How Gardening Practices Compromise The Termiticide Barrier Surrounding A Home

Considering that Louisiana is home to both the eastern subterranean termite and the invasive Formosan subterranean termite, it goes without saying that termite infestations are frequent in the state. Eastern subterranean termites inflict more damage to structures in the United States than any other termite species, and the Formosan subterranean termite is often cited as the most destructive termite species in the world, but this species’ invasive habitat in the US is limited to the Gulf Coast states. The greatest amount of Formosan subterranean termite damage in the US occurs within Louisiana, and preventing these termites from infesting structures in the state costs hundreds of millions of dollars. Termiticides are applied to the soil surrounding a structure, thus preventing termites from reaching a home’s structural wood. However, these barriers are sometimes unknowingly compromised by a homeowner’s gardening practices.

It is important for termiticide-treated soil to remain in place, but excavating a lawn’s ground soil for gardening purposes can displace this treated soil. Termiticide barriers are located up against the slab and piers of a home, and they are typically 4 inches wide and 6 inches deep. Soil that is located within 12 inches of a home’s slab should remain untouched, but some homeowners excavate this soil in order to build flower beds against a home’s foundation. Obviously, doing this makes a home accessible to subterranean termites, and therefore, soil located within 12 inches of a home’s slab should never be moved. Shrubs should be planted at least 3 feet from a home’s slab so that the plants can grow to their full extent without compromising the termiticide barrier. Maintaining this distance also prevents subterranean termites from using shrubs as a bridge to access a home’s structural wood, and vines should be prevented from growing on a home’s exterior for this same reason. Of course, wood mulch should not be placed against a home’s foundation; instead, place mulch 12 inches from a home’s slab in order to prevent subterranean termites from bypassing the termiticide barrier. A home’s gutters should also be cleaned of plant debris regularly and tree branches that hover over a home or make contact with a home’s exterior should be eliminated. Water from lawn irrigation should also be kept far from a home’s slab, as the water can wash away termiticides, making a home vulnerable to infestations.

Do you know if your home has a termiticide barrier? Have you thought about installing Sentricon to protect your home from termites?



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