Regardless of how well you maintain your home, there is always a threat of termites destroying it from the inside. Termites have only one thing in mind: to eat as much wood as possible. A single termite colony can consume as much as 2.3 linear feet (or 0.7 metres) of wood in a single year. This may not sound like much but if a colony has made your home’s foundation their home, one damaged beam can potentially demolish the entire structure.
Termites can multiply quickly. Take the initiative and prevent these pesky insects from becoming a serious problem by following these simple tips.
1. Remove food sources
Termites love munching on soft wood, paper and other items made out of lumber. Check any exposed wooden beams for damage by pressing your thumb against its surface. A soft, spongy feel is an indication of a possible infestation.
Avoid using cardboard boxes if you need to store items, especially if they are made of paper like stationary or photos. When storing paper-based items, use plastic containers instead. This restricts termites from eating your possessions.
2. Treat your wood
Wood has a warm look and feel to it. Although wood is the termite’s favorite food, it does not mean your home needs to get rid of all traces of any plant-based material. You can simply treat the wood to discourage termites from gnawing on it.
An alternative is to have all exposed beams painted. The paint can cover the pores and crevices of the wood, deterring termites from making a meal out of your beams or furniture.
3. Remove sources of moisture
Water can make wood soft and soggy. Fix water leaks as soon as you find them. Avoid having the air conditioning unit near any wooden beams or the foundations in your home. Air conditioning units produce moisture that can seep into the wood and make them soft.
4. Prevent contact with the ground
Moisture can come from a variety of sources. The ground is another major potential source of moisture. Try to keep any untreated wood from touching the ground. When building your home, you can opt for concrete supports that would help raise the wooden beams from the floor and off the ground.
5. Clean your yard
Prevention should start outside your home. Avoid buying untreated scrap wood as they could draw in the termites and encourage them to multiply in your home or garden. Remove any tree stumps, dead leaves or branches as these could potentially become the next home for a colony of termites.
If you are using mulch in your garden, you can use mulch made from alternative materials such as plastic, rubber or gravel. You can also leave some space between the foundations of your home and the mulch.
In the event that your home and property have been infested with these tiny white insects, it is recommended that you call a professional pest exterminator to handle your insect problem immediately. Don’t wait for your pest problem to become severe. Termites have been known to cause millions of dollars in damage to property. By acquiring the services of a pest control company, you are assured that your termite problem is completely dealt with.