When termites are left to accumulate in your home, you may end up incurring huge costs which you could have avoided. Find out how termites can be prevented from coming to your home naturally and using sprays and also, how to ensure these destructive insects never come back if they already existed.
Table of Contents
There are many ways of preventing termites from coming into your home.
Natural remedies are usually preferred since they are not only cheap to acquire but they are also readily available. Some of the natural ways of preventing termites are discussed below based on the different parts of your home;
The external part of your home may be the greatest link between the termite’s habitat and the inside of your home. The exterior of your home, if not taken care of, exposes your home to termite damage. Here, you are advised to take care of the roof and air conditioner unit.
You should always check your roof to ensure no tiles are broken, and in case they are broken, you ought to repair them immediately. When the tiles making up your roof are damaged or broken, they allow for moisture accumulation in the roof which in turn attracts termites. It is always good to check the dampness of your roof from time to time and dehumidify where necessary.
Air conditioner unit
Just like a broken roof, air conditioner units offer moist conditions which are conducive for termite survival. If the unit is near the foundation of your home, it is likely to attract termites which then make way to your house and cause destruction.
To prevent termites from coming to your home when you have this unit, you should always ensure that the moisture release is far away from the foundation of your home.
This is one of the parts of your home which can be a home for termites for many years without being noticed. In this case, you should focus on preventing termites from attacking the wooden beams and boxes.
In attic, the wooden beams are usually in the open offering a free and easy to access meal to termites. To prevent termites from making a home in the wood beams, always check for any signs of their infestation. You are advised to press your thumb against the wood beams to see if it feels spongy.
If you have doubts that the termites may be starting infest the beams, do not wait until you can actually see the termites. Spray the wooden beams from time to time just to ensure they are safe.
In most cases, you may prefer storing items such as paper and photos in cardboard boxes. What you may forget is cardboard boxes are good food for termites and they may eventually realize and make their way there. To avoid the possibility of termite infestation, you should ensure that any items that are stored in the attic are in plastic boxes.
Most of the furniture which is made from wood is stored in the living room. This may therefore be the most likely to be infested place. You need to take care of three main items in the living room in order to keep termites away; wooden furniture, skirting boards, and wooden flooring.
If you cannot get items made from other materials to replace the wooden furniture, you are advised to always keep the furniture away from walls. From time to time, always inspect your furniture so that you do not allow for a silent termite infestation.
As for these boards, you will need to keep on inspecting them for dry wood termites which are fond of them and may even make a home in them.
Termites will be glad to feast on any floor boards made of wood. If you already have a house with such a floor, you ought to inspect for termite infestation frequently. If you are in the process of building a new house, you ought to consider installing termite barriers.
Since the kitchen is a place where most of the food is stored and due to the countless entry points it contains, it could turn out to be the favorite spot for termites. The major areas you should be keen on are; cupboards, doors and windows, and leaky pipes.
Wooden cupboards are a great source of food for termites. Since they are very close to the floor and the walls of your house as well, they make it very easy for termites to infest them. The only sure way to prevent a termite infestation on such cupboards is to carry out inspections on a regular basis so that termites do not have a chance to build colonies on it.
Windows and doors
When it is the swarming season for the termites, they are likely to fly into your house through the doors and windows. During such seasons, protect your house by keeping both the doors and windows closed.
Any pipes that leak water create a moist environment which is very attractive to termites. As often as possible, you are advised to inspect both the internal and external pipes to ensure they are not leaking. Stop any leakages by repairing the pipes.
Similar to the living room, you will most likely have wooden furniture in your bed room. This includes wardrobes, bedframes, and wooden cabinets. If you wish to avoid termite attack and damage, you should replace the above items with metallic items or items made from other materials which are not wood. If you must use wooden furniture, always keep them away from the walls.
Although this may not be a major concern when it comes to termite damage, there are few cases when termites feast on your clothes. This is especially for clothes made using cotton. Cotton contains cellulose which is termites’ favorite food. To prevent termites from getting into your clothing, always store your clothes away from the wall and avoid leaving clothes on the ground.
Depending on what is stored in the garage, it can turn out to be a favorite place for termites. It also can be a link between the outside and your house if your house and the garage are connected.
