Insects are not only a nuisance, but they can also cause damage to your property, and that damage can be costly to repair! One of the insects’ homeowners fears the most is undoubtedly the termite. Are termites really that bad, and if so, is there anything you can do as a homeowner to prevent them from wreaking havoc on their trees, decks, or home? Let’s dive into that in greater detail!
What is a Termite?
First and foremost, what is a termite? A termite is a type of insect. Termites are generally small insects and look similar to ants, both in body style and size. However, some termites also have wings! If you’ve seen a flying ant or are concerned the ants in your home are actually termites, read on.
Why Are Homeowners Afraid of Termites?
Homeowners and termites never get along. A termite survives by eating cellulose material, which includes; wood, plants, carpet, insulation, cardboard, and a variety of fabrics or papers. Simply put, much of what your house is likely built from is a termite’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Termites reproduce at a rapid rate. A minor termite problem today may turn into severe in just a short amount of time.
The framing in your house, your deck, the sheetrock on the walls, and your trees or plants are all at risk of termite damage. And if your home or property happens to get a termite infestation, you could spend a significant amount of money removing the termites from your home and fixing any damage they caused.
Proactive vs Reactive
As the saying goes – ‘there is no time like the present and that is completely applicable to homeowners looking to prevent a colony of termites from feasting on their property.
The reality is, that proactively treating your home or land for termites can prevent termites from ever becoming a problem. Although this treatment can cost you some money, it is much better to pay for this proactively instead of figuring out you have a termite problem years from now.
What Can You Do
As a homeowner, there are a variety of things you can do to prevent termites from becoming an issue. Common options include:
- Use a Pest Control Company – A pest control company can proactively spray your yard, and home, for termites. Therefore, you are essentially creating a barrier that termites do not want to cross, or, are creating a barrier that kills the termites if they happen to cross it.
- Use the Right Type of Wood – It’s true, that termites love eating wood, but in particular, they enjoy eating dead or rotted wood. It’s not uncommon for the wrong wood to be used on various house projects. For example, you may be framing a room in your basement. Using pressure-treated wood on any part of the frame that touches concrete can prevent the board from rotting. Additionally, using pressure-treated wood for the deck boards or fencing in your yard can prevent the wood from rotting and withstand the elements. This wood will be a bit pricier initially, but the headaches it will save you are well worth it – and, it will typically last longer!
- Treat Dead or Dying Trees – Termites love dead or dying trees, including the stumps that often stay in the ground after the tree has been removed. If you have dead branches, a dying or dead tree, or a stump rotting in the ground, please contact us. We’ll be more than happy to provide you with a removal quote. Not only do dying or dead trees and stumps pose termite risks, but insurance companies also may not reimburse claims that have to do with a dead tree (for example, a dead tree falling and damaging property may not be covered under insurance).
- Do it Yourself – There are a variety of products you can pick up from your local ACE, Home Depot, or Lowes. You can apply these applications yourself seasonally or per the recommendation of the product.
- Seal Cracks and Openings – If you happen to see cracks or openings in your foundation, attic, or home, grab a sealer from the local hardware store and fill that crack ASAP. Not only will this prevent termites from entering through that crack, but it will also help prevent other insects from entering the home.
- Purchase a Termite Monitor – Termite monitors typically contain a piece of wood or cardboard inside of a plastic enclosure, such as this one from Home Depot. These enclosures are placed on the exterior of your home, typically behind a plant or shrub. Simply put, if you happen to notice the wood or cardboard inside the enclosure to have some bite marks, you should contact an exterminator. These monitors last a lifetime if there are no termites!
Like many things in life, it’s better to prevent the issue from ever occurring. Despite being small, termites pack a mighty punch. This punch can ruin a home, deck, or tree, and can be expensive to repair! There are simple steps you can take today to prevent termites from ever becoming an issue.