Termites are among the most destructive pests, causing damage of billions of dollars worldwide. If left uncontrolled, they can cause a lot of havoc. So you need to understand their food sources and the things that will attract termites to your home. Many homeowners are completing various projects around the home thinking that this will prevent termites from coming inside when it might actually attract them. In this article, you will find out 7 things that will attract termites to your home.
What Are Termites?
Termites are small insects with sizes between ¼ and ½ of an inch (0.6 – 1.2 cm) that can be found anywhere on Earth, except for Antarctica. They have been around for millions of years, and have an important role in the ecosystem – that of consuming rotting wood, dead plant material, and animal dung. Basically, they are cleaning mother nature, helping with the decomposing process.
They also aerate and improve the soil as they tunnel through it, but unfortunately, they can also destroy homes and properties. Don’t worry, because they won’t eat an entire home in a matter of seconds just like you see in cartoons. They like to stay hidden and eat silently, causing damage over multiple years.
What Do Termites Feed On?
The main source of food for termites is cellulose, an organic compound found in wood, plants and plenty of materials used by humans such as paper, cardboard, and cotton fibers.
So they eat these things in order to get the needed cellulose and then break it down into a nutritious meal. Termites are among the few species that can digest cellulose, thanks to the protozoa and bacteria in their gut. Some homeowners may think that they are safe because their home is made of hardwood. But this is not a problem for termites, as they can eat both soft and hardwood. Subterranean termites feed with softwood, while drywood termites prefer dry or hardwood (such as that found in your home frame, structural timber, floors or furniture).
Dampwood termites prefer moist and decaying wood (such as tree stumps or logs), so they are rarely found in homes. And speaking of this, let’s take a look at the main 3 types of termites.
Types of Termites
There are thousands of species of termites out there, but only a few of them actually get in contact with the human environment. Regardless of the species, they can be grouped into 3 main categories:
– Subterranean Termites – they feed with rotting wood, fallen trees, stumps or branches, but also with people’s homes, as they are the most destructive. They need to be close to the ground in order to get moisture, and they also create mud tubes. This is a good indicator that your home is infested, so call us as soon as you notice one. Their colonies are large and they spread over a larger surface
– Drywood Termites – their colony is smaller and is entirely found in the infested piece of wood. They get their humidity from the timber, so they do not need to get in contact with the soil. They can stay hidden for years before being discovered, and by that time it’s already too late
– Dampwood Termites – they feed on moist and decayed wood, so their presence indicates a moisture problem. They create large galleries and they only stay inside of the infected wood. Their colonies are also smaller and can stay hidden for years
7 Things That Will Attract Termites To Your Home
Termites usually feed on soft or rotting wood, and they are seeking moist spaces. If not in a humid space, they dry out and die. So any leaks or moisture in your home can attract these nasty insects. Make sure to not have any leaking water systems or air conditioners and excessive moisture in the bathroom and laundry room. By controlling the moisture in your home you can prevent the apparition of termites.
2. Mulch and Gardens
Mulch is commonly used near homes, in gardens or against the foundation. The wood chips retain moisture and can become a great source of food for termites. Minimize the use of wood mulch and keep it at least 15 inches away from the foundation. Also inspect the existing mulch on a regular basis, looking for signs of termite infestation.
3. Landscaping Timbers
Most landscaping timbers are placed on to the ground and can develop moisture, making them perfect attractions for termites.
4. Firewood & Wood Piles
Many homeowners are keeping big piles of wood close to their home, for easy access when the wood is needed for a fire. But this can easily attract termites and then direct them towards the home. Specialists are recommending to keep the firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and to keep the wood at least 5 inches above the ground.
5. Dead Trees and Stumps
Termites love to feed on rotting wood. So if they find any dead trees or stumps, they could nest there and then eventually expand to your home. So make sure that there is no deadwood in your yard. Clear dead trees and stumps in your yard before they are attacked by termites.
6. Bad Drainage
We already learned that termites love moisture. So when clogged gutters or drainage create pools of water, this can make the insulation vulnerable to termites. Try to prevent water pooling by diverting it away from the foundation. This can be achieved with splash blocks and down-spout extenders.
7. Tree Limbs Close to the Home
If the limbs of the trees and even just some leaves come in contact with your home, they can become highways for termites to reach your home. Besides this, tree limbs can also block sunlight and slow down the evaporation of rain, encouraging moisture to develop. So make sure to carefully trim the trees close to your home.
Now you know 7 things that will attract termites to your home. Make sure to avoid them as much as possible. But if the damage is already done and termites have reached your home, then it’s time to call a professional.
Signs of Termite Infestation
Here are some of the indications that your home might be infested with termites:
– clicking noises – headbanging – flying termites – termite wings – white ants – the timber sounds hollow – there are small holes in the wood – the doors and windows are hard to open or close – mud leads – shelter tubes – the power fails – you notice tunnels in wood – you find termite droppings – the floors, walls or ceiling are damaged – the foundation is damaged – the garden is damaged – roof tiles are damaged
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take action. The sooner you do it, the more damage you can prevent. You might be tempted to try a DIY solution you’ve found somewhere on the internet or to buy a termite substance from your local retail store.
But doing so will only make you pay more in the long term instead of saving money. The solutions that you prepare at home are not that efficient, and those found in stores are diluted. A proper treatment against termites might require hundreds of gallons of solution, so in the end, you will end up paying more than by getting professional treatment.
Plus, treatments found in stores may only last for a few weeks or months, and then you will have to buy them and apply them again. But a termite barrier installed by a pest control company can last for up to 8 years.
Safeguard Pest Control
There are lots of companies out there and we are among the best. Safeguard Pest Control is a family-owned and operated company that has been in business since 1989.
We have 30 years of experience and our employees are highly trained and skilled. They have great knowledge in this field and can provide great results for all types of buildings. We offer pest control solutions to both residential and commercial areas, as well as to schools and hospitals. We are using modern devices and safe substances that will not affect your health or the environment.
Our team of experts will arrive as soon as possible and will begin by inspecting the particularities of your own home. After finding the problem, we will come up with a custom action plan and we will get to work. We will accommodate your schedule and together we’ll find the right time to start the treatment.
Book your Safeguard Termite Inspection now by calling 07 5477 6675 or emailing email@example.com and we will assist you in getting rid of these nasty pests.