Termites are very destructive pests, their insatiable hunger for wood causes billions of dollars worth of damage in the US alone each year. These crawling insects can cause major structural damage to a property in just six months, and can completely destroy a home in just two years.
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Termites feed on cellulose. Cellulose is the main component in the cell walls of plants. It is the most abundant organic compound on Earth. This dietary requirement means that termites can, and will, devourer the wooden structures of buildings as well as furniture, money, and even clothes.
Termite swarm season, which usually happens during the early months of spring, is when your home is most at risk. During this period, winged termites leave their nest to mate and start a new colony, which could be in your home!
Find out everything you need to know about flying termites
How to prevent termites
Accumulating a termite problem can put a huge financial strain on both homes and businesses due to the large repair costs involved.
Luckily, we have some prevention tips to help reduce the risk of termites choosing your home as their next residence/meal.
The exterior of your home can often act as a portal to your home, putting it at risk of termite damage.
Broken tiles create moisture which attracts termites, and can provide a gateway inside.
- Repair broken roof tiles
- Check for dampness in your roof and dehumidify if you find a problem
Air conditioner unit
Air con units provide moist environments, something which termites love.
- Ensure the moisture release of the air con unit is away from the foundations of your home
Your attic can be a prime location for termite activity, which can often go unnoticed for years.
The wooden beams in an attic are often exposed and provide termites with a free meal.
- Check regularly for termite damage by pressing thumb against the timber to check if it feels spongy
- Apply a termite treatment spray or call an exterminator if you are concerned!
Cardboard boxes filled with paper and photos are a good source of food for termites.
- Use plastic boxes to store items in the attic
3. Living room
A living room is a gold mine in terms of food. Many items of furniture are made from wood.
Wooden floor boards are a great source of food for termites. Being close to the ground they can act as a stepping stone for subterranean termites to the rest of your home.
Skirting boards are like a giant t-bone steak for termites, they also provide dry wood termites a stable living environment.
- Check for termite damage by pressing thumb against the skirting board.
Wooden furniture makes your home all that more inviting for termites. It’s sort of like turning up to an all-you-can-eat buffet and finding out that dessert is included in the price.
- Keep furniture away from walls
- Opt for items made of other materials such as metal.
4. Laundry Room
It may come as a surprise but even your clothes are subject to termite damage, although it is quite rare.
Items of clothing are made from materials such as cotton which contain cellulose, a termites favourite dish.
- Keep laundry off the ground and away from walls
Just like the living room, your bedroom is also very attractive to termites.
Wooden furniture such as bed frames, wardrobes, and bedside cabinets can be at risk of termite damage.
- Keep furniture away from walls
- Choose furniture made from metal and other materials
Garages can act as a goldmine of food for termites depending on what’s stored inside. They can also act as a passageway into your home if the two are connected.
Storage units are a good source of food for termites depending on the contents. They can also provide termites with easy access to shelves and other areas of the garage high up.
- Keep storage units away from walls
- Use metal stands instead of wood
A kitchen can be a haven for termites due to the limitless sources of food and entry points.
Windows and doors
During swarming season windows and doors make it easy for termites to inhabit your home.
- Make sure windows and doors are kept shut during swarming season
Leaky drain pipes create moisture and damp which termites are attracted to.
- Inspect external and internal pipes regularly
- Repair any damages to pipes to stop them from leaking
Built in wooden cupboards provides termites with a food source. They are also close to walls and floors providing termites with an easy opportunity.
- Regularly inspect your cupboards for termite activity. If you are worried, call a professional pest controller!
Ever seen the movie Hook? Remember the banquet scene? Well, that’s exactly what a garden is like for termites.
Tree stumps are a good source of food for termites. Trees are a great way for termites to get one of their five a day, five pieces of wood that is.
- Remove old tree stumps from your garden
Garden mulch is not only high in moisture, it is also mainly made up of wood chippings. Think of it as a giant bag of pick n’ mix for termites.
- Use mulch made from other materials such as gravel, plastic, and rubber
- Leave a gap between the mulch and the foundations of your home
Fencing and decking
Subterranean termites use underground tunnels to search for food. Fence posts and decking, which have contact with the ground, provide termites with a free meal.
- Use termite-resistant or treated fence posts
- Replace wooden fence posts with ones made from metal and rock
- If you live in an area prone to termite activity opt for an alternative garden feature to decking.
Wood stacked against the house
Fire wood stacked against the house can act as an open invitation to your home for termites. It’s sort of like when supermarkets hand out free samples.
- Store wood elevated off the ground and away from your home.
You may have noticed that the majority of these prevention tips involve carrying out regular inspections for termites. In doing so you are creating a proactive method in keeping your home safe from these wood boring insects.
A termite exterminator will be able to correctly inspect a property for termites, and identify any issues as well as recommending the correct course of termite control options. An annual termite inspection will help ensure your property is protected against the potential for termites to much their way through your home.
Although these termite prevention tips can help to reduce the risk of termites, they are not a guaranteed fix. The best way to get rid of termites is to enlist the help of a pest control professional. A termite exterminator will be able to ensure your home is kept safe from termites by offering a range of protection and treatment methods.
Worries about termites? Get in contact with Rentokil today and book a termite inspection.
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