What attracts termites?
Your property is probably your most expensive investment; a termite infestation can lead to extensive damage if left untreated. Dampwood termites will establish colonies within the home’s structure and will seek structural damage in the foundations to get into your home.
Termite activity in your home can occur undetected over long periods of time. Once Termites are in your home, the termite invasion can cause you as a homeowner thousands of dollars in treatments and repairs.
To prevent termite infestations, an understanding of them helps. Knowing what they eat, what is attracting termites to your home, and the signs of termites will help you protect your home.
Let’s get started!
What are termites?
Termites are wood-destroying insects; the swarmers have four wings, all the same length. They have thick waists and straight antennae. Depending on the species, they will colonize near a food source or inside the wood. They like soft or rotting wood and decaying wood and moist areas and need to remain moist in order to survive.
Worker termites feed on wood for the cellulose it contains. The workers are the only member of the colony to do so. The cellulose is taken to the termite colony and fed to other members.
Do Subterranean termites need moisture?
Yes, they do need moisture to survive. Subterranean termites love to be underground in moist soil near food sources. The Dampwood termite thrives in damp, humid conditions and prefers water-damaged wood.
The Subterranean termite will build mud tubes to keep themselves moist when they travel to food sources such as rotting wood. Subterranean termites will build as close as possible to decayed wood.
Signs of termite a termite problem
These pests can leave clues of their presence around your property.
We have listed them for you:
They swarm in early summer after rainfall. Termites will swarm when a colony has matured. Flying reproductives near your home suggests you have a colony nearby that is around four years old; in that time, they could have caused a lot of termite damage.
When they have mated, termite swarmers will discard their wings; finding piles of discarded wings could signify an infestation.
You might see mud tubes along the foundations of your property or in the basement, for example.
Blistering and discoloration to wooden structures occur when termite infestations tunnel inside.
Piles of frass (fecal droppings) that look like sawdust or wood particles found on floors could be signs of an infestation.
Hollow-sounding wooden structures that are brittle and crumbly are a sign of wood-destroying insects.
Things you may be performing to attract termites to your home
Three common termite species invade the home: Drywood, Formosan, and the most common Subterranean termites.
Drywood termites live inside the wood. Formosan and Subterranean termites live mainly in the ground. Formosan and Subterranean termites both travel from their colony to wood for food sources. Formosan termites are the most destructive; they are able to destroy a wooden structure in as little as a month.
Things you can undertake to prevent a termite infestation
We have provided below some tips for keeping your home termite free.
Wood mulch will attract termites to your home
Wood mulch contains wood chips and can retain moisture, and termites love moisture. Therefore, making mulch an attractive food source.
If you can avoid using wood mulch, or keep it to a minimum on flower beds and more than twenty inches from the home’s foundation. Inspect the mulch regularly for signs of termites.
A lot of houses are on top of crawl spaces or have unfinished basements or cellars that can be a target for termite activity. These areas hold damp making the wooden supports open to infestations. If a termite colony gets under your house they could cause huge amounts of damage.
Landscaping timbers will attract termites to your home
It is typical for landscaping timbers to be placed on the ground, where they will attract moisture and termites. Untreated pine will quickly get eaten. Use treated timber as far away from the home as possible.
Do you have tree limbs overhanging your home’s roof? They will attract termites to your home’s structure
Tree branches can provide access to your home’s roof; it could be only a matter of time before termites start causing property damage. Check regularly tree limbs are not touching the homes roof.
Clear clogged gutters
Poor drainage in clogged gutters will attract termites due to moisture. They can become clogged up with leaves, branches, and pine needles throughout the year. The debris holds moisture that termites love, and the moisture can soften the roof, eventually causing rot. The soft spots attract termites and give them easy access to your home.
Keep gutters clear and install gutter guards to prevent clogging and attracting pests like termites to your home.
Wood piles, firewood, and dead trees attract termites to your home
Firewood, wood piles, tree stumps, and dead trees are big attractions to termites. When they have finished with them, they could move into your home.
Store firewood at least twenty-five feet from your home’s foundation and five inches or more off the ground.
Fallen trees, wood piles, and tree stumps left in the yard are easily accessible to termites. They should all be removed from the yard to prevent a termite infestation.
Reduce moisture levels inside and outside
To prevent termites, reduce water around your home. You can implement this by doing the following:
Soil near your home’s foundation should be kept as dry as possible. Check water is diverted away from the foundation with properly functioning splash blocks, gutters, and downspouts.
If you use lawn sprinklers and irrigation systems, do not allow water to build up near the foundation, damp soil attracts termites.
These pests, like moist quiet places like crawl spaces, reduce moist areas in the home with a dehumidifier, ventilate the home by opening windows and use fans to circulate the air.
Check your home for leaking pipes, faucets, bathtubs, and showers, and have them repaired quickly.
I have a termite infestation. What should I do?
You can place pest control bait stations around the perimeter of your property.
You can also purchase Beneficial nematodes, which are parasites that will kill insects, including termites. The soil must be 60 F for Beneficial Nematodes to thrive and kill the termites.
If one item of furniture has been affected by these pests, it can be placed outside in bright sunshine for two days to kill the infestation.
Call a pest control company
Call a pest control company for treatments and advice if you feel the infestation is too widespread for you to cope with.
Obtain three or more quotes from pest control companies and read customer reviews.
Obtain a written agreement stating complete termite extinction for two years. The pest control company should perform infestation checks periodically at no extra cost.
We presented in this article ‘What attracts termites?’ We discussed how to avoid attracting termites, what a termite is, and the signs of an infestation. We hope you have found it helpful.
Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively.