Termites are abundant in number and highly focused in their pursuits. They could be nibbling on our house right now, chewing an ounce of wood today and an ounce of wood yesterday in total from our house. In one year, a ravenous termite colony could eradicate 2×4 pine and this is equal to one supporting beam in our house. We should also be aware that some houses can be inhabited by more than one termite colonies. Termite infestation in the West was intensified by the invasion of voracious Formosan termite.
The species is more aggressive than local ones and it may form a colony of nearly one million swarmers (termites with wings), soldiers and workers. A single Formosan termite queen may lay a few thousands of eggs each day and it could live up to 50 years. It means that even after a tremendous devastation caused by flood or intense extermination task, her losses can be recouped and the colony can be repopulated within few months.
Here are things we can do to prevent or limit termite infestation in our house
Water leaks can happen externally and internally. Like any organism, termites need enough water and it could get the water from inside the house. Water leaks can help a small termite colony to thrive. This also means that we need to eliminate pooling and standing water in and around our home.
Eliminate heavy growth around the house
Vegetation traps moisture and termites live in humid areas. If we keep things dry and well ventilated, termites aren’t likely to stay.
Store firewood and excess building materials away from the house
We should be aware that wood is termites’ favourite staple food and wood touching the damp ground is incredibly tasty for them. If our property isn’t large enough, we should keep the wood in dry place and preferably raise it off the ground. During humid months, we should put dehumidifiers to keep the storage area dry.
Treat wooden structure
For some persistent termite species, chemical-treated lumber doesn’t completely deter them. However, they can offer a form of deterrence and when we find signs of termite infestation, the damage on the wooden structure wouldn’t too significant. It is a good way to limit damages, before we take more effective means.
Don’t use mulch near the house
Mulch is also a source of food for termites. The properties of mulch that make it suitable for gardening, also attract termites. Some homeowners pile up mulch near the house and this is just a small step for the colony to enter the house. Instead of using wood mulch, we can use organic rubber mulch. They look and work the same as of the standard mulch, without the same kind of risk.
Manage wood waste properly
There are always broken twigs and wood scraps in our yard. If they accumulate, termites can be attracted to our properties. Dead roots, old stumps and dying trees should be removed efficiently. We shouldn’t let wood waste decay in our properties.