To keep termites away, you must be keen on what you have in the storage units.
Always go for storage units made of metal and if you cannot get them, keep your wooden storage units away from the wall.
Your garden can be a perfect place for the termites to build their colonies and access your home any time they feel like. It is therefore necessary to prevent any possibility of termites living in your garden.
The main places that you must check if you are to protect your garden from termite attack include; mulch, tree stumps, fencing and decking, and wood against your house.
Mulch is a very favorable place for two reasons; first, mulch in your garden has high moisture content and secondly, most garden mulch is made of wood containing cellulose which is food for the termites. To use mulch and prevent termite infestation, you should use mulch from materials such as plastic, rubber, and gravel. You should also keep the mulch away from the foundation of your home.
Termites make a home in tree stumps since it is ready food for them. If there are any tree stumps around your home, take them far away. There should never be old stumps lying in your garden if you are to avoid termites.
Fencing and decking
If your fence posts and the decking are in direct contact with the soil, they offer a ready meal for termites which live underground. To prevent termites from getting in your home or causing damage to your property, use treated fence posts or fence posts that are termite resistant. You can also replace wooden posts with metallic posts.
Wood placed against the house
If you use wood to cook, you may be tempted to store it just next to the walls of your house. Remember such wood is exposed and termites can access it easily. Subterranean termites will for instance come to the surface only to find a ready source of food. Avoid such scenarios by keeping any wood elevated from the ground; at least 20 feet from the ground.
Use of Sprays
Sprays are mostly used in eliminating already existing termites. However, they can also be used as a preventive measure towards termite infestation.
Borate is the commonly used spray. Before priming or painting any wood, it should be sprayed with borate. Other products such as bora care only need to be diluted with water then sprayed on the wood. When sprayed, the chemicals soak into the wood.
The sprays make the wood very unappetizing and unattractive to termites as a source of food. Sprays are a great way of preventing termite attack since they only need to be applied once.
These sprays protect your wood for years for as long as the wood was never exposed to rains when it was first sprayed. This means the paint seals in the chemicals for years.
It is advisable that you hire a professional to do the spraying job for you. You must enquire from the professional on what level of toxins are in the sprays just to be sure treating the wood will not put your entire family at risk.
Other means to prevent from Spreading & Coming back
Prevention from spreading
Termites can move from one source of food to another within your home. In a short while, you will have to deal with a big infestation which will be very costly. To avoid such spread, always kill termites as soon as you first see them without waiting for the termites to show up in large numbers.
Once you realize your house has termites, inspect all the corners of your home, both the inside and the outside. This is to destroy any homes and colonies that termites may be building before the problems gets out of hand.
Preventing come back after treatment
When you treat termites, you do not want them to come back. You therefore must do a number of things to ensure they never come back;
- If the termite treatment was done a professional company, always agree with them on what terms will be used should the termites come back after treatment. Some companies may agree to offer free termiticide application should the termites return within a given period.
- You are also advised to treat any wooden materials in your house with chemicals or natural oils so that any termites that intend to get into your house are discouraged. The natural remedies are however preferred since they are non-toxic. These treatments act as a barrier to termite infestation.
- You should also inspect your house regularly following termite treatment since some of the methods, such as fumigation, kill termites but do not prevent future infestations.
- Other preventive measures such as the ones discussed above will guarantee you safety from future termite infestation. This includes keeping your home dry, replacing wooden items with metallic or plastic items or termite resistant wood, and disposing any old wood that is in your garden.
How prevent termites from eating wood
Termites love wood and the hardest thing will be exposing wood to them and expecting them to stay away. However, you can keep your wood safe from these insects. Below are some of the ways you can prevent termites from eating wood;
- Use chemicals designed to kill termites as well as some natural oils such as orange oil to treat the existing wood.
- Buy pressure treated wood such as pressure treated pine to reduce the risk of termites feeding on the wood.
- Use termite resistant wood. Some types of woods such as redwood and cedar have insect repellants. There are also woods which are very hard to chew and hence unattractive to termites.
- In addition to the above, you can use a sealer to protect your wood from being eaten by termites.
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