Termites are destructive insects that can wreak havoc on a home by chewing through wood structures and weakening them. In the worst type of infestation, wood can be easily punctured with the tip of a screwdriver. You can see evidence of their infestation if you see them swarm in the fall or spring, or if you notice their mud tubes leading from the ground to your home. Once you're dealing with an established infestation, the best method to get rid of them and prevent further damage is to hire a termite control company. However, prevention is less expensive and less toxic to the environment. Read on for ways to prevent a termite infestation in your home.
Because termites love wood, don't leave it lying around near your home, encouraging termites to have a snack. Firewood never should be stored against the home, nor should planks of wood from your recent construction project. Even wood mulches should be used sparingly around a home's foundation. Leave a bare area between the mulched area of your flower bed and the home's foundation.
Termites love damp areas, so keep the areas around the foundation dry. If water collects near the foundation, direct it away from your home with a French drain or by extending the length of your downspouts with plastic tubing made expressly for this purpose.
If you're building an addition onto your home, like a porch, a deck or stairs, make sure that the wooden parts of the addition are based on a layer of concrete. This will prevent termites from reaching the wooden pieces of the addition from the ground.
Eliminate Hiding Places
Insects love to hide in cracks and crevices of your home and foundation surrounding it. If you see any cracks, dust it with boric acid. This non-toxic-to-humans material will cling to the bodies of insects and poison them when they ingest it during grooming.
Attack a Nest
If you see a termite nest on your property, try a non-toxic insecticide before calling in the termite control experts. You could spread nematodes over the area where you spotted the nest. Nematodes are tiny parasites that can only be seen under a microscope. They hunt and kill any insects they encounter. Another option is to spray a non-toxic citrus-based insecticide on any visible termites. These insecticides kill on contact and can stop a light infestation in its tracks.