There are several things that termites prefer or need in order to thrive in a house. The more of these needs you meet, the more likely termites are going to move in and make a meal of your home.
Things like warm, damp areas to live and plenty of food, such as untreated wood, wood products, cardboard, and paper all appeal to these destructive pests. They prefer to avoid light and dry places, so beware of giving them an access route to your home through the shelter of piles of wood or garden mulch.
Here are 5 ways you could be attracting termites into your home:
1. Woodpiles and Firewood
We get it, no one wants to put on layers and brave the cold to get firewood when it can be conveniently stored close to your door. Maybe you didn't know, but this also makes it convenient for termites to invade your home. Your stored wood could give termites a direct access point to your home, and here in Georgia, that can be disastrous.
To prevent termites from using your firewood as an entry point, store wood a few feet away from your home and several inches off the ground. DO NOT spray your wood with pesticides, some chemicals can create toxic fumes when burned.
2. Clogged Gutters
Termites need moisture to survive and clogged gutters are helping make their ideal home right next to your house. Clogged gutters mean water from your roof isn't draining the way it's supposed to. Clogged gutters can cause water to start to flow over the side of the gutter to the base of your home. This will moisten the ground and your foundation, making it an ideal place for termites to enter.
It is important to divert as much water as possible from your foundation. That means clear gutters, downspout extenders, and splash blocks in order to prevent still water from building up. If you aren't comfortable cleaning out your gutters, call a professional for help.
3. Excess Wood
It's time to get rid of those stumps and loose limbs laying around your yard. Leaving these things around your yard make perfect homes and feeding grounds for termites that will eventually lead to them entering your home. Excess wood in your yard will also provide shady spots for mosquitos to rest.
Yard upkeep is important, and not just to impress your neighbors. A tidy yard will help keep termites and other pests away.
We've all bought it. Mulch adds a professional and clean look to any garden bed, but make sure your garden bed isn't too close to the house. Many homeowners opt for mulch because of the benefits it provides, like retaining moisture in the soil, suppressing weeds, keeping the soil cool, and making the garden bed look more attractive. But mulch can also serve as the perfect meal for termites, as the moisture within the mulch attracts these destructive critters.
You can prevent the termites from reaching your home by keeping your mulch at least 15 inches from your foundation and routinely checking your mulch for any termite activity. For garden beds close to your home, consider alternatives like rock mulch, rubber mulch, hay, or straw. These alternatives will accomplish the same needs as regular wood mulch, but will not provide anything for termites.
5. Tree Limbs
Tree limbs that come in contact with your home are a termite highway where the only exit is your home. Also, limbs that block sunlight can slow the evaporation of precipitation, encouraging moisture build-up. Be sure to cut down any tree limbs that can come in contact with your home, and trim back any trees that may be encroaching on your home.
If these tips and tricks don't help out, or you think you may have a serious problem already on your hands, contact a professional. Don't let termites overrun your property and destroy your home. Breda Pest Management has been treating termites for years, and are 100% confident that we can solve your pest problems. If you're ready to stop termites for good, request a free consultation today.