Wood obviously attracts termites, but it isn't the only thing beckoning them to your home. There are several other things you can do to make your home the perfect resident for termites. Then, they will proceed to chew through your lumber and cost you thousands of dollars in damage.
Like all insects, termites require moisture. If you have excessive dampness or plumbing leaks, this can create conditions that are suitable for termites. If there is not enough moisture and the mud tubes dry out, the termites will dry out as well. The accumulation of moisture near the base of your home is especially problematic, so make sure that your home is well-drained, that you have a sump pump, that you clean out your gutters and that you use French drains and construct your landscaping to slope away from your home.
Termites prefer darkness. The more exposure that your home has to natural sunlight, the fewer places that termites will have to thrive. For example, if you have a basement window, termites will feel less invited to feast on the lumber found in your basement. The only exception are the termite swarmers, which are actually attracted to light.
Termites love soil because it provides a safe place for termites to tunnel to so they can reach their food sources. When the soil is in contact with a wooden part of your home, the termites will have a much easier time infesting your home. Remove construction debris from your foundation to avoid attracting termites.
The most active time for termites is in the summer because they cannot handle cold weather. If your home is too warm in certain areas, such as your crawl space, this will create a tempting place for the termites to move to during the winter, especially if there is an adequate food source.
Crawl spaces are a favorite place for termites. Having adequately-sized vent openings can prevent excessive moisture from becoming trapped in the crawlspace, which attracts termites. Polyethylene sheeting can create a barrier that prevents moisture found in the soil from condensing on the joists.
While you may be able to make your home less hospitable, there are also likely problems with your home that you have missed. Besides hiring a plumber to fix any plumbing leaks, you should hire a termite specialist who can identify corrections you can make to your home to make it less appealing to termites.
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