The biggest step towards controlling termites is preventing them. As you probably already know, once you realize you have an issue it is often too late. Many homes provide the perfect environments for termites, which is why it is important for the safety of your home to know what conditions they seek.

What kind of wood do termites like?
Most home-invading termites prefer wood with a high moisture content and the presence of decay. Subterranean termites are not picky and will eat many of the common types of wood found in homes, including pine and oak. Drywood termites don’t contact the soil and will eat hardwood floors and the wood found in your home’s structural framing. They also may inhabit floors and furniture.

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Other ideal termite conditions:

Moisture creates ideal conditions for termites, thriving in damp soil. Keep your yard dry by sealing any water leaks and carefully considering where you place air conditioning units that are prone to leaking. A dehumidifier is a good way to keep conditions dry. If you have a garden that needs watering, try to plant it a good distance from your home.

What don’t termites like?

If you happen to be in the position of building a new home, deck, or some other kind of addition, there are a few types of wood that are less likely to see termite damage. Pressure treated wood, for instance, is embedded with preservatives that make it resistant to rot and fungi – termite attractants.  Composite materials can also be used to makes products that termites can’t digest, such as a combination of plastics and wood fiber.

Wood that is naturally resistant to termites includes redwood, cypress and cedar. However, when it comes to building material, these are not as long-lasting as treated lumber. Heartwood, the dense, inner part of the tree trunk, is where most resistant compounds are concentrated.

Signs of termite damage in your home:

Pay attention to your home and watch for signs that termites may be present. Pay attention to walls, ceilings and floorboards.  Buckling wood, swollen floors and ceilings that look like water damage may be an indication of a possible problem. You may even be able to see the hollowed trails and tunnels built by termites in furniture and floorboards. Other signs include finding discarded wings near an entrance to your home or even termite droppings, or frass.

The best way to know if you have a problem is from a professional inspection. Holder’s Pest Solutions offers free termite inspections in the Houston area. Don’t wait until it’s too late – let us help.