Prevent Termites with Structural & Landscaping Improvements
There may be recommended modifications to the building or landscaping to improve the effectiveness of termite control measures and reduce the threat of further termite attacks. For example, these might include the removal of termite-infested timbers next to the house or in contact with the soil or the reduction of humidity below the floor. Mulch should also be removed – especially where it abuts the building as it provides termites with an easy food source and a humid environment.
Traditional mulch like shredded pine bark or nuggets is made with cellulose products. Because the mulch helps maintain moisture in the soil below it, it can create the perfect environment for a termite infestation in your home. The consistent moisture, steady supply of cellulose material for food, and being able to work undercover make wooden mulch an invitation for an infestation.
Instead of using wood-based mulch around your home, consider alternative ground coverings that still help maintain moisture in the soil, but don’t contain cellulose that attracts termites. Here are some landscaping options to help prevent termites in your home:
Pine needles are a good alternative to traditional wood mulch because there is far less cellulose for termites to feed on. Pine straw is easy to spread, doesn’t compact as it decomposes, and can allow more moisture to reach the soil and plants. While pine straw is more acidic than traditional wood mulch, you can lay down a thin layer of compost beneath the pine needles to even things out.
Rubber mulch is nonporous, so it provides an attractive and long-lasting ground cover that allows plenty of moisture to get through to the soil. Synthetic mulch also reduces fungus growth on plants, is a natural weed barrier, and even comes in colors like brown, grey, and blue. So pick out your favorite color and go with a more modern mulch alternative that doesn’t attract termites.
Pea gravel also comes in a variety of colors, and you don’t need to replace it annually like traditional mulch and pine needles. This ground cover is especially good for areas that tend to get standing water, and it is perfect for plants that like drier conditions. Pea gravel is less prone to mold and fungus growth than traditional mulch, and it contains no cellulose to attract termites.