How to Protect Your Property with Landscaping Tips to Keep Termites Out
7 Landscaping Tips to Keep Termites Out
Termites can be vicious pests – causing over a billion dollars in property damage each year. And, this damage isn’t always covered by homeowner’s insurance.
That’s why every homeowner should take steps to reduce the risk of attracting termites and other wood-destroying insects.
If you want to protect your home against termites, here are a few landscaping tips that you can use.
1. Remove Dead Wood and Other Debris
First, you’ll want to remove the source of food for termites, including wood.
You should remove rotting tree stumps, along with dead trees. Don’t leave yard waste lying around. Get rid of any wood debris that doesn’t need to remain in your yard.
Firewood should be stored off the ground and away from your property. If possible, keep it 20 feet or more away from your foundation.
2. Keep Plants and Vegetation Away from Your Home
Plants can help beautify the exterior of your property, while also providing more food for termites. You should limit the use of plants along the foundation of your home. Keep plants several feet away.
If you want to place flowers and plants along your foundation, you should consider using planters or window boxes made from composite materials.
3. Avoid the Use of Mulch Near Your Property
Mulch is often used as ground cover near flower beds and to help disperse rainwater. Its ability to retain moisture also makes it another prime food source for termites.
If you keep plants away from your property, you shouldn’t need to use mulch near your home – other than to protect your basement from rain damage. If this is the case, you should think about replacing the mulch with river rock or gravel.
The rock or gravel won’t attract termites, offers the same rain-dispersing benefits, and lasts forever.
4. Keep Your Trees and Shrubs Trimmed
If you have trees, shrubs, or bushes growing near your home, you should keep them trimmed back. With shrubs and bushes that grow near the foundation, trim the back 2 to 3 feet from your property.
The same is true with your trees. If there are branches extending toward your home, trim the away from the property.
5. Eliminate Moisture Around Your Property
Along with eliminating the food sources of termites, you should limit excess moisture around your property. This requires proper drainage.
Keeping your plants and vegetable gardens away from the home should eliminate the need for irrigation near your property.
You should also make sure that your downspouts and gutters are clear of debris. Use downspout extenders to direct rainwater away from the property.
6. Keep Your Water Features Clean
Water features, such as ponds and fountains, are often used in landscaping. While these features look great, they can also help attract termites and other pests – including mosquitoes.
If you have a birdbath, change the water frequently. Ponds and fountains should use pumps to ensure regular circulation. Also, you might want to keep these water features further away from your home.
7. Place Wooden Structures Several Inches from Your Home
The final landscaping tip for helping you keep termites out is to avoid placing wooden structures directly against your home.
Decks and porches should be placed at least 2 inches from the house. This is close enough to the home that the gap doesn’t create a tripping hazard and far enough to keep pests away.
Signs You Already Have Termites
You can take steps to reduce your risk of termites. The main tip to remember is to keep the use of wood, mulch, and plants around your property to a minimum.
The bottom line is that you should limit the landscaping features that you use close to your foundation.
But, if you’ve already noticed the signs of termites in or around your property, you should contact a local pest control company.
You may notice structural damage, such as weakened floors or ceilings. Early signs include exterior damage, such as a gritty film on wood surfaces. You may also notice muddy tubes running along walls.
Dry wood termites often appear inside wooden structures that they’ve burrowed into. You may see signs of these colonies along cracks or openings in wood walls or furniture.
Other signs include swollen floors or ceilings, buckling wood, and what appears to be water damage. Some people notice a moldy scent.
The signs of termite infestations need to be dealt with quickly. The sooner you act the less risk of a serious damage.