Signs of Termites in Your Home? 5 DIY Tips to Preventing Infestation

By:    |   Published November 5, 2015
man spraying termites | EverDry Toledo

Pests in the home is a problem that every homeowner will inevitably face. Contrary to popular belief, pests are a problem during all seasons – even in the colder months! No matter how cold it is outside, pests can find a way into the home. Out of all the pests, termites are the most well known and have the ability to cause the most visible damage. Are there signs of termites in your home? You’ll most likely find termites in the basement or crawl space of your home.

Signs of Termites in Your Home Basement

According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause over $5 billion of property damage each year. There are three major classifications of termites based on their habitat:

  • Dampwood
  • Drywood
  • Subterranean

In these environments, termites can create nests or mounds that are populated by one queen and up to thousands of male drones. These insects use tunnels or shelter tubes to collect food, bring it back to the nest, and protect themselves from predators. Termites can eat through plaster, plastic, foam, or asphalt to reach their food sources. The reason termites infest basements is because they need moisture to survive and will preferably choose damp wood over other food sources. There are a lot of ways to protect your home from these insects:

Tip #1 – Eliminate Their Food Source

Since wood is an attractive food source for termites, it should be kept away from the foundation. Wooden structures should not be in contact with the ground because it provides a direct pathway from the termite nest to food. All wooden structures should be at least six inches off of the ground, and all loose wooden debris should be picked up from around the outside of the house.

Tip #2 – Limit Mulch Use

A lot of homeowners use mulch to improve the aesthetic of their home, but the mulch also attracts termites. The wood in mulch has little to no nutritional value to the termites, but the moisture is what attracts these insects. Removing excess mulch can help you get rid of them.

Tip #3 – Reduce Humidity

Humidity creates moisture that the termites can use for survival. Crawl spaces in the basement become humid because of their size and lack of ventilation. You need to ensure that crawl spaces and other structures are well-ventilated to keep the humidity as low as possible. You also might want to consider getting a dehumidifier to help keep your basement dry. (Check out the E-Z Breathe Ventilator from EverDry Toledo!)

Tip #4 – Stop Moisture Build Up

The high moisture content of soil can make a structure more susceptible to termite attacks. There are several ways you can decrease moisture build-up:

  • First, fix any leaky pipes that could be contributing to the soil moisture.
  • Second, double-check to make sure that all drain pipes are unclogged.
  • Third, grade the landscape around your house so that water can flow away from the building’s foundation.

Tip #5 – Create a Barrier

The natural water content of the soil evaporates and creates moisture in a building’s wooden structures. An excellent way to combat this is to lay down vapor barriers on top of the ground. These barriers keep the moisture restricted to the soil, increasing the chance for it to run downstream and away from building structures.

4 Basement Waterproofing Options Info Graphic

Get Your Basement Waterproofed Today!

One of the most important things that you can do to keep your basement dry and prevent termite infestation is waterproofing the basement. Effective waterproofing involves fixing any cracks that can let water inside the basement, installing the proper drainage system to take water away from the foundation, and using a sealant on the inside walls. Don’t let termites ruin your day! Schedule an appointment with Team EverDry today or give us a call at (419) 841-6055 to get started.

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