Prevent Termites from Destroying Your Austin Home
Successful ways to prevent termites or attempt DIY pest control is a challenge here in Austin. The warm and wet conditions make it a perfect environment for termites to thrive.
It's a good idea to conduct a quarterly visual termite inspection of your property, inside and out. Look specifically for signs of termites. You can also have termite monitoring stations installed. They give advance warning of termites in the area.
Here are more ways to prevent termites by making your home and the area around your home less attractive to them.
- Correct moisture collection and wet conditions near the foundation.
- Keep mulch and leaves away from the foundation.
- Trim plants and vegetation away from your foundation, walls, and roofline to discourage moisture collection. Give yourself a clear view of signs of termite activity.
- Seal cracks in the foundation and keep wood surfaces painted to minimize termite access points into your home.
Prevent Termites with Regular Home Maintenance
- Ask your YardDoc pest control technician for termite treatment around the perimeter of your home to help stop termites before they move in.
- Perform gutter cleaning annually to minimize clogs and overflow that create wood rot.
- Make sure rainwater drains away from your home to prevent moisture pockets in the soil where subterranean termites prefer to live.
- Repair or replace water-damaged wood as soon as it's discovered anywhere on your property.
- Keep old wood, such as firewood piles, at least 30 feet from all structures.
- Remove cellulose debris from your property. This might include cardboard, newspaper, and other paper products in storage, and old tree stumps, rotting branches, and wood piles outside.
- Keep 'soil to wood' contact areas near the house to a minimum, such as landscaping trellis and fencing. This discourages the travel of termites from soil up into your home to feed.
Other Wood Destroying Insects
There are many insects and organisms besides termites that also cause significant damage to wooden structures. Many of these wood-destroying organisms only really take hold if conditions are favorable, the most common problem being excess moisture levels. It is, therefore, a good idea to monitor wood for high moisture levels and if this is found to be the case, then remedial actions should be taken to address it.
If you see small shot-hole openings in wood surfaces, you can be pretty sure you have a Powderpost Beetle infestation. In structures, Powderpost Beetles most commonly attack joists, sub-flooring, hardwood flooring, sills, and interior trim. Wood-destroying beetle species include:
- Powderpost Beetles, including Lyctid Beetles—True Powderpost Beetles
- Anobiid Beetles—Furniture and Deathwatch Beetles
- Bostrichid Beetle—False Powderpost Beetle and Horned Powderpost Beetle
- Non-Powderpost Beetles—Longhorned Beetles
- Metallic Wood Boring Beetles
Carpenter ants, unlike termites, do not eat wood. Rather, they excavate it in order to build their nests. There are 42 species of carpenter ants, with 18 of these species found in Texas (though not all of them destroy property).
Carpenter ants are sneaky in that they inflict damage slowly over a period of years.
They infest existing hollow spaces such as wall voids and window frames, or tunnel out trails between insulation and wood structures in a crawl space or attic. They'll often use cracks or gaps in windows and doors to gain entry inside your home.
Comprehensive Termite Inspection
Do your best to prevent termites from damaging your property. But if you have any signs of wood-destroying insects in your structure, or if you have noticed signs of moisture in the wood or around the wood in a structure, give YardDoc a call.
One of our pest technicians can assist in identifying and resolving the problem. We also offer professional, affordable handyman services as needed to help with projects that prevent termites and other pests from inhabiting your home.
Texas Pest Control License #: 0752604
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