Spring-cleaning is a fun time to get outside and make your yard more enjoyable for upcoming cookouts, campfires and summer get-togethers. But before you roll up your sleeves and put on some gardening gloves, here are some tips on how to make your place less enjoyable for termites.
- Avoid piling mulch around your home. Insects, and termites specifically, are drawn to the moist environment. That means the thicker the mulch, the more insects you’re likely to find in that area. Termites can use the mulch area to gain access to your home.
- Be careful when using old railroad ties in landscaping. They may be what you’re looking for to frame garden areas, but you should inspect railroad ties for live termites or signs of damage. Termites can infest old railroad ties, so you may be transporting termites closer to your home.
- Cut back thick brush near the home. This will help dry out the soil (remember, termites love moisture!) and stop mold and mildew. By cutting back brush, you also may discover termite mud tubes on the foundation.
- Avoid stacking firewood directly on the ground or against your house. Your supply of bonfire wood is just what termites are looking for: food, water and shelter. If possible, keep the firewood off the ground in a rack to avoid direct-to-soil contact. Otherwise that makes it easy for termites to move from the soil to the wood — and potentially into your home. Another tip is to keep firewood at least 5 feet away from your home’s foundation.
- Check for clogged rain gutters. If your gutters are clogged or dripping, they may be contributing to an above-ground termite infestation.
- Removing trees from your yard? Stumps left behind can become infested with termites, so it’s best to remove the entire tree.
- Inspect for low spots in the yard. Low spots may be full of standing water or have extra moisture, which can attract termites.
- Adding a new shed, wooden fence or deck? They need to be protected, too! Take precautions to keep the landscaping areas clean and free of debris. You also could consider a termite treatment around valuable structures such as sheds.
Those are a few ideas to get you thinking about what areas of your yard are conducive for termites. Since termites are the last guest you want at your next cookout this summer, be mindful of what else you have in your yard that could be inviting those damaging pests.
Happy summer entertaining!