As a homeowner, you want to ensure that your house retains its original value. Additionally, you want your home to be a safe and suitable environment for your family members. However, there's one pest that can prevent you from achieving either of these goals: the termite. Termites can cause thousands of dollars worth of structural damage to your home. To prevent an infestation, take these precautionary measures:
Relocate Your Firewood Stash
Although it may be convenient for you to keep your winter supply of firewood directly outside your back door, you're much better off relocating it a few dozen feet away from your home. Woodpiles create a perfect environment for termite growth.
Termites (just like humans) need shelter, food, and water to thrive. Termites will create a colony beneath your woodpile, eat your firewood, and use moisture that accumulates inside your firewood as a water source. Relocating your woodpile away from your home will prevent termites from forming a colony that's capable of expanding into your home.
However, if you want to keep your woodpile from being infested as well, then you must keep it from coming into contact with the ground. Placing your firewood inside of storage bins or on top of concrete surfaces will make it significantly more difficult for termites to feed off of it.
However, if the exterior of your home is wooden, then simply relocating your woodpile may not be an effective way to starve termites of nutrients. In such a case, you may want to consider applying a perimeter spray to the base of your home or replacing your home's exterior wooden features entirely.
Install Bait Stations
When you think of termites, an image of a small, brown, flying insect may come to mind. However, many species of termites don't develop wings and can live their entire lives underground. These termites, known as subterranean termites, are one of the most difficult types of home-wrecking pests to detect.
Subterranean termites can penetrate through your home's exterior walls without ever revealing themselves. To protect your home against these unseen intruders, you'll need to install bait stations around your home.
Bait stations consist of small vials that can be inserted into the soil around your home. These vials contain poisons that both attract and kill subterranean termites. Although the concept behind bait stations is simple, the use of bait stations is not. To properly utilize bait stations, you must first condition the termites around your home to take bait from the soil around your home (a process known as pre-baiting). If you fail to properly pre-bait the termites on your property, then your bait stations will be completely useless.
Pre-baiting a termite colony isn't an easy task. For this reason, it's best to contact a professional exterminator if you plan to install bait stations around your property. Pre-baiting termites requires extensive knowledge of termite habits and their scavenging processes.
Remove The Vegetation Surrounding Your Home
As previously stated, termites need water to survive. For this reason, termites (specifically subterranean termites) will create their colony as close to a water source as possible. Relocating the vegetation surrounding the immediate vicinity of your home will allow you to keep the soil around your home dry—which further reduces the possibility of a termite colony setting up their headquarters just outside of your home.
By performing one or more of these precautionary measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a termite infestation. However, if your house has already been compromised, these preventative measures won't significantly alleviate termite damage. In such a case, it's best to have an exterminator fumigate your home.
If you have trouble finding a suitable place for your woodpile, determining how much vegetation to remove from your property, or deciding whether or not you should install bait stations, then have your exterminator inspect your property right away. By doing so, you can begin taking the necessary steps to protect your home against termites. Check out sites like http://desertpest.com for more information.