Termites survive off of cellulose which is a component found in wood. Every home that has wood somewhere in the construction is at risk for a termite infestation. It is no surprise that having wood in the construction of your home puts it at risk for a termite infestation. There are, however, a number of other risk factors for a termite infestation that are surprising. Understanding the risk factors can help you take steps to protect your property from termites.
Moisture-rich soil can put your home at risk for a termite infestation. Having moisture-rich soil can sound like a good thing – especially if you like having a garden and lush lawn. Issues with termites can pop up when you have an excess of moisture in the soil under and surrounding your house. Subterranean termites need to be in close contact with moisture-rich soil in order to survive. If you have a leak under your house or issues with drainage it can create an environment that attracts termites. Stay on top of home maintenance and deal with water issues promptly in order to minimize your risk for termites.
Improperly stored firewood
The way you store firewood can impact your risk level for developing a termite infestation. Many homeowners are surprised to find that something as simple as where you store firewood can increase the possibility of developing a termite infestation. Termites are attracted to dead wood and that includes firewood. If you store firewood against your house it can draw termites to your property. Termites can move from the firewood to the wood of your house and start causing damage. The best way to store firewood and avoid termite damage is to keep it off the ground and away from your house. You can purchase a premade rack designed for this purpose or build something yourself.
Getting behind on yard maintenance
Getting behind on yard maintenance is another surprising factor that can put you at risk for termites. As mentioned above, termites are attracted to dead wood. This includes branches that have fallen from trees and trees that are dead or dying. Dead wood anywhere in your yard can increase your chances of developing an infestation. Stay on top of your yard maintenance and quickly deal with any fallen limbs or dead trees in order to minimize your chances of developing a termite infestation.
The weather is another factor that can impact your likelihood of developing a termite infestation. Once you have a termite infestation, they will eat away at the wood of your home all year long. When it comes to developing a new infestation, you are at the highest risk during the warmer months of the year. Termite swarmers leave established colonies and head out to find new places to infest. The spring and summer months are the time when swarmers can be found in most areas. You cannot control the weather but you can keep an eye out for swarmers during the spring and summer. They look similar to winged ants but they do not have a segmented torso. If you notice swarmers near your home it is important to seek out professional help right away in order to prevent an infestation.
Keeping up with home and yard maintenance, properly storing firewood, and watching out for termite swarmers are all steps that can minimize your risk for developing an infestation. Another important step is to have your home inspected by a termite professional. An inspector can let you know if you have an active infestation, point out elements that put your home at risk, and make recommendations for treatment/prevention.