How to Protect Your Home From Termites

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When it comes to termites, prevention is better than cure.  These wood eating pests are elusive. In most cases, homeowners won’t know they have an infestation until these insects have already eaten their home from inside out.  It’s no wonder these wood-eating pests cost U.S homeowners over 5 billion dollars each year! 

The best way to deal with termites is by taking preventative measures to keep them away from your home.  If you’re looking for ways to protect your home from termites, you’re in the right place.  In this article, we’ll go over practical steps you can take to make your home as unappealing to termite as possible.  Let’s get started!

  1. Fix Poor Drainage

Subterranean termites are attracted to moisture because it allows them to survive. In moist soil, termites can easily travel, penetrate the wood and expand their colony.  One of the most effective ways of preventing termites is by eliminating moisture.  Without moisture, termites will not be able to survive very long.  To protect your home from excess moisture, make sure that it has proper drainage.  

Below are some common drainage issues that provide moisture for termites:

  • Leaky pipes
  • Broken or malfunctioning – rain gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks
  • Pooling water due to uneven concrete or flooring
  • Broken sprinklers

If your house has any of the issues above, it’s important that you fix them immediately and to keep an eye out for common signs of a termite infestation. If you find any mud tubes, bubbling paint, wood damage, discarded termite wings, you likely have an infestation growing in your home.

  1. Eliminate Wood in Direct Contact with Soil

Wood that is in direct contact with soil is vulnerable to subterranean termites. The soil acts as a highway for them to begin eating the wood. Some of the most common places you’ll find wood to soil contact are wood sidings, fences, decks, doors, and window framing.

You can eliminate wood to soil contact using several different methods:

  • Pull the wood back so that it is not in contact with the soil
  • Create a concrete base
  • Using metal sheets or wire mesh between the wood and soil

If eliminating wood to soil contact is impractical, you can consider treating the soil with a termiticide as an alternative approach. The termiticide will make the soil toxic to the termites traveling through the soil. You can also prevent termites by directly treating the wood. This method involves injecting and applying termiticide to the wood. Any termites that tunnel through treated wood will die.

  1. Seal Cracks

Cracks and crevices expose the wood and make it easier for termites to penetrate the wood. To prevent termites, make sure you seal any cracks or holes on wood using caulk. Once sealed, you can apply a fresh seal of paint for added protection. Also, make sure to seal cracks in the foundation of your home.  Any cracks in your foundation is a bridge between termites and your home. Termites will enter through these cracks and use mud tunnels to access any exposed wood. Termites can fit through even the smallest cracks, so make sure to be thorough when detecting and sealing cracks and crevices.

  1. Properly Store Firewood and Remove Woodpiles

Wood is the primary food source of termites.  Any wood around your home will give them a food source near your home, which can eventually cause them to target your home. To keep termites away, make sure you store or remove possible food sources, including firewood and woodpiles.  When storing firewood, make sure they don’t directly touch the soil and that they are not leaning against your walls.

If possible, store your firewood at least 20 feet away from your home.  I also recommend that you protect the wood from moisture using a tarp or plastic. Moisture will cause the wood to rot and decay, making it vulnerable and more desirable to termites. Finally, get rid of as many woodpiles as often as you can. The less wood you have, the less desirable your home is to termites.

  1. Trim Vegetation

Termites can use overgrown tree branches as a bridge to your home. They can use overgrown vegetation that touches your roof or walls as a way to travel. Overgrown trees also trap moisture on and around your house. The vegetation blocks the sun preventing the moisture from drying up. This extra moisture makes your home enticing to termites. To keep termites away, make sure you maintain vegetation around your property. Trim any tree branches hanging over your home. It is also good that you trim the shrubs and vines around your house regularly.

Finally, another important part of trimming your vegetation is removing any dead trees in your yard.  These dead, rotting trees are the ideal food source for termites. Once the termites are done consuming the dead tree, they will look for other food sources nearby, making your home a likely target.  Remove rotting trees to make the area around your home as unappealing as possible.

  1. Fix Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters gives termites a source of food and water. It is a common problem that often gets overlooked by homeowners.  When water gets trapped inside gutters, it can begin rotting the wood on your roof. This rotting wood makes your home vulnerable and desirable to termites.  To keep termites away, make sure you clean your gutters regularly.  You’ll also want to make sure the trees around your home are well maintained. Excess vegetation can lead to clogged gutters, so make sure to trim them to keep your gutters clean.


Termites are sneaky, destructive pests you wouldn’t want in your home.  But the good news is, there are many steps you can take to keep them away. To protect your home, make sure to apply the tips outlined above diligently.  Remember, when it comes to termites, prevention is always better than cure.  Use this information to protect your home, so you never have to worry about termites damaging your home.

About The Author: Adrian Valles is a licensed pest control field operator in Los Angeles, California. In his free time, he writes practical tips and up-to-date resources on pest control at
Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

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