Are you aware of the threat termites present to your Pittsburgh property? The termites we have in our area are subterranean termites. This type of termite comes up from the ground and feeds secretly on our homes and businesses, slowly advancing within timbers and weakening structures. If allowed to do this long enough, they can completely total a man-made structure. This is why termite prevention is so important. Here are four easy ways you can protect your Pittsburgh property from termite damage.

1. Remove Food Sources

Before termites feed on your home, they usually feed on sources of wood in your yard. This might be a stump, log, or tree with heart rot. It might be wooden structures, such as a fence, deck, porch, shed, landscape border, stairs, etc. There are many ways you can put out the dinner platter for termites. Consider these quick ideas for reducing the food options for termites:

  • Paint wood structures. While termites can eat through paint, they don't prefer to.

  • Replace wood structures with other materials. One example of this is getting a vinyl fence that looks like wood.

  • Never bury wood in your yard. If you have scrap wood, sticks, or some other wood source you're thinking about putting in the ground and covering over with dirt, we recommend that you refrain from doing this.

  • Remove old, rotting wood. No matter what wood objects you have decaying in your yard, it is best to get rid of them.

  • Pull up and remove stumps. Try to get the roots as well.

  • Move firewood to at least 20 feet from your exterior. It is also a smart idea to elevate your woodpiles to get them off the ground.

  • Address areas of your home where there is wood-to-soil contact. It is very bad to allow termites to go directly from the soil to the wood of your home.

2. Reduce Moisture

Termites are drawn to soil that stays moist. There are many ways you can have a damp perimeter. If you take steps to reduce the moisture, you'll make your yard more resistant to termites. Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Clean your gutters.

  • Fix damaged gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks.

  • Fix leaky plumbing.

  • Trim tree canopy to let the sunlight in.

  • Trim bushes and shrubs to allow for better airflow.

  • Water your plants in the morning.

  • Put space between your plants.

3. Routine Inspection

Termites can leave subtle signs. If you take the time to look for these signs, you could catch a termite infestation early enough to do something about it.

Inspect your exterior for mud tubes. These look like rivers of mud running up hard surfaces.
Look for worker termites. Turning over rocks, chopping into stumps, examining trees and bushes are all ways you might be able to see termite worker activity. If you see termites, keep in mind that you might think they're white ants.

Inspect your home for deterioration. Examine areas that are dark and damp. If you see wood damage, the culprit could be termites. Cutting into the wood could reveal tunnels inside. If the tunnels are gritty to the touch, you have a termite infestation.

Knock on wood. This isn't just a saying; it's a good way to tell if termites have infested your home. If you tap on a thick, sound timber, and it sounds hollow, you probably have termites inside.

Listen for rustling. While rare, it is possible to sometimes hear termites. If soldier termites detect a threat, they can begin tapping their heads on the walls of their tunnels. This puts out a warning to the workers.

4. Invest In Professional Termite Protection

Home maintenance is part of owning a home, and the above tips are only considered easy because they're part of a process you're already doing. This tip can actually be considered easy. When you hire Witt Pest Management to protect your home from termites, we do all the work. We use the most advanced termite control products available, and our licensed termite-control professionals ensure that these products are deployed and maintained correctly. When you want to know for sure that your property is protected, there is no easier or more effective way to do it. Reach out to us today to get started.