Mosquitoes flying around

How to Prevent Termites

May 23, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Termites can cause devastating damage to homes, outbuildings, and furniture. The good news is that a termite prevention strategy can go a long way toward protecting your house and property. Read on to learn about termite infestations and the best ways to keep termites away.

What causes a termite infestation? 

What causes a termite infestation depends on the type of termite. Understanding what attracts different pests is an important first step in preventing termites. 

Dampwood termites prefer wood that has already been damaged and weakened by moisture. Leaky pipes, poor drainage, and a lack of airflow that leads to moisture buildup can make wood attractive and vulnerable to these pests. 

Subterranean termites also thrive in areas where wood has been exposed to moisture. However, they need easier access to the wood than other types of termites. Since they live underground, these termites typically look for damaged wood on the ground, such as fallen trees or wood piles.

Drywood termites seek out dry wood that hasn’t absorbed moisture. They are usually attracted to wooden structures, trees, and wood fencing with cracks and damage, making it easy for these pests to invade your living spaces.

Close up of two Eastern Subterranean termites
Eastern Subterranean Termite

What’s the best way to prevent termites? 

The best termite prevention solution is a professional termite inspection and treatment plan. A licensed pest control company can examine your home and your property to identify specific risk factors for termites, so you can take steps to address them. Then experienced professionals can choose termite prevention treatment options to help keep the pests away. 

Can termites be prevented?

It may be difficult to completely prevent all termites. However, you can reduce the risk of infestations with the following tips on keeping termites away from your house.

Can I protect my home from termites myself?

While the best way to avoid termite problems is to rely on professional preventative measures and termite treatments, there are some things you can do on your own to help your cause. Follow these tips to help prevent termites in and around your house:

  • Move and protect firewood: Keep stacks of firewood stored away from your home, off the ground, and beneath an insect-proof cover. 
  • Inspect firewood and furniture: Before bringing used or antique furniture or firewood into your home, look it over carefully for cracks, rotten spots, holes, and other signs of termite damage. 
  • Clean up your yard: Remove old tree stumps, fallen trees, and large branches from your yard.
  • Mulch properly: If you need to mulch your landscaping, try cedar or cypress mulch, which is less likely to attract termites as it decays.
  • Maintain your roof and plumbing: Repair leaks promptly to reduce the risk of moisture damage that attracts termites.
  • Control humidity: If your home has air conditioning, run it on hot, humid days, and use a dehumidifier to regulate humidity levels in your home.
  • Manage basement water: If your basement is prone to flooding, installing a pump to keep things dry may be a good idea.

Termite control services 

Hawx Pest Control can assist you with termite prevention and infestation treatments. Our knowledgeable, licensed pest control technicians will conduct a thorough inspection and determine the best treatment for termite prevention based on the unique characteristics of your home and property. If you already have an active infestation, our technicians can address the problem using state-of-the-art technologies and then share tips on how you can avoid termites in the future. 

Exterminator In Workwear Spraying Pesticide With Sprayer in a kitchen

Signs of a termite infestation 

Knowing the signs of an infestation will tell you if you should shift gears from preventative termite treatment to eliminating pests who have invaded your living area. Some signs of termites include:

  • Drywall discoloration
  • Dropping drywall
  • Paint peeling on walls
  • Tiny pin-sized holes in walls
  • Hollow sound when you tap wood
  • Loose tiles on flooring and in bathrooms
  • Squeaky floorboards
  • Crumbling wood
  • Windows or doors not opening easily or at all
  • Small piles of termite pellets that look like grains of pepper or salt
  • Tiny scale-like wings scattered around outdoors after termites swarm
  • Pencil-sized tubes made of wood, soil, and termite saliva around your property or on your home’s foundation

How to get rid of termites 

Once you spot the warning signs of a termite infestation, contact a professional pest control company as soon as possible. A professional can use products and tools you may not have access to in order to eliminate dampwood termites, drywood termites, or subterranean termites. They can also identify entry points and high-risk factors in your home to help you avoid problems in the future.

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