In California, it’s been said that there is “no termite season” because termites are always a problem to be on guard for. Actually, that’s not far from the truth, but different types of termites swarm at different types of year. If you’re preparing your home to guard against spring and fall termites, you’re actually safeguarding it from termite types like arid-land subterranean termites, Western subterranean termites, and Pacific dampwood termites. If you own a residential or commercial property, you’ll want to prepare it for the threat of seasonal termite infestations. The following tips will help you keep these pests at bay.
Guard Your Home Early in the Season
The best time to begin making preparations to safeguard your home from fall and winter termite activity is as soon as possible; in fact, try to take measures to protect your home in late summer as predicting when each species of termites will actually swarm isn’t an exact science. You want your home to be prepared for a potential invasion. To prepare your property for these pests, use the following tips:
Mind Any Wood Around Your Home’s Exterior
Soil to wood contact is a definite problem for property owners in California. Any wood touching the soil that’s connected to your home is a bridge for termites to use to access your house. Think of soil-wood-house contacts as welcome mats. You should eliminate these risks because they are often the source of termite infestations.
Get Rid of Miscellaneous Lumber or Paper Debris
Check around the foundation of your home. If there is any lumber or cardboard sitting around, remove it. Don’t keep wood or items made from wood fibers near your home structure.
Move Firewood Away from Your House
During the fall and winter, you probably enjoy a roaring fire, but your wood pile can be a hub for termites. Keep the wood pile 20 feet away or even further so it doesn’t attract termites to the area of your house. Then, be sure that the wood is raised high off the ground–8 to 10 feet, ideally. Each log has the potential to be a transport for bringing termites into your house.
Does your house or commercial property have wood fencing? Be sure to inspect it for signs of rotting. Rotting wood can attract termites. Use a termite-proof paint to cover any rotting areas of the fence or areas that were previously invested by the bugs.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
Early fall is a good time to check your property for any gaps or cracks that could be present. Not only can termites get in your home through cracks, but so can other pests like mice and rats looking for a warm place to weather the cool season.
Fill in Cracks
You can use caulk to fill in small cracks near your windows or doors. However, if you spot larger cracks, use metal mesh instead.
Check Pipe Connections
Be sure the seals around pipes and cables entering your home are properly sealed. Any small gap can be an access point for termites and other pests.
Check the Structure for Signs of Rot
Your home or business property may suffer from small signs of rot. Even the smallest bit of rotting siding can be an invitation for termites. Remove damaged siding or other wood features and replace it with a termite-resistant material. During the fall and winter, be especially mindful about checking any siding that’s low to the ground. Rotting siding or wood near the base of the home is a calling card for termites that swarm during the cool season.
Remove Plants and Mulch
In California, it’s never a wide idea to place organic mulch too close to the house. Wood mulch is attractive to termites and any mulch located near the house will attract these insects. Remove mulch or replace it with stone if you want to reduce your risk of attracting termites.
Keep Grass Mowed
Grass growth might slow during the cool season, but continue to keep it mowed short. Taller grass allows insect pests like termites to hide.
Prevent Plants and Shrubs from Touching the Building
Don’t allow any shrubs, trees, or plants to touch the exterior of your commercial property or home. Plantings can provide a bridge for termites to access the structure. It’s best to remove plants and shrubs that are too close to the home. Opt to keep your plantings 12 inches away from the structure at a minimum.
Get Rid of Dead Trees and Shrubs
As dead plantings like trees and shrubs decay, they can attract all kinds of pests to your California property as well as fungal diseases. It’s best to get rid of dead trees and shrubs right away. Moreover, dead trees are a property liability in any case because they’re at increased risk for dropping limbs and toppling over, which poses a safety risk for your property. Be sure to grind away stumps too. Stumps make ideal feeding grounds for termites.
Schedule a Professional Inspection
It’s a good idea to schedule a fall termite inspection of your property with Mariners Pest Control. Remember that your CA property is a major investment. Termites can undermine that investment with the damage they can do to wood structural elements. In California, routine termite inspections and treatments (when needed) are just part of a good property maintenance plan.
With these tips in mind, you can prepare for the fall and winter. Don’t forget to check your window screens to make sure there are no holes where flying termites can enter. If you do suspect you have a termite issue, call in the professionals as soon as possible. It’s easier to contend with a small infestation. Timely treatments can prevent large infestations and major property damage.
If you believe you have termites in or around your home Request a free termite inspection online, call us at 888-945-2847 or visit our contact page. All of our termite inspections are no obligation and 100% free!