How Can I Prevent Termites?

termite control
Image courtesy of James Niland (CC by 2.0)
Termites are a common problem that many homeowners will have to deal with at one point in their lives. Termites move from place to place and expand their colonies. Termites are found throughout the United States, but tend to do less damage where there are cold, dry winters. If you are a homeowner, there are a few steps that you can take to protect your home from a termite infestation.

Consider a Pretreatment Before You Build

Many building companies will complete a pretreatment for termites before they build. This is a soaker type treatment where the termiticide is applied to the ground before the building begins. This provides protection under the concrete slab and around your home. If you are building a home yourself, you can request that the contractors do this before they start building.

Seal Off Your Crawlspace

Many crawlspaces have dirt floors. If you can seal off your crawlspace, you can limit the areas that termites can get into your home. You can hire a termite control professional to do this for you, or you can attempt to do it yourself. The project can be quite time intensive and depending on the current condition of your crawlspace, it may include mucking things out. A professional company will make sure is done correctly and give you the protection that your home needs.

Regular Inspections and Bait Stations

Regular termite monitoring can help you detect termites before they cause a lot of damage. Bait stations can alert you that termites are on your property and allow you to treat for them if it becomes necessary. The bait stations are chemical free, and attract the termites since they contain wood and cellulose. If termites are found in these stations, you can begin treatment.

Use Treated Wood

If you are building a new outdoor project like a deck or shed, be sure to use wood that has been treated for termites, especially if it will go directly into the ground. Subterranean termites will begin to eat the wood of the deck and give you no visible signs unless the wood is treated.

Stack Wood Away from the Home

If you keep wood for a fireplace or wood burning stove, you need to stack the wood away from your home. If you can store it on a concrete pad, you provide another layer of protection for the wood. You can also cover it with a tarp for additional protection. Image courtesy of James Niland (CC by 2.0)