Seven ways to protect your home from termites

March 15, 2019

With temperatures on the rise, termites will begin to swarm, and that can spell trouble for California homeowners.

Clark, your neighborly pest control and lawn care expert, says that when termites swarm, you may observe these destructive pests walking on your carpet or flying outside windows, or you may find a pile of their discarded wings on window sills.

Mentioned above are some of the more visible signs termites might be present in your home. But most of the destructive behavior termites engage in, and the damage they cause, goes unnoticed. It takes place below ground, or in attics, wall voids, and crawlspaces.

And the damage they cause – an estimated $5 billion annually in the United States alone – is typically not covered by your homeowners insurance.

To make your home and property less attractive to hungry termites, which they eat 24/7/365, and in honor of National Termite Awareness Week, Clark offers the following seven termite prevention tips, starting with eliminating or reducing moisture – something termites need to survive.

  1. Divert water away from your home’s foundation by installing properly functioning downspouts, gutters, and     splash blocks.
  2. Reduce humidity in crawl spaces and attics with proper ventilation.
  3. Trim vines, hedges, and other vegetation to prevent them from blocking vents.
  4. Remove old form boards, grade stakes, tree trunks, and roots in yards – as they may attract termites.
  5. Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
  6. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.
  7. Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite damage or mud tubes coming from the soil.

Two additional practices you can follow to reduce the appeal of the wood in your home is, one, to clean clogged gutters of leaves or debris that might have collected over the winter, and two, to reduce the amount of landscaping mulch.

Cleaning gutters is a necessary part of termite prevention, because backed-up water and organic debris (e.g., leaves, branches) can cause moisture damage to wood and make insulation vulnerable to termites.  

Applying too much mulch when sprucing up your landscape this spring can also encourage termite activity. Mulch can serve as a food source for termites, and it retains termite-attracting moisture. Minimize the usage of wood mulch, and keep it at least 15 inches from the foundation of your home.

How can you further protect your home from termites? Call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop the Clark termite experts an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com to schedule a professional inspection of your home to see if termites are present and, if so, review your treatment options.

Pro Tip: Learn about Timbor is an  insecticide, fungicide and wood preservative which Clark Pest uses for the protection and treatment of lumber against fungal decay and wood destroying insects (including termites, beetles, and carpenter ants).