How to Protect Your Home from Termites

As a homeowner in an area prone to termites, you need to take all precautions to protect your home from them, as they can damage any wood structures inside your home. Here are some tips and methods you can use to get rid of and prevent termites in an existing home or a home being newly-built.

Use Treated Wood

During construction of your home, it is important to make sure your contractors use lumber that has been treated with chemicals to prevent a termite infestation. Depending on the state you live in, you will need to use lumber that has been treated accordingly for use in your state. Treated lumber can have different levels and types of chemicals, depending on the type of termites that are a problem in your area. 

If your home has already been built, you can have a pest control professional treat any wood in and around your home. You can also use natural oils on the wood inside your home to help treat or prevent any termite problems without harming people or pets. Applying clove bud oil onto wood in your home will kill any termites in the wood within a few hours, and vetiver oil applied onto your home's wood is helpful to keep termites away. Apply orange oil onto wood to kill drywood termites in your home, which contains d-limonene, promoting its effectiveness. If you have discovered any wood in your home where termites are eating, applying neem oil to the wood will kill the termites once they have eaten it.

Treat Your Foundation Soil

Treating the soil around your home's foundation and under its slab kills any termites that travel through or live in the soil. This treatment creates a chemical barrier on both sides of the foundation, and kills the termites as they come into contact with the treated soil. 

If you are treating your home's foundation for termites during construction, a professional pest control service can coordinate with your home builder to properly treat the home and soil throughout the building process. This begins before your home's foundation has been set and is completed during your yard's landscaping after your home has been completed.

If your home is being built with foundation footings or piers, the soil on both sides of the foundation is treated. If your home's is being built with a foundation slab, the soil or gravel is treated before the vapor barrier and concrete is poured for the slab. It is common for you to need more than 100 gallons of chemicals to treat all the foundation soil area, so it can be helpful for a professional pest control service to complete this.

If your home is an existing home, you or a pest control service will need to treat the soil around the foundation by soaking it with the treatment chemicals. This can require you to excavate around your home's foundation to properly treat all the home's exterior foundation surfaces. 

Leave Bait Stations

When you cannot treat the soil around the foundation of your home with a liquid treatment, it can be necessary to treat the soil for termites using bait stations. There are several situations that can require you to use a bait treatment around your home. For example, if it is illegal to use liquid soil treatments in your area, you have a french or foundation drain around your house, or your home's heating and air conditioning ducts are installed under or in your home's slab floor. You can also use bait stations if to treat your home's foundation slab if you would need to drill through your home's hardwood flooring, tiling, or carpeting, which would cause damage to your flooring and the slab. The use of bait stations can help treat termites without damaging your home.

You can hire a professional pest control service to come to your home and determine where around your home's foundation would be a best placement for the bait stations, or you can do this yourself. You or the pest control specialist can inspect your home's exterior and place the bait stations where there is termite activity, such as near tree stumps or other visible termite infestation sites around your home. 

The idea behind using a bait station, versus soil treatment, is the termites will find the bait station and take the baited food back to the termite colony. The chemicals in the bait are slower-acting, which work on a delayed schedule to give time for the termites to take it back to the colony to kill the rest of the termites. This type of treatment is not immediate and can take several days or weeks to work. 

You can also make your own chemical-free bait trap by soaking several cardboard boxes in water and setting them around the perimeter of and inside your home where termites are living. Termites will find this cardboard food source and begin to eat it. When you see that one of the soaked boxes is full of feasting termites, throw the box onto a fire to kill all the termites. Continue this process to eliminate terminates in and around your home without using chemicals.