fbpx bloglovinBloglovin iconCombined ShapeCreated with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. rssRSS iconsoundcloudSoundCloud iconFill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. SearchCreated with Lunacy Search iconCreated with Sketch.

How To: Prevent Termites From Taking Over Your House

How To: Prevent Termites From Taking Over Your House Termites have been keeping carpenters annoyed and employed for millennia. These sneaky little creatures can turn a solid wood structure into a pile of toothpicks in short order.

Each year, termites and similar pests cause an estimated $30 billion in damage to crops and man-made structures in the U.S. alone. So, knowing how to prevent these little buggers is important. There are a few tricks you can do to ensure your old house is as safe as possible. Though no wooden structure is completely safe from termites, these tips can save you money and frustration.

1. Fix Leaks

Termites love soft wood! Much the same way we appreciate an especially tender steak, termites are looking for some soft tasty wood to munch on. When you have a water leak, whether from leaking pipes or an old roof, that water is causing wood to soften up. Wet wood is soft wood. And often times, you’ll have a colony of termites setup shop right at the spot where the wood has been softened up from months or years of a leak softening the wood up.
Be vigilant about your old house’s preventative maintenance. Check for leaks annually in the attic and basement or crawl space. Fixing these leaks early is like slamming the door in the termites faces.

2. Use Borate

Spraying borate onto any wood prior to priming and painting is an excellent way to prevent termites, carpenter ants, and some wood destroying fungi from attacking your house. Products like Bora-Care are simple to apply, you just dilute with water and spray on any wood you want to keep termites off of. The sprays soaks into the wood and makes for a very un-appetizing meal. After it dries, you can still prime and paint any treated wood.
The great thing about these sprays is that they only need to be used once. One treatment works for decades as long as the boards aren’t exposed to rain before being painted. And while many houses are treated with borate during construction these days you can also treat any existing house just as easily.

3. Use Old-Growth Wood

Yet one more reason to use salvaged materials to repair your old home. If you have a some damage to your house that needs repair, try using reclaimed old-growth wood for the repair instead of the soft new wood from lumberyards and hardware stores. Old-growth lumber is higher in resins, has more rock hard “late wood”, is more stable, more rot-resistant and a slew of other benefits. All that translates to a wood that is less attractive to termites and other insects. Find a local architectural salvage yard or restoration carpenter and they can help you find the right wood for the job.

4. Get a Termite Bond

In case you’re not familiar with a how a termite bond works, here’s the skinny. You pay a pest control company a couple hundred dollars every year to insure you against termite infestations. If they find active termites in your house they treat for free and usually pay for any damage caused by the termites. A termite bond works good because it transfers the risk of a termite problem to the pest control company and off of your shoulders. Another positive is that the company is motivated to come out and do spot treatments (also free with a bond) because if there is damage it’s their responsibility.

That’s it! The rest that you can do is to pay attention. If you see evidence of termites like rainbow looking wings around your windows or frass, which looks like poppy seeds but is actually the waste of termites. Either of those are sure fire signs that you’ve got termites. Keep an eye out and practice these tips and your house should be just fine for years to come.

Subscribe Now For Your FREE eBook!

20 thoughts on “How To: Prevent Termites From Taking Over Your House

  1. I’m building an outdoor gate and want to keep the natural look of wood. Do you know of a sealer/varnish that termites won’t attack?

  2. What’s the best way to long-term prevent termites with wood that has already been stained? I’ve got an infestation on some redwood planters I built, and plan to have professionals spot treat them to clear out the termites. But I don’t think that will help keep them away down the road. Any recommendations?

  3. I have always worried that there were termites in my house, and I was wondering how you can prevent them.

  4. Most historical resident in my neighborhood are replacing clay tiles with Shingles because no one seems to know how to work with clay tiles. The cleanup is a mess as well as getting rid of the undamaged tiles. Arkansas historical home owner. Any other uses for tiles like outdoor cookouts container?

  5. Do termites attack a house that is 9 years old or do they like older home? My house is built on a cement slab and we have no basement. What are the chances?

    1. Yes!! My home is on a slab and the front window had a wooden shelf/box built in just below the window sill, there were plants in the dirt just below the wooden shelf/box and the sprinklers kept everything moist. it looked like the shelf/box was the entry point and the plants were the bridge. I’m going to pave over the dirt just below the window to stop that from that happening again. I also got the flying termites in addition so being on a slab wont help that at all. Keep your trim sealed and painted and make sure the air vents into your attic have a fine mesh screen to stop little guys from getting in. Boracare is great from everything I’ve read over the last year and they will track it back to the nest too.

  6. I was considering the worms but it would seem that they might only work for subterranean termites. How would the worms gain access to drywood termites which do not have to resort to ground access for water?

  7. Parasites are another great alternative for killing these pests they are very small worm species that live in the garden areas but you can buy these insects for around twenty dollars and spray them around and or plant them , and use them right away after you purchase them.You can buy these little worms online and they can kill these termites and the whole colony in about forty eight hours they burrow into the host and the search for the larvae of the termite and they will kill the population significantly and stop damage to your home .

    1. Where do you get these worms and what happened to them after they clean up the termites? do they stay in the house?

  8. Thank you for the awesome tips to prevent termites from attacking our home. I also hire termite control service to avoid the harmful effect it may give to my family after reading article recently that shows the benefits of having a termite control service. Here’s the link I hope it can help you

  9. These are great suggestions for the homeowner. Termite control is something we should really invest our time and resources in, because damage can occur under your nose in no time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.