What Attracts Termites into Your HouseOctober 7, 2018
Very few house pests are harder to identify than termites. They sneakily and with a professional quietness go about their business destroying parts of your home and you never realise just how much until it is a full blown termite infestation. They will eat through anything wood, such as your lovely hardwood floors, roof rafters, and wooden ceilings. They will even damage that tree with the swing your child loves so much!
To avoid all the damage that termites are capable of doing to your home, it is important that you learn what attracts them. This will help you take the necessary precautions to keep them at bay, and even pre-empt any attempts to breach your carefully planned perimeter. Here are some of the things you should be on the lookout for:
Wood and plant based material
It is a well-known fact that termites love wood. What most people do not know is why they love it so much. They actually love an organic sugar compound that is found in lumber and other plant products. It is an important nutritional component in the plants, helping in the formation of stronger stems, stout branches, and healthier leaves with better colouring. Being one of the core components in the plant, it is transferred into any other product made from the same. This means that there is cellulose in cardboard. Plywood, the stack of firewood in your backyard, and even in paper; yes you read that right, paper.
Now we know that food attracts all sorts of animals, which is why a proper restaurant within walking distance of your home is your first identify, the first week after moving. Termites will therefore be attracted to piles of wood, large stacks of cardboard boxes and paper, and plant material littered in your yard. This is why most parts of the house that termites attack first are firewood racks and basements, where cardboard boxes full of old newspapers and other sources of cellulose are stored. The easiest way to take care of this is to remove all unnecessary cardboard and paper from your basement, and clearing any unneeded fallen plant material from your yard. You should also make sure the firewood, or any wood really, that you buy is treated against termites. This also includes any wood that you may have used for construction projects in your home, for instance fencing and shed building.
You may have cut down a tree but left the stump intact, or cleared away a few bushes but did not remove them from the root. As we established earlier, termites really love plant material. They are attracted to the stumps, bushes, and even dead trees. The migration to your home is then easy, especially if any of these touches the outside of your house at any point. Before your know it, the infestation has taken its toll on various parts of your home, and could even render it dangerous to live in, especially if the damage extends to the trusses and rafters holding your roof up. The best thing to do is to remove any dead trees and uproot any tree stumps then fill and compact any holes left after that. Any weeds and bushes that you need to clear should also be taken out from the root. It not only deters the termites, but also keeps them from growing back as quickly.
Warm dark places
Warmth and darkness are two of the things termites look for when choosing a nesting place. They thrive in warmer temperatures and could die should the ambient temperatures go below a certain point. This is one of the reasons they hurdle together in in their nest. On the other hand, darkness is preferred to well-lit areas for nest construction. This is because termites live and breed in the dark, which affords them protection from predators. This is actually thought to be the reason why they leave behind those mud tunnels everywhere.
To keep termites from invading and ruining your life, make sure that all the places of your home are at some point exposed to the light. It is as simple as cleaning out areas with clutter, organising your basement so that everything is where it is supposed to be, and clearing the outside of your home of weeds and bushes.
Have you ever noticed that the inside of a termite mound is always wet? This is because water is actually a very important part of their physiology. Termites will actually dry out and die if they stay too long without water. This is why you should look through your house and seal any leakages to sinks, pipes, taps, and other plumbing areas, especially in the basement. You should also clear out any water puddles on the outside of your home. Limiting the amount of humidity in and around your home will decrease the chances of termites setting up residence.