Our fences provide safety and protection against weather and intruders so we can sleep with peace of mind, knowing our homes are surrounded and protected. But who knew that something smaller than our fingernail could compromise that security and sense of safety? Termites can move from tree stumps to your fence; wood is wood to termites after all. Prevention against these pesky bugs means actively checking your fence a few times a year to see if there are any signs of termites, and letting termites know that your fence has no vacancy.
Signs of Termites
According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), termites cost Americans more than $5 billion in damage every year. You can avoid being part of that statistic by knowing what to look for and being able to identify signs of termite damage so you can get rid of them as soon as possible. Early detection of termites can especially minimize the cost of repairs needed to fix any damage.
- Check for Termites
The obvious way to see if you have termites is to see if there are any small flying insects around your fence, flying near your windows or shedding any wings. However, they can be pretty low-key and hard to spot, living in between walls and fences going undetectable for year.
Termites generally live inside the areas they feed on, so they may be hard to spot outside of their colony. However, they do leave signs of their presence like fecal pellets.
- Look for Damage
Look for unexplained cracks and visible holes.
Then, if you suspect termite infestation, cut a piece of wood from the site in question and study it closely. You may find one of two different signs left by either subterranean termites or drywood termites. Subterranean termites eat soft wood and eat along the grain leaving behind a honeycomb pattern.
Drywood termites are like diggers, chewing large sections of wood against the wood grain. You’ll be able to spot tunnel like excavations. An entire colony of drywood termites can eat about ½ pound of wood per year!
- Treat your Wood
Untreated wood up against your house or fence may also invite termites into your home. Treated wood and vinyl fencing is the way to go to keep your house invisible to termites.
Preventing Termite Damage
Taking a proactive effort to prevent termite damage is the best way to save money and your home from degradation.
- Regularly Check Your Fence
Regular checkups ensure that your home and backyard is free of infestation. Even before buying a home, have a professional assess your home for termite activity.
- Remove Sources of Moisture
Make sure there are no leaks or broken pipes in our around your home. This is the perfect growing environment for those pesky termites.
- Keep Mulch Away
Mulch is a source of food for termites and keeping it away from your fence and home will keep termites away as well.
- Remove Heavy Shrubs and Plants
Really thick bushes and shrubs close to your home increase moisture levels which make your home a great area for termites to thrive.
- Remove Stagnant Water
If you’re fixing a leaky pipe or tap, be sure to remove the stagnant water that is left behind as it too can attract termites.
Be sure to always use termite treated wood with your next fence or opt for a vinyl fence. Contact Buzz Custom Fence today to add a sense of security, beautifully to your home, and protect yourselves from termites!