Friday, September 16, 2011

Termites can put your home in danger. Here is some natural tips for preventing termites you should try before calling in the professionals from the people at the

If you have a home built with wood or wood structures on your property, chances are you have termites. Try these nontoxic ways to prevent those destructive pests from eating you out of house and home.

1. Inspect your property annually, using a plan of each structure to ensure consistent and thorough monitoring. Keep yearly records and track insect damage.

2. Identify infestations and type of termites (subterranean, dry wood and so on). Look for the characteristic mud tunnels of burrowing termites and for termite "dirt" piles under wood ceilings and structures, the telltale signs of dry wood termites.

3. Use termite-resistant building materials whenever possible. Redwood, cedar and juniper are all wood species that are less favorable to termites.

4. Eliminate standing water and chronically moist soil near your home. Termites need moist soil to survive and are attracted to wet areas.

5. Lay films of 6mm polyethylene in crawl spaces under foundations as a moisture barrier between the soil and subfloor framing.

6. Create and maintain good cross-ventilation through foundation wall vents to keep those crawl spaces as dry as possible.

7. Slope all exterior grades away from wood structures to maintain good drainage.

8. Prune back plants close to your home to prevent moisture and mold buildup on wood walls.

9. Water away from your home and adjust sprinklers to keep them from spraying directly onto wood walls and siding.

10. Seal all wood exposed to moisture using a weather sealer, especially exterior window frames and the bottom of wall edges.

11. Move all wood scraps and debris away from wood structures.

12. Create sand barriers in crawl spaces and under fence posts, patios and steps to deter subterranean termites. These termites cannot tunnel through sand.

13. Dig trenches 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide around wood structures. Fill the ditch with 16-grit sand (granules that are too large to be carried away and too small to be used to construct tunnels).

14. Fill cracks and repair broken seals in foundations and patios with 16-grit sand. This is especially helpful after foundation settling and earthquake damage.

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