What attracts termites to your home

Feb 7, 2019, 11:42 AM by Fred Speer

Do termites celebrate Valentine’s Day? Probably not, but your home can send out unintended signals that an attraction is there for termites to come calling.

Clark, your neighborly pest control expert, doesn’t want to put a damper on your Valentine’s Day celebrations, but does want to end the courtship between termites and your home.

Prime termite season is right around the corner. Why do you need pay close attention to the threat this destructive pest can pose? Consider the following example:

Clark Pest Control was called to the home of a new customer last summer after they noticed flying insects inside and outside. Following a thorough termite inspection, which had not been performed since 1979, severe infestations of drywood and subterranean termites were identified.

Since the termites were left unchecked for nearly four decades, the damage to the home’s wood infrastructure resulted in $10,000 in repairs and another $5,000 in termite treatments. While this may be an extreme example, it should help remind you to make sure you eliminate sources of attraction for termites in and around your home.

What conditions can attract termites?

  • Improper drainage/excess moisture: Subterranean termites are attracted to moisture – they need it to survive. Excess moisture from heavy rains and flooding, broken sprinkler heads and pipes, or clogged gutters can cause excess moisture to build up and make adjacent wood and insulation vulnerable to termites.
  • Wood in contact with soil: Wood that is in direct contact with soil and home foundations can provide an access point for subterranean termites to get inside. Dead tree stumps, fallen trees and branches, or any rotting wood material also can serve as fuel for termites.
  • Cracks in the foundation/siding: Any cracks in a foundation or gaps in siding can provide termites a means to get inside. Subterranean termites, the most commonly encountered termite in California, build mud tubes in cracks and use them to move indoors. Cracks around windows and doors also allow swarmer termites of all species to gain access.
  • Firewood/woodpiles: Many homeowners keep firewood stacked against their homes for easy access. However, doing so can draw termites toward the home and provide a point of entry. Clark recommends keeping firewood and woodpiles at least 20 feet away from the home, and if possible, storing wood raised at least five inches off the ground.
  • Mulch: Mulch is frequently used near the home near the foundation to improve curb appeal. However, mulch can serve as a source of food for termites. Mulch also retains moisture, which will attract these destructive pests. Minimize the use of wood mulch, and keep it at least 15 inches from the foundation.
  • Untrimmed trees: Tree limbs that come in contact with the roof and your home’s exterior can provide a pathway for termites and other pests that seek to gain access. That’s why it is important to keep trees properly trimmed.

Ask Clark about our exclusive Termite Indemnity Program (TIP), which will cover your home from future infestations and damages. A full inspection must be performed to see if your home will qualify, and then, for a small monthly fee, you can avoid costly out-of-pocket treatment and repair expenses.

Help protect your home from termites: Call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop us an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com to schedule your termite inspection today. 

Until next time, I’m Clark, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.