Whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant in a rental property, there are certain things you could unknowingly be doing to attract termites to your house and increase the risk of an infestation.
You could have piles of wood leaning against the property, a build-up of moisture around the foundation, or you could be using a type of garden mulch that termites find simply irresistible.
Regardless of what the potential cause is, any one of these factors can be enough to attract termites. When that happens, there is a strong chance they will cause serious damage to your property.
How to keep termites away from your home
What’s the solution? Identify the problem areas around your home. Being able to recognise the problems first hand will help you realise the severity of the situation and the need to take action.
For further information call a qualified pest controller to inspect the home. They can determine if termites have already made their way into your home and, if so, they can recommend a treatment plan to get rid of the infestation. From there your pest controller can assist with further advice on how to find a solution or a safer alternative, maintaining your home termite free: (for example, store firewood away from the house).
1. Storing timber next to the property
In winter, do you like having a convenient source of timber nearby to use as firewood? Do you regularly do DIY projects around the house and have access to a small pile of lumber or other hardwood?
If so, then you may be unknowingly inviting termites over for lunch. Why? Well, obviously, because termites love to feed on timber. And if you have piles of timber conveniently stored around the place – you’re just asking for trouble.
To avoid a feeding frenzy, be sure keep firewood and other timber products at least 20 feet away from your home. You should also place the timber on a slightly raised platform so that, even if termites do come around, they are less likely to feed on the timber.
2. Using the wrong type of mulch
There are many different types of mulch, and the type you use can determine whether termites will feed on your home.
This is because, once you place the mulch down into the garden, not only does it become a viable source of food for termites, but it also serves as a protective barrier to keep the ground below moist – which is the perfect breeding ground for termites.
Try to avoid organic mulch if you can help it. We say, ‘if you can help it,’ because we are aware that organic mulch is often the most visually appealing choice. Termite resistant mulch that closely matches the look and feel of organic mulch, then you won’t have to give up good looks in order to keep termites away.
The good news? You can choose from a range of strong, colourful, and termite-resistant mulch at your local garden store, such as:
- Cypress heartwood: Contains a large amount of resin in the timber which is very off putting for termites
- Cedar: This type of mulch has effective termite repellents such as resins which can be toxic to termites.
- Tea tree mulch: This contains tea tree oil from the melaleuca plant, which is an effective way to repel termites.
3. Moisture build up around the property
Many parts of the home are prone to moisture build-up.
Rainwater runoff can fall down the gutter and pool up next to the house. You might have garden beds lined up next to the house which you frequently water. Or, you could have a window air conditioner dripping water onto the soil.
Any one of these problems can lead to moisture build-up and attract termites.
For starters, make sure the rooftop gutters help direct rainwater away from the house and towards the storm drain. You may need to hire a professional who can install flashings and downpipes so you can redirect the rainwater to where you want it to go.
If you have a window air conditioner, have it serviced by a specialist just before summer. They will make sure the unit is properly installed and sealed and that the drain hole (drip pan) is free of blockages.
4. Excess foliage, tree limbs, and leaves
Do you have a lot of trees around your house? If so, you are probably use to the sight of falling leaves and tiny branches every now and then. While this is a peaceful sight to behold, the reality is, if left uncleaned, the debris can attract termites and lead to a feeding frenzy.
For these reasons, be sure to keep your garden clean and free of debris. You may need to keep your surrounding trees and bushes regularly maintained, either with your own gardening tools, or – if your trees are too tall – you may need to hire an arborist to prune and trim your tall trees.
Suspect you have termites outside your home? Don’t wait for them to come inside. Contact All Bugs for a free, no commitment termite inspection quote.