A termite infestation can cause considerable damage to a house. It is in every homeowner’s best interests to avoid infestation altogether, as the costs of getting rid of termites and repairing the damage they cause can be substantial. A mild infestation can result in damage to a property’s walls, roof and floor framing. Because it is not always obvious when a colony of termites is present (especially in the early stages), homeowners can save a lot of time and money through prevention. To avoid and actively prevent termite infestation, it is essential to understand the nature of these critters and, in particular, what attracts them. Here are some of the most common attractions.
What Attracts Termites?
Termites eat soft, rotten woods. They usually live and develop their colonies in places that are close to food sources. Therefore, damp spots with a lot of rotten wood are most likely to attract termites. Here are some things around your home that might attract termites and what you can do to avoid them.
Because termites eat softwood, piles of woods can be very attractive places for them to live in. If you have wood piles around the house and they begin to rot, you may want to move them away from the home. Termites will usually live and eat the rotten wood piles first. Once the colony begins to grow, they will most likely move into your house. It is best to remove wood piles before they start to rot, to avoid any infestation to begin with.
Dead Trees and Stumps
Dead trees and stumps are also good food sources for termites. These insects can live underground and dig burrows to the surface to get to their food. All this activity could be happening in your backyard without you realising it. Regularly cleaning your yard and removing dead trees and stumps can help to prevent a termite invasion. It is also a practice that allows you to discover any potential signs of termites so that if they are there, you catch them in the early stages.
Branches and Leaves
If you have large trees around the home, their branches and leaves may touch parts of the house such as the roof. The twigs and fallen leaves that accumulate on the roof are highly susceptible to moisture, creating a favourable place for termites. Branches that touch or rest on the roof can also be a pathway for termites to migrate from their nests on the ground to your house. To avoid this, make sure to clean your roof from fallen leaves and trim your tree branches regularly so that they do not touch any part of your house.
Clogged gutters are another reason to clean your roof from fallen leaves. When your gutters are clogged, the leaves may start to decompose and create the ideal environment for termites. Clogged gutters can also cause the roof to soften and rot. Make sure to clean your roof regularly and unclog gutters as necessary, especially if your home is surrounded by many trees.
Termites, especially damp wood termites adore mulch. The moist wood chips are very appealing for termites to eat and live in. If you must use mulch for your garden, make sure to keep it at a safe distance from your foundation. This can reduce the risk of the termites infesting your house.
While many things can attract termites to your house, most are linked to termites’ love for moist, wooden environments. There are some species of termites, called dry wood termites, that can survive even in places with low humidity levels. Because of this, it is essential to keep any wooden materials around your home clean and dry. If you are concerned that this might not be enough, a termite repellent can help you to stay on the safe side.
If some parts of your house are already infested, or you suspect that they are, call for professional help as soon as you notice. A building inspector will help you to identify where there might be an existing colony, and where there are risks of infestation. Having a professional termite inspection done is one of the most effective ways to prevent and manage termite infestations in the home. If you live around Adelaide, call us today, and we will arrange a building inspection for you!