Most of us wait eagerly for the warmer weather to arrive. It brings a promise of long days, cold beers, barbeques, and generally happier times.
But, it’s not just humans that love the warmer weather. Speak to any pest control company and they’ll tell you that the warmer weather brings out a host of pests, especially termites.
Termites love the warmth, this is why you won’t see them in the winter months. They will either exist in the wood of your home if it’s warm enough, or they will head back into the soil. The colder the weather gets the further they’ll burrow into the ground, where the temperature remains higher.
Cold weather slows their metabolism, making them less effective at sourcing and consuming food. If they are unable to do this they will die from starvation or cold, that’s why they go deep underground.
Of course, as the weather starts to warm they’ll move back towards the surface and be looking for more food. Termites do need to eat during the winter but they’ll survive on less, simply because they are less active and there isn’t as much food available.
Once they’re back above ground they can head back to your house and tuck into a nice wood dinner!
That’s why you’re always going to see more termites as the weather warms up.
It’s also worth noting that rain can drive them out of the ground, especially if your area is prone to heavy spring rains. These combine with the slow increase in temperature to tell the termites it’s time to head back to the surface, and potentially your house.
How To Prevent Them Coming Into Your Home
Like most creatures, termites need water and food in order to survive.
Their food is the wood in your house, you need to discourage them from coming anywhere near your home!
Many people start checking for termites and taking preventative steps in the spring as the termites start to reappear. However, the best time to start organizing your home and eliminating the clutter is actually the winter.
To start with remove clutter and any wood piles from your garden, they should be at least 6ft away to help discourage termites from heading to your home.
You should also visually inspect your property to ensure there are no easy access points. Termites prefer to burrow into the soil and enter your foundations via this root. You’ll know if you have an issue as there will be lots of small tunnel entrances next to the walls of your home, in the soil.
The termites are still present if you close a tunnel and it reopens or a new one appears next to it. This is less likely to apply in the winter when they are inactive, but the soil tunnels will be evident, closing them up will make it a little harder for the termites to emerge by your home.
In fact, if you can, you should eliminate the soil from the edge of your home and have a concrete strip, this will make it much harder for termites to enter your home.
You also need to consider the moisture level in your home, especially in the foundations of your home. Moisture is essential for every life form and termites are no different. Moist air under your home will start to make the wood damp, giving the termites the water they need as they eat your wood.
One of the best ways to reduce moisture under your home is to add ventilation holes and, if necessary, a fan. This will force the air to move under your home, bringing in dry air and removing the moist air that the termites need.
The drier the air the less attractive it will be to termites.
It’s also a good idea to keep bushes and other plants away from these vents, to ensure the air flow is good.
Your vents should also be covered with a fine mesh, this won’t just help to keep termites out, you’ll also be keeping out other pests which can cause damage or be a nuisance to your home and you.
Finally, don’t forget to check your downpipes and gutters, water needs to flow smoothly away from your home, if it collects around your home it’s like writing an invitation to the termites. The tidier your yard, the better.
If you’re in any doubt then get help from a pest control expert. They will offer a professional eye to spot any potential issues in your home, particularly access points for termites and other pests. Eliminating these and monitoring the weak spots in your home defenses will help you to stay on top of the pests. It’s much easier to prevent termites from entering than it is to get rid of them later.