Termiteps.com Public Service Protecting your investment from termites

Termites need three things to thrive: food, moisture and shelter.

Take away their food source.

  • A clean gutter can go a long way in preventing termites from setting up shop at your house. An abundance of wet foliage can provide moisture and food for the pests and because those gutters are connected to your home, it is a direct point of entry. Clogged gutters can lead to additional excess moisture problems by causing overflow that soaks the wood off the roof and structure. So keep those gutters clear.
  • Got any loose firewood or old junk wood piles and construction debris? You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that these leftovers are a favorite of termites. Make sure any piles or pieces of scrap are kept away from any important structures.
  • Have you still got a pile of old moving boxes scattered next to your house? Cardboard is the filet mignon of termites snacks. And when that cardboard is damp they love it even more. So any cardboard around or under a house should be removed
  • So you finally got around to building that luxurious deck? Well here is something to think about, make concrete barriers part of your plan and be sure to use borate-treated, pressurized wood.
  • For more tips on proper construction methods check the USDA’s Forest Service site where you can find a bulletin on with helpful hints on construction practices to prevent to minimize subterranean termites. If your not a do-it-yourself, check with your contractor. Any contractor worth his salary should be well versed in termite prevention construction techniques.
  • That beautiful stucco facade you have that gives your house that cozy inviting feeling can also be an issue. When planning a home design keep in mind that extending the facade near or into the soil surface provides a haven for termites, giving them unfettered access to the structure of your home.

Don’t give them moisture.

  • Air conditioners are one of the major causes of excess moisture. To minimize this problem make sure the air conditioner tank is at least four inches from your house. Any leaks that come close to your house should be addressed immediately.
  • Washers and dryers are another source of excess moisture. Make sure your washers drain away from the house and don’t forget that the dryers vent should face away from the house as well (that warm air that is coming out of the vent is just the moisture-saturated from dried clothes.)
  • That leaky faucet you keep saying you will get to tomorrow. Make fixing it top priority.
  • Stay away from flat roofs. With no angle for water run off they harbor moisture and invite infestation.
  • Keep a close eye on your sprinkler system. Pipe Insulation should not extend all the way from the house to the soil. After cold spells are over, the insulation should be removed or at least have a gap large enough to allow homeowners to detect termites.

Don’t give them easy access to shelter.

  • Plan your garden with care. Make sure to keep vines, vegetable gardens and storage containers away from your house. An over cluttered garden makes detection difficult. If you insist on planting right next to your home try to make a small buffer zone. Your garden may be the pride of your home but remember roots feed the termites, and the leaves give the termites the moisture and shade they crave.
  • Be aware of your surrounding. Every once in a while it is a great idea to check your house for stains, holes and other infestation signs. If you notice Wings on your window sill, particularly inside the house, you should have your home inspected immediately.

When it’s time for treatment

  • It’s best to call a professional pest control company when you have an infestation. They have the equipment and expertise necessary to do the job thoroughly. They can also check your home for potential access points.
  • Implement a treatment and maintenance plan with a professional.

USDA ASR Website


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