Homeowner’s Guide to Handling Termites

Owning a home means that you are constantly vigilant against dangers to the structure and its occupants. One of the scariest discoveries a homeowner can make is a termite colony in or near the home. These little insects can literally eat you out of house and home.

This guide is designed to give you a little insight into dealing with termites, getting them out of your home and keeping them out.

Firstly, understand that termites love two things most in the world: moisture and wood. Anywhere that termites can find these two items, they will build a colony.

What to do when you find a termite colony

Fill in the cracks – The very first thing to do is to seal the house. Find cracks and holes and fill them. Termites can’t eat through caulk nor can they build a colony in fine sand. Using either of these materials to fill holes in the walls will help to keep termites out.

Dry up – Look for places where moisture is getting into your home. Broken gutters, poor window and door seals, and basement leaks can allow moisture into the home that termites will seek out. Get all of these items fixed as soon as possible so that you can get the moisture level in the home down. A dehumidifier can also help to reduce the overall humidity in your basement and the rest of the house.

Come back next year – Plan on checking every year for termites. Once you have dealt with an infestation, be sure to inspect your home at least once a year for termites.

Yucky wood – When you replace the wood in your home, use cedar, redwood, or juniper. Termites are not fans of these woods and so are less likely to gnaw on them.

What NOT to do when you discover a termite colony

Don’t touch – Once you’ve discovered a colony, the best thing is to leave the insects alone. If you disturb the colony without destroying them properly, they may get up and move. You may end up with infestations in multiple locations.

Don’t go it alone – The chemicals that are used to kill termites can be harsh. It’s best to get an expert to complete the extermination. This is even more important since an expert will also know to look in places that you might not have thought of.

Take away the food – Wood mulch and wood piles are termite havens. Don’t use wood mulch next to your home. If you have a wood pile, move it away from the house. Termites will start at the bottom of the pile, where the wood is moist and warm.  Then they will work their way right into your home. If you have lumber stored on your property, use concrete blocks to keep it off the ground or suspend it overhead in a garage.

The Bottom Line With Termites

The key to keeping termites away is simple attention to detail; inspect your home at least once a year to make sure that you have no new residents. The key to dealing with a colony when you find it is to call an expert that can come to your home and destroy the colony quickly and effectively. Eradicating a termite problem quickly the first time can save you in time, energy and money. Get a quick quote online or call Anchor Pest Control at (732) 636-8761.