Homeowners know that termites can damage your property and decrease its value, and no homeowner wants to deal with a termite infestation. Preventative pest services are well worth the cost to prevent the destruction caused by termites. However, once the preventative work is done, could your gardening and landscaping actually decrease your termite protection? Take a look at a few things that you need to know about gardening and termite protection.
An important part of termite prevention is treating the soil near the foundation of your house with a long-lasting termiticide. The purpose of this treatment is to prevent subterranean termites from entering the house through the foundation slab or piers. However, disturbing the treated soil – for example, by planting shrubs too close to the home – can reduce the effectiveness of this important barrier, or eliminate it altogether.
It's common to plant small bushes or shrubs near the foundation of the home to block the view of the foundation from the curb. However, you should avoid planting so close that you disturb the termiticide-treated soil. Ask a pest control professional like Ace Walco & Sons Termite & Pest Control to show you the depth and width of the treated soil barrier around your foundation so that you can avoid disturbing it when you plant.
Although mulch is not usually a factor in attracting termites, it doesn't hurt to be careful. Termites have been known to consume mulches made from wood chips, and it's best to keep these away from the house. Even mulches that are believed to be repellent to termites, like cedar wood or eucalyptus, can eventually end up as termite food. The natural chemicals in these woods that keep termites away break down over time and lose their effectiveness.
Non-plant based mulches, such as those made from rubber, gravel, shells, or rocks, are best for plants that are close to the house. If you still prefer a plant-based mulch for plants that are close the structure, choose a mulch made from pine straw, which is low in cellulose and less favorable to termites.
Soil isn't the only method that termites use to reach your home. Some types of termites can enter from the roof, especially if the wood there is damp. Your roof is designed to shed water and dry quickly, but when your gutters become clogged, they overflow and wet the fascia and wood on your roof. This can result in wood that stays damp long enough to invite in termites.
Apart from cleaning your gutters regularly, a good way to ensure that your gutters do not overflow is to make pruning your trees, especially the ones that overhang your roof, a regular part of your landscaping efforts. Branches that are neatly pruned will be less likely to shed many leaves into your gutters, as well as less likely to break and damage your gutters. When planting new trees, choose a location further away from the house for large trees that will drop lots of leaves.
Termite protection starts outside the house, not inside of it. Make sure that you discuss your landscaping with your pest control professional and find out what you can do to make a termite invasion less likely.