Texas Living

Terminate the Termites

By Kristy Alpert 4.16.14

Although it often stages the perfect environment for year-round outdoor adventures, the Texas climate also creates an atmosphere where insects and pests flourish – especially termites. While these subterranean nuisances are favorable in nature for breaking down cellulose into nutritional matter, they are one of the most destructive pests for homeowners, causing billions of dollars in damage each year.

So, termites love us, but the feeling’s not mutual. In addition to having your home inspected by a professional at least twice a year, here are a few things you can do in order to prevent termite damage before it becomes a problem to repair:

1.Use termite-resistant concrete, steel, masonry, and treated wood in your home’s foundation, or woods that are naturally resistant to termites like tea tree, turpentine tree, or white cypress.

2.Remove all sources of moisture, including standing water, leaking pipes, dense shrubs, and unnecessary ground cover.

3.Eliminate wood-to-soil contact, from fence posts and trellises to door facings and untreated wooden porches.

4.Store wood indoors if possible or far away from your home and any foundational structures if you need it in your yard.

5.Use the six-inch rule. Wooden siding should be at least six inches above the soil and landscaping mulch should never be closer than six inches to the home.

6.Monitor your home’s openings (roof vents, windows, doorways, etc.), and repair any holes or cracks in the foundation and siding immediately.

7.Create a dry environment in your home with good ventilation and air circulation to discourage these humidity-loving pests from making themselves at home.

8.Pay close attention to light sources at night, as termites tend to colonize near these areas specifically between March and November.