Termites have been around for more than 250-million years. These pesky insects play an important role in breaking down dead wood in the forests and speeding the conversion of nutrients into the soil.
But, when they attack our homes, it’s easy to forget the beneficial role they play in nature. In fact, termites cause more damage in homes every year than does fire. The voracious Formosan termite from Asia is rapidly invading the South East and may become the biggest termite threat facing homeowners yet.
Although termites are more common in older homes, termite control can even be a problem in brand new homes. When builders clear trees from a site to build new homes, the termites can migrate to the wood stored on the site. A concrete slab or brick construction is no guarantee that termites will not eventually invade a home because termites can work their way up through the ground into minuscule cracks in the concrete. And, if you doubt their pervasiveness, consider that Americans spend more than $1 billion every year on termite control, repair and treatment.
So, what are the best ways for a homeowner to control termites? There are two types of termites, subterranean and drywood. Prevention is the best way to deal with these pests and here are some termite control tips from some leading termite inspection companies.
1. Termites are attracted to moisture. So, to control termites it’s important to eliminate any standing water in or around your home.
2. Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris so that rain water flows freely away from the house. Use splash blocks to help channel water away from your foundation.
3. Make sure the crawl space, basement and attic is properly ventilated and dry. Put a plastic moisture barrier on the ground in the crawl space. Repair any leaky plumbing or drainage problems immediately to prevent the buildup of moisture so that termites don’t get started.
4. Repair and fill all cracks in the slab and foundation to prevent the migration of termites into the house. Good termite control means you will never have to treat for termites.
5. Remove any wood that is in contact with the soil. Eliminate wood debris around or beneath your home including scrap lumber, firewood or tree stumps. Firewood and other lumber should be stacked off the ground and away from the house.
6. Avoid wood/soil contact under and around your home. Keep soil and mulch levels at least 6 inches lower than the stucco or framing of the house. Support wooden steps or fence posts on a concrete base – not on the ground. Support posts for decks and patio covers should be on concrete pier blocks.
7. Vegetation should never touch your home house. Avoid planting trees too close to the house. Cut back shrubs, vines and bushes away from the foundation to help control termites.
8. A good coat of paint acts as a barrier for drywood termites. So, for good termite control keep the exterior of your home well painted and in good repair. Seal all cracks and screen all vents to prevent them from flying into the attic.
9. It is a good idea to have your home inspected once a year. Early diagnosis will control termites and prevent expensive treatment measures such as fumigation.
For residential and commercial property inspection services in the Sacramento and Bay Area please contact Golden State Home Inspections at 800.441.0804 or visit: http://www.goldenstatehomeinspections.com