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Keeping Termites Away from Your Home

Termites need three things to thrive: Food, Moisture and Shelter. Don’t give them what they need!

Don’t feed them

Keep gutters clean – Wet leaves provide moisture and food for the pests, and since the gutters are attached to your home, it’s an easy point of entry. Clogged gutters can also contribute to moisture problems by soaking wood off the roof and fascia boards. Wood piles and construction debris, boards left touching the ground or fences without proper ground clearance can all be food sources. Cardboard is also a favorite food of termites and damp cardboard around or under a house could provide an ideal opportunity for termites.

Termite DamageBuilding a deck? Make concrete barriers part of your plan and be sure to use borate-treated, pressurized wood. The USDA’s Forest Service has a bulletin on subterranean termites with helpful hints on construction practices. Your contractor may also have suggestions for preventing termite infestations. Stucco facades extending near or into the soil surface provide a haven for termites, allowing them to move into a home undetected.

Don’t give them moisture

Check your house for stains, holes and other infestation signs. Wings on your window sill, particularly inside the house, are a sign that you need to have your home checked; don’t just hope the problem will go away.

When it’s time for treatment

It’s best to call a professional pest control company when you have an infestation. They have the equipment and expertise necessary to do the job thoroughly. They can also check your home for potential access points. The same is true for treating infested trees in your yard. Although new chemical treatments will be available soon for trees, a professional can provide more intensive treatments.

After treatment, check your home for termites regularly. There’s even discussion about making five-year treatments a standard part of prevention.