There are two types of houses in our area. Houses that have termites and houses that will have termites.
Termites serve an important role in the earth’s ecosystem. All of these trees that die or get cut down, their roots systems remain. Many think (if they think of it at all) that the roots simply rot away and decay. Actually that’s the job of termites and other various wood destroying insects. They eat those roots.
But these termites really don’t care what wood they eat. If there are roots or fallen branches, they eat them. If the 2x4s and plywood of your house are available, they’ll eat those.
So – other than the house falling down around you, how do you know if you have termites? The easy way is to pay an exterminator inspect your house once per year. And that’s a good thing. Usually you’ll get a warranty with that, if they detect termites they’ll do the treatment, and (hopefully) repair any damage caused.
Or you can (and should) keep an eye out for them yourself.
First, termites don’t like sunlight. They dig underground to get to wood. If they want to get to wood that’s not underground they build a tunnel of mud to get there. So I you see a tube of mud going up from the ground, about ¼” diameter, call the exterminator.
Follow these basic rules to minimize the termite attraction. In the garage and basement, do not leave paper products on the floor. Do you have hydrangeas planted around the house? Their roots are sweet and attract termites. Do you use mulch around the perimeter of the house for landscaping? The shredded wood in mulch is also called bait.
Go to your favorite home improvement store and get the strongest chemical they sell, and spread around the home’s perimeter a few times per year. Your home will thank you for it.