Proactive Termite Prevention in Two Steps

Katelyn Preston June 10, 2016

Summer is prime time for bugs and pests to invade your home and one of the peskiest of these invaders are termites. Termites are often called the “silent destroyer” because they are likely to secretly thrive in your home or yard before you even realize what’s going on. Don’t let this happen!

Considering that hardwood flooring of your home, any wooden structure and your furniture are their main targets, the potential damage termites can cause in and around your home is huge. In fact, studies conducted by the National Pest Management Association suggest that termite infestations alone costs Americans more than $5 billion annually.

While termites are tough to get rid of and controlling them often requires professional help, there are some preventive steps you can follow to protect your home from termites. Here are some tips to keep your home safe from termite attacks.

Look for the Warning Signs

The biggest challenge with termites is that they can go about their business of destroying your home for a considerable length of time without being noticed. Warm, humid environment allows termites — just like other insects — to thrive and breed, but in Arizona, where the humidity is low and it’s too hot to retain much moisture in structures, subterranean termites thrive. August through the fall is typically the most active for the insects, as temperatures and still warm and there is more rain. If you’re convinced that your home is under termite attack, here’s what to watch for:

  • Holes in wood and sawdust-like powder near furniture or wooden structures are almost sure-shot signs of termites eating away the wood.
  • If you notice mud tubes, you can be sure there’s some termite activity going on. These mud tubes are basically passages for termites to move from your property to their main colony and back.
  • Termites shed their wings upon reaching their destination. So if you notice discarded insect wings in your home (gross!), it’s likely you’re dealing with termites.
  • Since termites often make tunnels in the walls, hollow-sounding walls also indicate the presence of termites.   
  • Pay close attention to places where concrete — steps, porches, or slabs — connect with the wooden structure and watch for the above signs at those locations.

Clean Around Your Home

Signs of termites will most likely appear outside of your home; that’s how they got inside. Watching for mud tubes and paying attention to places where concrete and wood meet are good places to start, but what about stepping back and looking at your entire property. Is your lawn unkept? Are tree limbs touching your wooden structure? Termites can climb the tree and gain access to your home or garage that way, so be sure branches are trimmed and you check your foundation.

Wood piles or even scraps of wood are often enough to create a gateway for termites to enter your home. So if you have stacks of wood on your property, avoid keeping them close to your home. Not just that, keep the surroundings of your home clean, in general, to avoid the chances of termite infestation.

  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and 5 inches off the ground. Check it for pests before bringing it indoors.
  • Remember to trim vines, hedges and other vegetation regularly to keep them away from your home’s foundation and roof.
  • Make sure the mulch in your garden isn’t too close to your house.
  • Remove old form boards, grade stakes, tree trunks and roots near your home, as they may attract termites.

As we mentioned before, DIY methods alone can’t make your home termite-proof. While our can certainly reduce the odds of termite infestation, when it comes to combating an active infestation, nothing comes close to professional pest control services armed with drills, sub-slab injectors, motorized pumps and the right chemicals. If you find yourself in need of professional pest control, check out our exhibitors Bulwark Exterminating and Mule Mountain Pest Control.

By following our preventative steps and getting an annual inspection done by a professional every year, you’ll be more likely to succeed in keeping termites out of your home.