The Top Seven Ways To Protect Your Home From Termites

Termites, often known as "silent destroyers," can cause damage to your home's wooden structures that's not apparent until it's severe. Therefore, it's important to take steps to prevent a termite infestation rather than waiting for signs to appear. Here are the top seven ways to protect your home from these wood-chewing pests.

Keep your basement dry.

Dampwood termites will only feel on moist wood, so if you keep your wood dry, you'll at least be protected from this type of termite. If your basement tends to be moist, taking steps to keep it dry is essential. Install a dehumidifier. Paint any concrete walls or floors with waterproofing paint to keep moisture from seeping in and making its way into the wooden wall structures. If there are any overt cracks or leaks in your basement, have them professionally repaired -- this will cost less than completely rebuilding your walls because the termites have chewed through them.

Clear brush, bushes and weeds away from the border of your home.

Any plants around the edge of your home should be at least a foot from the actual walls. You don't want weeds or brush directly against your home, either. This is because brush and bushes can trap moisture against your home, making it more appealing to dampwood termites.

Don't stack firewood near your home.

If you bring firewood onto your property, keep in mind that it may be harboring termites. Store it as far away from your home as possible. It's best to store the wood off the ground -- on pallets or racks -- as this will keep termites from crawling up into it.

Make sure your gutters are working properly.

If your downspouts are blocked or there are leaks in your gutters, water may leak down the side of your home and moisten wooden structures. This makes them more appealing to termites. Inspect and clean your gutters twice per year. Simply climb up on a ladder, scoop out the debris, and rinse the gutters out with a hose. If you're not comfortable on a ladder, you can have a professional clean your gutters for $70 - $200.

Be careful where you buy your mulch.

Free or discounted mulch from your town might sound appealing, but it's not often guaranteed to be free of termites. Neither is mulch from your neighbor's trees or your friend's side business. Make sure you buy your mulch from a reputable, professional landscape company and that the mulch you buy has been guaranteed termite-free. This is especially important if your gardens are anywhere near the base of your home -- as most are.

Keep exterior wood surfaces painted.

Paint is unappealing to drywood termites, so make sure you keep all exterior wood surfaces fully painted. When the paint begins to peel and flake away, it's time to scrape it off and apply a new coat. Make sure you're using exterior paint, which will last longer than interior paint.

Inspect the area around your home for mud tubes.

Some termites live below ground, building elaborate tunnels and structures. If they're burrowing towards your home, there will often be a warning sign in the form of mud tubes. These are long, tube-like formations made from specks of mud and dirt. You may notice them on concrete, paving stones, or bare soil around your home. Mud tubes are not a sign that termites have invaded your home yet (though they may have), but they're a sign that an invasion is coming soon. If you spot them, call an exterminator immediately so they can spray insecticides and protect your home before the problem gets bigger.

Termites are nasty creatures, but with the steps above, you'll keep them from destroying the place you call home. For more information or for help with any termites you've already encountered, contact a local pest control company like Tri-County Termite & Pest Control