If you own a wooden home, then you may be concerned about specific types of pests destroying the very structure of your house. This is a real concern for many homeowners, and some individuals are worried about termites and how they can destroy wooden beams and boards that bear the weight of your house. If this is something that you are worried about, then you should try to protect your house from termites. Termites are quite destructive, and subterranean termites are the ones that most people in the United States need to worry about when it comes to their own homes and properties. You can effectively protect your home from termites with the following tips.
Keep Your Foundation Dry
Subterranean termites are insects that create nests in the earth. They build elaborate tunnels that allow them to move from one space to another, and the vast majority of the tunnels are created to raise young and to gain access to food. The colonies may contain as many as one million termites. While this may seem like a large colony, they can become even bigger. The tunneling system is continually spread out, with much of the expansion occurring in the summer. At this time, the tunnels may mingle with those of other nearby colonies. The tunnels may become indistinguishable from one colony to the next, and the two or more colonies essentially become one.
It is very likely that you have one or several subterranean termite colonies underneath the lawn of your home. The insects do need one distinctive thing, though, to remain alive and well, and this is water. The termites cannot be exposed to the air for very long, or their skin will dry out. This is an extremely important factor if you want to keep the termites away from your home. In essence, if the ground is not wet near your house, then the termites cannot burrow near your home, locate wood, and eat it.
You basically want to create a dry patch of earth that extends a few feet around the perimeter of your foundation. A proper gutter system can do a lot to keep the ground dry. Make sure to add a proper downspout that extends a good distance away from your home. The distance depends on the way your property is graded. If it is graded or angled towards the foundation, then the gutter should sit four feet or more from the foundation. If the lawn is graded away, then the downspout is likely fine if it is two to three feet from the foundation. Do not forget the splash block when making sure your gutter is installed correctly. This piece will help to keep water moving away from your home.
Some other things that can keep your foundation dry are drainage tile, basement drainage systems, ventilation, and dry wells.
Clear Away Wood
If you have ever wondered why termites do not invade forests and eat all the trees in the woods, there is a simple explanation for this. Termites do not eat live wood. They feed exclusively on dead cellulose. This means that termites move through their tunnels in search of dead wood. Once the wood is found, the insects use their sharp jaws to rip small chunks of the cellulose away. They consume the wood and continue to feed. Termites are so destructive because they will continue feeding for almost 24 hours a day. A group of one million termites can certainly put a large dent in your house in a very short period of time.
If you invest in waterproofing measures, then it may seem like termites will be unable to access your home. However, if you have firewood, kindling, branches, or dead trees hanging over your house, then the termites can eat through these food sources until they reach your home. They will then start feeding on your house. Make sure to move all dead wood away from your home.
The insects will also eat things like cardboard and paper, since they are made from wood as well and contain an abundant amount of cellulose. Make sure there are no piles of these things near your home either. Books, fabrics made from organic plant materials, carpeting, and old furniture items can all become food sources, so make sure that all garbage items are properly taken out with the trash instead of leaving them somewhere outside your home.
For additional advice, contact a pest control company like Tri-County Termite & Pest Control, Inc.