Termites have been around for millions of years. While the insects are small, they can cause major damage to the structure of homes. Since they work from the inside out, the destruction begins without you knowing it. Cindy Mannes, vice president of the National Pest Management Association, said,
“Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. annually, which is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance.”
We know this sounds scary, but don’t worry! There are numerous things you can do to prevent termites in new builds and existing homes. As you prepare complete spring home maintenance tasks, make sure you add in preventative measures against termites and other insects.
If you are building a new home, termite prevention begins with the foundation. Termite mesh, a termite barrier, and concrete can be packed beneath a house, making it impossible for termites to pass through the ground and into the house. Pressure-treated wood is also highly recommended for termite prevention.
Homeowners can take measures to prevent an infestation in existing homes as well. Create a barrier between your home and the ground, so only the concrete foundation of the house touches mulch, plants, and soil. The siding should begin at least 6 inches above the soil, making it difficult for termites to reach.
Tips to Protect against Pests
- Reduce moisture in and around the home.
- Repair leaky faucets, pipes, and exterior HVAC units.
- Repair rotted roof shingles.
- Replace weather-stripping around windows and doors.
- Check to ensure gutters and downspouts divert water away from the house.
- Inspect your home throughout the year for evidence of termite waste, patterns in wood, or mud tunnels leading up the house.
You can also get a yearly inspection completed by a pest professional, who can treat both the yard and structure of the wood, should there be evidence of termites.
The trick with termites? Prevention! Take the time each year to check for signs of termites so you can get ahead of any damage they may cause.