As a homeowner, pest control needs to be a part of caring for your home and yard, especially when you live in a climate that promotes termites and their infestations. Prevention of termite problems is one of the most important parts to minimizing the damage they cause, but there are also methods you can use to eliminate infestations. Here are some tips to help you prevent and rid your home of termite problems.
Yard Maintenance to Prevent Infestation
Termites are attracted to woody and paper materials in your yard that are moist and rotting. This can include discarded cardboard and paper trash, fallen tree limbs, leaves, and grass. Termites are also attracted to landscaping materials you use as a ground cover or mulch, such as wood chips, so be careful where you use ground cover and what you cover the soil with in your yard. If you do choose to use wood chips as a mulch, have your yard treated for termites, especially if the wood chips are used in the soil around your home.
Pick Up Debris
Pick up tree limbs that fall from trees in your yard so they cannot become home to termites, especially if the tree limbs are rotting. It is when the wood begins to rot that its attraction for termites increases. Clean up leaves, pine needles, and other organic debris in your yard and around your home's exterior to reduce the chance of a termite infestation.
Don't allow empty cardboard boxes to sit outside around your home: pick them up and discard them into the dumpster. When cardboard becomes wet, it turns into a food source and home for termites.
Remove Tree Stumps
If your yard contains any old tree stumps, there is a big chance the stump may contain a nest of termites. Have a termite professional treat the stump to kill the termites, then you can have a tree removal company grind the stump to remove it from the soil.
The average cost to hire a stump grinding professional begins at approximately $100 per stump. This grinding process removes the stump and combines the wood mulch into the soil to boost the soil's nutrients and prepare it for planting new vegetation or trees.
Clean Roof Gutters
You should also keep your roof's gutters cleaned out, as organic debris in your roof gutters can provide the perfect environment for termites to live in and eventually spread into your roof and home. Experts recommend that you clean out your gutters at least twice per year, and more often if your yard contains numerous trees or pine trees. Pine trees shed their needles all year long and also drop pine cones, which can add even more debris to collect in your gutters. Hire a professional roofing or gutter company to clean out your gutters, or you can climb up on your roof to scoop or spray out the debris.
Do-It-Yourself Home Prevention Practices
There are some methods you can do on your own to help eradicate smaller termite infestations in your yard. One method uses cardboard boxes to trap a colony of termites. Because termites are attracted to cardboard, place a box in any area of your yard where you have noticed termites. Spray the box with water to moisten it and let it sit for a day or two. After the box has attracted termites, place the box in a fire pit to burn it and the termites.
Repeat this as often as you see termites. If you experience a larger infestation or one that is inside your home, it is recommended to call a professional at a company like EMCO Pest Control for a complete and full treatment.
When it's too late to prevent termites and you have an infestation, you can also call a professional termite exterminator for their help. They can come to your home, determine where the termites are a problem, and provide the proper treatments to treat your home to kill the nests. A termite professional will also be able to provide safe treatments for pets and children to avoid harm to them. Talk to your professional about their guarantees and if they retreat for termites if you have a return infestation.