How to Put Your Termites on a Diet

Termite Damage 1 The motivation for termites is their stomach.  They are hungry for cellulose and will seek food from many sources.  They are sneaky eaters.  Termites create galleries, or tunnels, that go with the grain of the wood as they feed.  The tastiest wood is the springwood because it is soft and it leaves the heart-wood to keep the form of the structure.  The heart-wood form helps them keep their domicile secret so that you don’t know that they have finished their meal and are working on another eating establishment.  Only by tapping with a screwdriver or ice pick will you be able to detect the damage they have done to the structure.  By keeping a lookout for this type of destruction, you can determine if your home is infested or in the beginning stages of infestation.


There are a few ways that will help you discourage termites from coming into your home, which include:

  • Clearing your yard and foundation area of cardboard debris, excess wood and wood piles.  Make sure that your supply of fire wood is far enough away from your home and be sure to examine the wood you plan to burn before bringing it inside.
  • Make sure that your basement and crawlspaces have proper ventilation.  This will keep moisture from collecting and setting the stage for an infestation.
  • If you are a gardener, refrain from allowing your plants to have contact with your outside walls.  The plants allow the concrete to retain moisture and are a great source of travel for termites.
  • If at all possible, keep foam board and wood from coming in contact with the soil.  If there is wood in contact with the soil, be sure that it has been treated properly against termites.

This week is short and sweet, but we hope that the information will inspire you to seek out possible ways to prevent damage and how to detect damage that may have already occurred.

If you’ve got termite, how should the infestation be treated and prevent future occurrences?  Tune in next week for the answers!


The above information was derived from the text Secrets to a Pest Free Home by Richard C. Burton.   ©2003
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