Gardening For Not-Quite Beginners

Homeowner Tips For Preventing And Spotting Termite Infestations

Although most everyone knows that they are a threat, many homeowners fail to recognize that termite infestations can happen to them. If you're not familiar with the risks of infestation or the signs of termite presence, you're likely to overlook them until it's too late and the damage is done. Here's a look at some of the things you should know about termite infestation risk and the things you should be attentive to.

Minimizing Infestation Risk

It's important to be as proactive as possible about minimizing your risk of termite infestations. Here are a few things that you can do to help keep them at bay.

Keep things dry. Moisture sources will draw termites into your home. If you have any faucets or pipes that are dripping, you'll want to have it addressed immediately. In addition, any water that's accumulating around your foundation can also attract them, so consider installing a diversion system with gutters to keep the water away. As a final step to keeping moisture out, seal any gaps around pipes with expanding foam.

Don't feed them. If termites can't find a food source, they aren't likely to hang around. You can minimize their chances of finding food near your home by keeping any firewood stored far from the house. You'll also want to remove tree stumps, loose wood, and other similar objects from around the house.

Block their entry routes. Invest in fine mesh to cover each of the open exterior vents around the house. This keeps the termites from being able to gain entry to the house. You'll also want to consider adding concrete or a similar barrier between your home and the soil around the foundation.

Spotting Existing Infestations

There are several things you should watch for that can indicate the presence of termites in your home. For example:

  1. Look for mud tubes around your home's exterior perimeter. They're usually narrow — about the same diameter as a standard pencil. These tubes are protective barriers that allow termites to travel from the colony to their food source, which would be your home in this case.  
  2. Check the wood around your windows, baseboards, and other areas of the house. You may see small holes in the wood with sawdust beside the holes. The sawdust piles appear as a result of the termites working their way through the wood.

With the information here, you'll be prepared to both prevent and recognize termite infestations. If you have any concerns about the presence of termites or other pests in your home, reach out to a local pest control company for an evaluation and treatment.