About termite prevention
It doesn’t matter for how long you have been living in a house, termite prevention is very important. You don’t know, but termites can be in your house right now. Just one single termite colony can eat about 2.rclma3 linear feet of 2×4 pine in a single year. If you don’t think that is much, don’t forget that where a colony of termites lives, there are also others.
Termites can produce a lot of damages and the costs can reach the sum of $1 billion. This will grow even faster after the Formosan termites have been brought from East Asia. One colony can have between 350.000 to over a million termites and each queen can lay thousands of eggs each day, over their entire life of 30 to 50 years. With these numbers, a queen can repopulate her colony even if there is a big devastation. Your only choice is to prevent them to reach your house.
Conditions that attract termites:
Soil: Most termites live underground and build galleries at a distance of three feet below the surface. This material will be used most of the times by termites to create mud tubes all the way to the wood in your home.
Wood: Cellulose is one of the best materials to consume for termites, so the wood will be easily devoured. There are other subterranean termites that consume something else than wood, like vegetation, dung and humus.
Water: In order for them to live, termites need a source of water. It doesn’t matter if it’s a leaky faucet or a natural precipitation process of rain, termites need a source of moisture.
Ways to prevent termites:
- Find all water leaks in your home and fix them because, as it was mentioned before, termites need a source of water. If they find a water source in your house, it will be easier for them to work. If you remove the water source then one of the necessary requirements will be eliminated.
- All brushes and heavy growth should be eliminated because this can create intense moisture, exactly what termites need.
- All standing or pooling water has to go from all around your home.
- If you have building materials and firewood, it’s better to put them somewhere safe but not on the ground. If you do this, termites will be all over the place. If you need, you can create barriers between the wood and the termites. You can use either thick concrete slabs or heavy duty metal.
- If you have to build something that will have direct contact with the ground, then it would be better to use treated lumber. The chemicals don’t stop the termites 100%, but it can be a deterrent for decks and patios. You can find some concrete supports at the home improvement stores that help the wooden support beams to get off of the ground.
- Mulch should also be avoided because it can provide food and water for termites. If you use mulch near your home walls then surely a colony of termites will move into your walls. The best alternative would be to use newer rubber mulches that have all the benefits of mulch but without any risks.
- Waste lumber should be never buried near your house because this will only be an invitation for termites.
- You should quickly get rid of all dead trees, old stumps or roots because these are very good food sources for termites. When they finish this source, it is very possible that your house is next.
- All cracks and holes in your home foundation should be repaired because they can be an easy access for termites.
- Gutters and waterlines should be always cleaned from debris.
- Proper ventilation is necessary in your entire house, including the attic and the internal crawl space areas. This way moisture will be prevented and termites will not come near your house.
- Even if you have taken all necessary precautions, a home inspection can help you detect damages. Even if termites are not found in your house, the specialists can give you some helpful advices. They may find something that you overlooked.
If after all these termites still appear, you may need a pest control specialist. Some insect pest control options that you can use are the following:
Liquid termiticide: This is used around the house foundation and underneath it. If you haven’t started to build the house, the termiticide is applied directly on the soil but for a building you have to ensure proper coverage by digging and drilling. There are two sorts of termiticides on the market: the first one creates a barrier for termite invasion and the other one acts as nerve poisons.
Subterranean bait: A termite bait acts more efficiently because it eliminates the colony directly from its source. The bait stations have to be set every ten feet all around the house. The entire treatment begins in the moment when the bait units are filled with untreated wood segments to see if there are any termites around the house. If there are termites present, it’s enough for one of them to ingest the toxic bait and take it back to its colony. This bait is good because it doesn’t kill the termites immediately and lets them take the poison inside the colony. If you see any termite damage in the house you can use one of the special bait units. They have been developed recently and can fight very well against Formosan termites that are able to penetrate even cement, brick, heavy duty plastics and high pressure water lines.
If you want something good for your house, then you can combine the termiticides and the bait units. Because a long process is necessary to kill termites or even eradicate them, efforts must be done. If you feel the need, you can even call a specialist for help because things can work much better this way. Your house must be one of your top priorities so getting the help of a professional is not something out of the ordinary.