Is Your Home Inadvertently Inviting in Termites? (Part Two)

January 13, 2018by

In part one of this blog series, we examined how termites can go from a harmless colony outside your home, to a destructive one within, while inadvertently inviting them in with little nuances in your yard. In today’s post we’ll look at the do’s and don’ts of termite protection and emphasize the mulch conundrum in termite-free landscaping.

Do you know what termite-free landscaping looks like? Stop inviting termites in and get rid of them once and for all with services from Hi-Tech Termite Control in Orange County, and join us in today’s post as we examine the termite protection in your landscaping.

Landscaping “Don’ts” for Termite Protection

Don’t plant near the foundation – When it comes to landscaping near your home’s foundation, the best option is to stick with xeriscaping in the form of rocks and gravel. When you add mulch or flower beds too close to the perimeter, it is inviting termites right in to your home. These conditions provide the perfect sanctuary for termites to hide in and retreat to before invading your home.

Don’t build wooden structures too close – If you’re thinking of building a beautiful deck, patio, or pergola you may want to forego wood completely, but above all else, don’t build it too close to the foundation — the recommended space is at least two inches. Even wood piled next to your house is suggesting for termites to help themselves to the free food!

A quick note on mulch – There is a debate in the landscaping and termite protection industries on whether mulch invites termites. The first thing to note is that mulch is commonly made from wood, but it’s not only this factor that attracts termites. In the same way that it makes a lovely ground cover for landscaping, it does so for termites as well. Termites can nestle under the oasis of mulch and get their food and water from it, and begin to colonize near your home until they completely infiltrate it! There are some wood mulch types that termites simply aren’t interested in, and they include:

  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedar
  • Redwood

Mulch can be placed eight to 12 inches from your foundation and treated with a termite protection layer, but never place the mulch up close to the foundation.

If mulch is a non-negotiable for your landscaping, there are better types such as:

  • Pine straw: This type of mulch is low in cellulose so termites aren’t as attracted to it, but it still allows for them to hide out.
  • Rubber mulch: This type of mulch is a great alternative to wood mulch because termites will not consume it and it’s heavier so it can be more difficult for termites to move in.

Landscaping “Do’s” For Termite Protection

Do protect your yard – Implement a termite-free home with a chemical treatment outside the foundation of your home. This type of barrier will keep termites at bay and disrupt any plans of colonizing in your home.

Do plant beds – Flower beds and mulch look lovely and can add a warm depth to your landscaping. We’re not saying to forego them completely, but choose the distance from your foundation wisely. Plant the beds at least three feet from your foundation so there is little to no chance termites can come into contact with your home.

Do implement xeriscaping – Xeriscaping is a great alternative to landscaping around the foundation of your home. There are a wide variety of rocks that come in all sizes, shapes, and colors suitable for all styles and aesthetics of homes.

The do’s and don’ts in termite-free landscaping are clear. The takeaway is to never plant too close to the foundation and reconsider mulch with either a rubber mulch alternative or rocks and gravel and always check your outdoor exterior for any rotting plants or trees and water leaks near spigots or sprinkler heads.

A termite infestation can quickly get out of hand when all the conditions are right — warm, damp, and fertile, coupled with an appetizing landscape — these tiny critters can move inward towards your house in no time! Don’t make the mistake and protect your yard and home from termites.

For more information on how we can help you with termite damage and infestations in your Orange County home, reach out to us today!