Of all the pests that can invade a home, few strike as much fear in the hearts of homeowners as the termite. These small yet mighty insects can chew apart your home's wooden structures, causing your beams to collapse. Even if you catch them early in their act, they may leave behind damaged and stained wood, which costs thousands to repair. With the fall season wearing on, what are some things you can do right now to keep termites away?
Applying mulch to your garden beds in the fall is common practice to keep the soil moist and to protect the roots of delicate plants. But mulch is like a buffet for termites. It's partially rotten wood, ripe for the taking! If the termites move into the mulch and the mulch is pressed directly against your home's foundation, they won't have far to travel to make it into your home. So, as you mulch your flower beds this fall, make sure you leave about a 6-inch gap between the edge of the mulch and the foundation of your home.
Trim your trees and shrubs
Trees and shrubs shelter the ground beneath them. By keeping the ground warm and moist, they make it more appealing to subterranean termites. Fall is a good time to trim back your shrubs and bushes. Wait until they have lost their leaves for best results.
Store your firewood properly
If you have a wood-burning stove or a fireplace, you will probably be stocking up on wood this fall. Buy carefully. Look over the wood for any signs of termite damage, which include hollow caverns and jagged chew marks. Once you get the wood home, make sure you stack it far away from your home. This way, if there are undetected termites in the wood, they will be isolated further from your home. Stack the firewood on a metal rack to keep it up off the ground, too. This keeps it drier, which makes it less appealing to termites.
Have a pest control company spread insecticides
If there has been a big problem with termites in your neighborhood, fall is a good time to have a pest control company visit and spread some pesticides around the border of your home. This will help ward off any termites that do find their way towards your foundation. The ground is moist in the fall, so the chemicals seep into the soil properly.
Contact a termite exterminator to learn more.