vinegar is a method for killing termites after you’ve discovered them. Mix the juice from two lemons with a half cup of vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and spray the acidic substance where you think termites are present.
D-limonene is a deadly substance for termites, and orange oil is mostly d-limonene. Using orange oil on termites causes them to lose proteins and moisture until they eventually die. Spraying this around the house regularly is an excellent preventative measure to keep termites away.
Get Your Home Inspected for Termites
One of the most effective ways to prevent termites at home is to conduct annual inspections. Termite inspections require an experienced professional. For example, many baseboards can’t be removed. Crawlspaces are hard to reach and inspect without special equipment. It’s best to hire a professional who knows how to conduct complete inspections that definitively tell you whether or you have a problem.
You can prevent termites at home. It simply requires ensuring all areas of your home are free from conditions that termites love.