In medicine, the best cure is prevention. In pest control, the best form of termite control is also prevention. Here are six ways you can design your property to reduce the likelihood that termites infest your home.
Use Plastic, Iron and Concrete When Possible
Any wooden structure on your property could potentially attract termites and bring them closer to your house. Wood fences, railings, porches and decks can all harbor the insects.
You can reduce the number of things termites could infest by using non-wood building materials whenever possible. Instead of building a wood fence, install a chain link, PVC or cast iron one, and use a PVC or cast iron railing rather than a wood one. Make porches and decks out of poured concrete, instead of wood.
As an added bonus, chain link, PVC, cast iron and poured concrete all often require less maintenance than wood because they don't need to be stained regularly.
Keep Wood Debris Away from Your House
If you have any wood debris on your property, keep it well away from your home. Termites can travel up to 150 feet from their colony. If your lot's less than that distance, just get rid of any fallen branches or other wood debris that you have. Making regular trips to the dump to get rid of wood might be inconvenient, but it's preferable to risking a possible termite infestation.
Invest in a Gas Fireplace
Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves aren't themselves beacons for termites, but they create another opportunity for termites to get onto your property and into your home. Not only could termites find your wood pile outside, infest it and make their way into your home, but they also could come onto your property if you receive a delivery of infested firewood. Unless you're willing to carry your firewood more than 150 feet each time you want a fire, it'll be easy for the termites to get into your house once their in your firewood.
You can easily eliminate this risk by converting your wood-burning fireplace or stove into a gas or electric one. Even though this might be a somewhat costly proposition, it'll pale in comparison to the cost of rebuilding your home after it's been destroyed by termites.
Keep Plants and Gardens Away from Your House
Instead of placing plants and gardens adjacent to your home, keep them away from your house. Even if you're only growing cacti, flowers and vegetables, which aren't woody, many gardeners use wood mulch around their landscaping and in their gardens. Mulch can attract termites, just as any other wood product can.
Cover Your Crawl Space with Plastic Sheeting
If your home has a crawl space, covering the ground with plastic sheeting provides a barrier that subterranean termites can't get through. This won't completely stop termites from getting through, as the sheeting could be disturbed by another animal or punctured by something. It will greatly reduce the likelihood that termites get into your home from the ground, though, because they won't be able to chew through the sheeting.
Put Covers Over Your Gutters
The ground isn't the only place termites can invade from. Flying termites may find their way into your home's gutters if they're filled with leaves and twigs. While you should clean out your gutters periodically, it's not realistic to think you'll be removing any debris in them each week. Instead, invest in covers for them that let water through but prevent leaves, twigs and other debris from accumulating in them. Without anything in the gutters, termites won't have a place to take up residence if they fly and land in the gutters.
If you do happen to still have a termite infestation, reach out to a company like E & R Exterminating Company, Inc..