Okay, the mice are happy it is getting warmer, and they’ve packed their bags and moved out of Dodge. Joe Hopkins, Customer Voice Count Associate – Rentokil Ehrlich says you might want to think about keeping other pests from entering your residence or business property, specifically, that sneaky, wood-munching pest called the termite.
So what is it about your real estate that they really like, and how can you prevent termites from snacking on your property? Here are three things a termite really likes in order to thrive plus some actions you can do to keep them away.
1. Water, and lots of it!
Termites are an insect that has no exoskeleton, or outside body armor, so it needs moisture on its body to live. They live in moist ground and build soil tunnels, which are protective barriers to keep themselves from drying out and dying.
There is no way to make the ground around your property bone dry, but providing for proper water drainage away from buildings is the key to preventing constant moisture collection and the termite’s reservoir.
2. Soil – their Home, Sweet, Home.
This is where they live and breed in a colony. They lie dormant below the frozen ground above during the Winter. When the soil warms, they multiply and some of the colony “swarm,” or fly, in search of a food source or to begin a new colony at another location. They start building new soil tunnels, which is their highway access to your property.
Essentially, we build our homes right on top of their homes! Proper sloping of the ground (downward grading) away from a foundation, moisture barriers and vigilance are our preventive measures here. Think of it as keeping the distance between their home and restaurant as far away and inaccessible as possible.
3. Wood – messy and a la carte.
According to Keith Simmons, a Technical Services Manager for Rentokil N.A., the Subterranean termite only consumes and digests wood, which is different from carpenter ants, which carves out wood and creates galleries in which to live. These ground-dwelling insects are fond of soft, moisture-laden wood, which can be old landscape ties, a rotting tree stump, or buried wood.
Mr. Simmons’ advice to property owners is to have zero wood-to-soil contact on your structure. New mulching material (stone is best) around a building is good, but if it too high, the moisture in the soil will begin to damage wood contact points. In addition to the moisture problem, the termite can easily get into your home undetected if their food is right in their dining room.
There are many types of termites in the world, but some can create a big problem for both the home and business owner. Knowing what attracts them and how to prevent their access will save you time and money in the long run.