The beautiful weather California residents enjoy year-round is unfortunately a major draw for wood-boring termites. In Southern California, termite prevention is crucial, as homeowners commonly find themselves the victims of subterranean and dry wood termites. These persistent pests cause millions of dollars in home damage each year in our state.
Infestations can be costly and inconvenient to remove so taking proactive steps to ward off termites is essential. Understanding what attracts termites to your home can help you take effective measures to prevent an infestation.
Damp conditions create the optimal environment for subterranean termites and the slightly less harmful damp wood termites to thrive. Pockets of moisture in the home, around the foundation or on the property offer proper living conditions and ample food sources. Moisture buildup can occur in numerous fixtures around the home, including:
- Gutters: Clogged gutters fail to direct water away from the house and create pools of moisture that draw in termites.
- Leaky pipes: Plumbing issues can create habitable spaces in your foundation and damage structural wood, making it more enticing to termites.
- Sprinklers: Watering the lawn can clear moist paths to the home if sprinklers water all the way up to the foundation.
- Moist soil: If your lawn does not drain properly or if you have leaky pipes, moisture can build up in the soil, creating paths and homes for subterranean termites.
- Poor ventilation: Humidity attracts termites and will accumulate if your foundation and crawlspace lack proper ventilation to get rid of excess moisture.
Wood and Food Sources
Termites feed on many types of wood, both in the home’s structure and around the property. Consider how you can reduce these common attractants and bridges into your home:
- Overgrown shrubs and tree limbs: Trimming back plants that touch the home is a critical step to keep termites from accessing structural wood in the home.
- Woodpiles: Stacked firewood and woodpiles are particularly enticing to termites and can lead them close to the home. It is recommended to keep woodpiles at least 20 feet away from the house and elevated at least five inches, if possible.
- Mulch: Mulch is both a food source and a moisture trap. Keep mulching to a minimum and at least 15 inches from the home. Since it makes for prime termite conditions, check your mulch regularly for signs of activity.
- Deadwood: Rotting stumps, fallen trees and random excess wood around the property create the moist food source many types of termites crave. Clearing these from your property can prevent them from traveling toward your home.
Contact Premium Termite Control
Termite infestations can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage and quickly become difficult to remove on your own. If you live in Southern California, effective termite prevention should be made a priority. If you have a termite infestation or would like to know more about proper termite prevention, contact Premium Termite and Pest Control today.