Few things terrify the average homeowner as much as the thought of a termite infestation. These nasty insects can cause massive amounts of damage, costing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to repair. If you own a home and are concerned about termites, read on. This article will present two important strategies to ensure termites don't start a colony at your house.
Evaluate your property.
Unfortunately, termites are notoriously easy to please. In order to thrive, they need access to just two things: wood and water. As you can imagine, rotting wood is like caviar to a termite. While there's no way to eliminate both of these elements from your home environment, there are certain measures you can take to make your home look a little less tasty.
What you need to be most concerned about is exposed wood. This is how termites gain entry, and is thus the first step to a full-blown infestation. Most exposed wood is going to be outside: porch rafters, siding, fences--even things like dead trees and garden mulch. Once you've identified the exposed wood around your home, you will have three options:
- remove the wood
- treat the wood with a termite-repellant paint or sealer (those with a high metal content are best)
- minimize the amount of water in the vicinity
Minimize excess moisture.
The last of the options listed above--minimizing excess moisture--is by far the most important, and should be considered indispensable in every case. More than anything else, it requires you to know how your house performs when it's wet outside.
Leaky and debris-choked gutters are a common problem area. When gutters get backed up, they retain more moisture, as well as causing random leaks. Often water will end up pouring over wooden elements where it was never supposed to.
Also investigate your foundation. Do you have a damp or leaky basement? This is a likely sign that there is an excessive amount of water pooled up along your foundation walls. Certain types of subterranean termites live primarily in such soil, while feeding off nearby wood. Installing a foundation drainage system can dramatically reduce this excess water.
Finally, bear in mind that the humidity levels inside your home can also play a contributing factor. Keep your home from becoming a termite spa by reducing humidity through the use of air conditioners, dehumidifiers, or even just some open windows.
It has been estimated that the average cost for repairing a termite damaged home is $3,500. But if you're smart, you can keep things from ever getting to that point. By employing the two strategies discussed above, you can help keep termites a non-issue at your home. If you'd like professional help, contact Palm Springs Pest Control Inc.