Termites are social insects that live in colonies. Colonies can have several million members, each having a specific role to play in the colony’s survival. The three main castes in a termite colony are:
- Workers- by far the most numerous. They are blind and do not have wings. Their job is to find food and build and repair the nest.
- Soldiers- their job is to protect the colony from intruders.
- Reproductives (or alates)- includes queen and king termites. The queen lays large numbers of eggs, which soon develop into different types of nymphs. Some of these will become reproductives, while others will eventually become soldiers or workers.
Termites primarily feed on wood, but they will also consume other materials such as paper and insulation. According to some estimates, termites are the most prominent wood-destroying pest in the United States, and they spend over $2 billion annually to control them.
The termite is a silent worker. Unfortunately, homeowners often do not realize they have a termite problem until extensive damage has been done. By the time most people notice signs of termites, the pests have already caused significant damage to the home. With that in mind, homeowners need to be proactive in preventing termites and be aware of the things that could attract them to the property. Several things could attract termites to your home. Some of these include:
Wood in contact with the soil:
One of the things that could attract termites to your home is wood in contact with the soil. This provides termites with an easy way to access your home and start feeding on the wood. Wood siding, for example, should not touch the ground and should be at least six inches above the ground. If it does, termites can easily access it and start feeding on it.
Wood piles should also be kept away from the house, as they can provide termites with a way to access your home. If you have firewood, it should be stored at least 20 feet away from the house and elevated off the ground.
Drywall is another material that could attract termites to your home. Drywall is a common building material used in constructing walls and ceilings and a fire-resistant barrier. Since cellulose is one of the components of drywall it can be a food source for termites. Once termites are inside, they will start feeding on the cellulose in the drywall. This can cause the drywall to become structurally weak and eventually collapse.
Termites are attracted to moisture, and if your home has any damp areas, it could attract termites. Several things can cause dampness, such as leaks in the plumbing or roof, condensation, or poor drainage around the foundation of the house. Any of these can create an environment that is attractive to termites.
Also, the crawl space should be well-ventilated to prevent moisture from building up and attracting termites. As per most building codes, there should be one square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of crawl space. This can be achieved with a combination of vents in the foundation and cross-ventilation with soffit and ridge vents.
Homeowners should regularly check their homes for any signs of moisture and repair any leaks or other sources of moisture as soon as possible.
Mulch is a material commonly used to help improve the appearance of landscaping. It is composed of various materials, such as wood chips, bark, leaves, or straw. While mulch can be beneficial for plants, it can also be attractive to termites. Termites are attracted to mulch due to its moisture and wood content. In addition, mulch provides termites with a source of food and shelter, and it can also help keep the soil moist, which is another thing that attracts termites. Homeowners should be careful not to use too much mulch around their homes and avoid using it directly against the house’s foundation. If possible, keep it at least six inches away from the foundation.
Dead trees are another thing that can attract termites to your property. While live trees are also a food source for termites, dead trees are much more attractive to them. This is because dead trees are already rotten, and the cellulose in the wood is easier for termites to digest. Therefore, you should remove dead trees on your property as soon as possible to prevent termites from using it to access your home.
Termites are one of the most destructive pests in the world, and if not controlled, they can cause a lot of damage to your home. There are a number of things that can attract termites to your property. Some of these include wood piles, drywall, moisture, mulch, and dead trees.
Termites are active year-round but most active in the spring and summer months. Homeowners should be vigilant during these months and should be on the lookout for any signs of termites. Prevention is always the best method of control. Knowing what attracts termites can help you to take steps to prevent them from infesting your home. If you take steps to remove these attractants from around your home, you will help prevent termites from infesting it. Homeowners should regularly check their homes for any signs of termites and repair any problems as soon as possible. If termites are already present, it is important to take action and seek professional help to get rid of them as soon as possible.