How Sanitation And Landscape Maintenance Can Protect Homes From Subterranean Termite Attacks

Louisiana sees massive amount of termite damage to homes and buildings every year, especially in New Orleans where numerous older structures that are highly vulnerable to subterranean termite infestations are densely situated in the French Quarter. The southeastern Gulf Coast states are located within a geographic zone that sees the highest termite infestation rates in the country. This region stretches from Florida and west to the eastern half of Texas, and all homes located within this region must be well protected from subterranean termite attacks. State laws require new homes within this region to be pretreated with termiticide barriers during construction, as pretreatments provide the greatest possible degree of protection against subterranean termite attacks.

In addition to protecting new homes with termiticide barriers, construction companies are also required by Louisiana state law to remove all lumber scraps from properties before homes are completed. The reason for this law is obvious enough, as leaving wood scraps beneath the soil around homes attracts subterranean termites onto properties. This method of termite prevention is aptly referred to as “sanitation,” and in addition to removing lumber scraps, all natural sources of dead wood, including roots and tree stumps, must be removed from properties as well. Certain landscaping practices can also leave homes vulnerable to subterranean termite infestations.

Wood mulch that is placed in direct contact with a home’s exterior foundation walls allows subterranean termite workers to bypass termiticide barriers in soil. Subterranean termite workers can simply travel upwards into mulch in order to safely reach the foundation where they can usually access interior structural wood. This is why it is very important to leave a 12 to 18 inch mulch- and plant-free space in between foundation walls and mulch landscaping. Wooden decks and patios can also provide subterranean termite workers with an easily accessible highway that leads to a home’s interior timber frame. To deny workers this access, concrete blocks should be used to elevate decks several inches above the ground surface, as workers are unable to tunnel through concrete. Given their attraction to moist conditions, lawn irrigation should be kept as minimal as possible, and water should not be allowed to flow toward the foundation. Termiticide barriers remain effective for several years, and reapplications are relatively inexpensive.

Does your yard contain dead tree stumps, roots or an abundance of loose wood? Get A Termite inspection today!

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