Termites, just the thought of it causes cringing to the average homeowner. These creatures can destroy a home in a few years if left uncontrolled. Termites are estimated to cause $5 billion dollars of damage every year in the United States. Once they get a solid foothold in your home, they can destroy it in a matter of a few years. So, how do you keep them away and save yourself costly repair bills? It starts with preventative strategies to make your home less appealing to these silent destroyers.
Are There Different Types of Termites?
The short answer is yes, there are estimated to be about 2,000 different termite species around the globe. Here in the United States there are about 45 termite species. Termites are usually put into three groups. Dry Wood, Damp Wood and Subterranean. Here in Oregon, there are two main types to worry about: subterranean and damp wood termites.
Termites are a social insect, meaning they are found in colonies, and they have an established hierarchy. The subterranean termites can be dark brown to white in color and they are about an eighth of an inch long. They love damp soil, and they build complex networks of mud tubes underground to infiltrate structures and feed on it. They make their way as deep as 20 feet underground and they love humid, dark places. This is how an infestation from these creatures usually starts.
Damp-wood termites do invade from the ground. They don’t make burrows or mud tubes and they have smaller wings then their subterranean cousins. These are some of the largest of all termite species, because of their size they can damage structures more quickly. They range from a third of an inch to well over half an inch. These termites do not need moist soil to get into your home. They are credited with devouring damp, dead wood, breaking it down and returning important nutrients to the soil. Though they are important to the ecosystem, they are not so good for your home.
What Attracts Termites?
As is well known, termites are attracted to wood, but as their name suggests damp-wood termites like damp wood, dry wood termites like dry wood and subterranean termites like damp soil that has contact with wood. Like all creatures, termites also need moisture and if they have that and you have cracks or fissures in your home’s foundation or moist wood touching your home, this can also attract them.
How Can I Discourage Infestations?
There are some things you can do to discourage termites from targeting your home. Here are some examples.
- Remove dead wood and other debris.
- Keep plants and vegetation away from your home, though there are some plants that can repel termites and other insect sand some might even be fatal to them.
o Vetiver Grass
o Scented Geraniums
o Lemon grass
- Avoid using mulch on your property.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed.
- Eliminate moisture around your property.
- Keep water features clean.
- Keep wooden structures away from your home.
If you suspect you have a termite infestation or if you want to set up regular termite treatments call us at All-Natural Pest Elimination at 877-662-8449 for an evaluation and estimate.