Now is the best time to start being proactive about termite control. During the spring and summer months, termite colonies begin to seek out mates and locations to support their new colonies. These pests hold the potential to destroy entire homes within a few months. Annually, termites cause about $5 billion worth of property damage in the United States.

Get ahead this season and begin termite prevention now with these five tips for controlling termites around your home.

Eliminate Moisture

Subterranean termites cause more damage than any other termite found in North America. This species requires ample moisture to survive. Once they discover an area rich with moisture, near a food source, they begin to build their colonies. Excessive moisture pooled around wood materials create conditions which promote termite infestations. Be sure to monitor moisture levels inside your home and near your foundation to prevent termite populations from infesting your property.

Protect Firewood and Keep It A Safe Distance From the Home

Termites always start building in the soil.

They construct mud tunnels leading to their food source, which may or may not be visible to the naked eye. When worker termites detect firewood, they create a path for the rest of the colony and begin to feed on it. Those same termites found in the firewood will then be brought into your home when you need to get a fire started. The termites inside the wood are not likely to start an infestation, but woodpiles stacked against, or close to the foundation provide a bridge for termites to extend their feeding into your home. The best way to stop termites from entering your home through firewood is proper storage. Store firewood off the ground, on a platform or rack.

Keep Wood Mulch Fresh

When you dig down into a thick, dense layer of wood mulch, you’re probably going to find tons of insects. These bugs are all there for the same reason: moisture. The thicker the mulch, the more moisture it holds, which also means the more insects you’ll find. Most of the termite species found in Louisiana need moisture to survive. Packing mulch into the soil near your home attracts termites seeking out a safe environment and gives them direct access to your home. When you’re piling mulch in your yard, provide a buffer zone between your house and the mulch. This practice will prevent moisture from seeping into the foundation and deter termites among many other pests.

Trim Foliage and Trees Found on Your Property

The majority of termite species primarily feed on dead wood, but a few species also feed on live plants. Formosan termites are among these species. They are found in Louisiana, and in 2010 the USDA estimated they lived in about 30 percent of the live oak trees found in New Orleans. They’re also known to feed on cypress, ash and other types of trees popular in Louisiana. Try to trim all trees that reach over onto your property and contact your home. Cutting away branches or plants will prevent termites that may be infesting these trees from entering your home.

Regular Termite Inspections and Treatments

DIY protection methods are only a temporary fix. If you suspect a termite infestation on your property, contact a licensed pest control professional to determine the best method of treatment. Arrow Termite & Pest Control’s team of experts and professionals are trained to identify infestations, activity, and conditions suitable for termite populations.