You probably know that termites cause massive damage each year, costing property owners billions of dollars. If you haven’t seen termites on your property, though, you’re safe, right? Like it or not, that’s not necessarily true. Termites can establish colonies and go without being detected for a long time, causing extensive damage before the homeowner is even aware of their existence. What can you do to protect your home? It pays to stay vigilant about signs of damage, but in truth, that’s not really enough. When it comes to termites, it’s important to be proactive, preventing infestations before they happen.
There are several steps you can take to make your home less appealing to termites.
- Eliminate soil to wood contact. Keep lumber, wood, mulch, paper, cardboard, and other materials that contain cellulose away from your foundation. Stack firewood at least eight inches off the ground, at least 20 feet from your home. Leave a four-inch barrier between mulch and the house and keep wooden siding at least six inches above the soil. Ideally, only your concrete foundation should touch the soil.
- Prevent plants from touching the house. Keep your shrubs trimmed so that there’s at least a foot between bushes and your exterior walls. Keep your grass cut short and raked and consider using pine needles or pea gravel in place of wood mulch.
- Maintain your foundation. The foundation should be kept free from moisture, and any cracks should be sealed to prevent termites from gaining entrance.
- Use best practices around your home. Fix leaks as soon as possible, and don’t let newspapers or cardboard boxes pile up around the house. Recycle all wood and paper products, and be sure to store important papers in a safe place on the upper level of your home. Get rid of tree stumps and any leftover lumber from construction projects.
Despite your best efforts to deter them, termites are really good at getting into property and remaining undetected. They can get past materials like metal siding and plaster, eating their way through floors, walls, ceilings, and even furniture in an astonishingly short time frame. This can result in the need for expensive repairs and can be extremely dangerous because it can compromise the integrity of your home’s structure. That’s why it’s so important to take measures to prevent them. It’s also wise to know the signs that termites have broached your property.
- Subterranean termite signs: The damage these termites cause looks a lot like water damage. You might see a drooping ceiling, warped floors, and buckling wood, and you may notice a mildew smell. Subterranean termites need moisture to survive, and so they travel around in wood tunnels, which you might notice on the outside of your house, particularly around the foundation.
- Drywood termite signs: Drywood termites are harder to detect. They get deep inside the wood of your home, and you might not notice them at all until you see little cracks or notice raised tunnel mazes just under the surface.
While the measures listed above can be helpful, the best way to prevent a termite infestation is to enlist the help of termite experts. It may seem counterintuitive to call for a professional before you see any signs of termites or termite damage, but then again, you take proactive measures in many areas of your life. Calling for preventive termite treatment is a little bit like going to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings, to prevent cavities and other oral issues. You might also look at it in the light of myriad other things you do before you really need to do them. After all, you lock your door when no one is currently attempting to break in, and you fill your car’s tank with gas before you run out and are stranded on the side of the road. You can probably think of dozens of other scenarios in which you are proactive about something that’s important.
Why should it be any different when you’re addressing a possible termite infestation? The reality is that termites can easily enter an unprotected home, building colonies that can number in the hundreds of thousands. They never stop eating, going through an unbelievable amount of wood each day. In fact, it is estimated that a group of about 60,000 termites could eat through an entire foot of a 2 by 4 beam in around five months. Consider the significance of that, in terms of the damage they can do to your home! By the time you notice mud tunnels, damaged wood, or wings from swarmers, you may already have well-established colony in your home. The termites have already begun their relentless eating, devouring anything and everything in your house, as long as it contains cellulose. Which items have cellulose? Wallpaper, floors, beams, and cardboard are just a few of the materials that termites consider delicacies. Unless you take measures to prevent a termite infestation before it starts, you could be looking at some very expensive repair bills in your future. Fortunately, termite experts know how to help. They’ll work to eradicate the termites in your home, as well as helping to prevent future infestations.
At MightyMite Termite Services, we’re experts in controlling all types of termites in California. We perform termite inspections to ensure that your home is free of termites and work hard to help you keep it that way, using treatments that are naturally derived and have a low impact on the environment. We diagnose and treat infestations with the most effective methods and unmatched warranties, solving your termite problems the first time, with an industry best “no call-back rate.” That, combined with our experience, technology, and highly trained professional staff, makes us the leading extermination company in the Bay Area. We understand that your home is your most important investment, so we work hard to provide excellent service, utilizing best practices to solve our customers’ termite problems in Northern California. For more information, call us today at 408.335.7053, email Info@mightymitetermite.com, or contact us through our website.