Orange County Termite Protection
Termites can cause a staggering amount of damage to your home. While your home’s construction itself can put you at a heightened risk of termite damage, preventative protection goes a long way, too. Here are some actionable termite prevention tips for current homeowners courtesy of Orange County Termite Inspection. At the end, you’ll also find warning signs of an infestation, as well as tips for those who are in the process of building their home and want it to be as termite-proof as possible.
Let’s get started!
Reducing Contact of Soil and Dirt/Walls
Soil, dirt, and mulch are breeding grounds for termites. Homeowners should work to minimize any contact that these materials have with the walls of their home. This might mean pulling back mulch and even relocating existing plants that grow a little too close to the home–six inches is a good barrier to eliminate termites’ “invisible entryway” to your residence. Pine needles, pea gravel, and other synthetic materials are good alternatives to mulch, as they also minimize the activity of other insects like ants.
Being Careful With Plants
Plants and shrubbery surrounding your home should be well-maintained and trimmed–with at least a foot of space between them and your exterior walls. This creates not only air flow, but it prevents termites from constructing their trademark “tubes” unbeknownst to you.
Storm Drain Placement and Sprinkler System Tips
Moisture attracts termites, so it’s important to make sure your gutters, downspouts, and storm drains aren’t inviting termites into your home. Subterranean (underground) termites love moisture. If any of your sprinkler system’s heads are pointing directly at your home, you may as well lay out a welcome mat and red carpet for termites and other invaders.
Paying Attention to Your Crawl Space
You likely don’t visit your home’s crawl space very often, but you should if you’re interested in termite prevention. Your local hardware store likely sells inexpensive vapor barriers that can minimize the moisture that collects between your home’s floor joists and the subfloor area. On the plus side, this can also prevent the growth of mold and fungus.
Fixing Leaky Faucets, Drains and Pipes
While we’re on the topic of household moisture, leaky faucets, pipes, and drains are all potential danger zones for termites. It’s imperative to fix these issues as they come up. Your home’s air conditioning unit is another source of moisture and condensation–if it’s leaking, it’s time to call a maintenance company.
If the drains in your home are prone to leaking, you’ll benefit from installing tiles, or potentially new drains altogether. At Night, Turn Off Outdoor Lights. Lastly, you should know that termites are attracted by light. During the termite swarming season (early Spring, once the ground begins to thaw), you should pay particular attention to turning off your home’s exterior lights during the nighttime.
Steps Before a Home is Built
It’s likely too late for most people reading this to take these steps, but they truly are the most effective barriers against termites–protecting the home from the foundation up. They include:
Basaltic Termite Barrier (BTB):
Rocks packed extremely tightly beneath the home–termites are nearly never able to break through it.
Stainless steel screens with holes impenetrable to termites. These screens are ideal for patching holes in concrete.
Avoiding Brick and Block Foundation (Unless Capped):
Poured concrete is the most effective barrier, because it doesn’t crack as much as a brick or block foundation as the home ages.
Building with Steel Frames and Pressure-Treated Wood:
These are some of the best materials to prevent termite damage.
When Termite Prevention Isn’t Enough
Even when following all of these steps, there’s the off chance that your home could still become a hub of termite infestation. It can be tough to know if this has happened; termites are very talented at staying hidden from plain sight.
Signs of Termite Infestation:
- Underground holes and tunnels near your home’s exterior walls
- Blowholes in the trees surrounding your home
- Termite “shelter tubes”
- Floors that begin to sag, or take on a hollow sound
- The presence of termite dung (also known as frass), or wings around your home
- Gnawing termite noises and the sound of wood excavation
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to act as quickly as possible to prevent further damage to your home. Orange County Termite Inspection and our team of experts are happy to inspect your home, identify any current infestations, and help you remove them.
We’ve served Orange County for years, giving homeowners back the peace of mind that termite infestations took away–all at the right price. If you think your home might have termites, there’s no time to delay! Call or visit Orange County Termite Inspection today. Don’t let termites bug you another day.