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According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause more than five billion dollars in property damage every year! And to make matters worse, these costs are generally not covered by homeowner’s insurance.

In other words, termites are bad news for homeowners.

Thankfully though, there are five things that you can do to reduce your chances of becoming a landlord for the world’s worst tenants.

DIY: 5 Steps to Deter Termites

First, eliminate wood in contact with the ground. Termites feed on the cellulose that is naturally found in wood, and, since subterranean termites nest underground, any wood stored on the ground outside your home may attract them to your home, especially if you store wood against your home. To properly store wood, you can get a simple platform to keep everything elevated several inches off the ground.

Second, don’t store wood against your home. Move that firewood at least five feet away from the foundation. If you don’t, you’re creating a tasty bridge to an even bigger snack for those termites – your
home.

Third, don’t let mulch build up above the foundation. Mulch of all kinds can create a perfect
environment for termite activity because it helps maintain soil moisture and moderates soil
temperatures. If you enjoy having a nice, thick, flower bed, be sure to taper down to have at least two inches of your foundation exposed. This will prevent any termites from having a launching pad directly into your home.

Fourth, don’t let the water pool near your foundation. Pooled water can cause damage to your foundation, making it vulnerable to termites. Termites love moisture and humidity, and water-damaged wood is like a buffet to these pesky guys! Be sure to level your yard and use proper drainage to direct water away from the home.

Finally, seal gaps caused by settling. Any crack or fissure offers termites the opportunity to come inside. Subterranean workers can enter through a crack or gap as small as 1/32 of an inch. But don’t worry! A little caulk should do the trick for this. Just be sure not to seal off your home’s weep holes, which need to be kept clear for a healthy foundation.

Even if you do everything right, you still may find yourself with these little wood munchers. So be sure to keep an eye out for common signs of termites, such as shelter tubes, termite droppings, or damaged wood. If you do see any signs of a termite infestation, it’s important that you act quickly. Call a pest service and begin the extermination process pronto!

So, if you ‘wood’ (see what we did there?) like to protect life’s biggest investment, your home, then take the time to perform these five simple steps!

Check out this DIY tutorial on YouTube.