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  • Writer's pictureAilane Joy Ferrer

Common Items Termites Eat in Lavon, TX Homes

Termites are a significant threat to homes, capable of causing extensive damage to various household items. For homeowners in Lavon, TX, understanding what termites eat and how to protect these items is crucial for maintaining a termite-free home. This blog will discuss the common items that termites target in homes and provide advice on protecting these items from termite damage.



What Termites Eat


Termites primarily feed on cellulose, a complex carbohydrate found in plant cell walls. This means they are attracted to various materials commonly found in homes. Here’s a closer look at what termites commonly eat:


1. Wood and Wooden Structures


Wood is the primary food source for termites. In homes, termites can consume:


  • Structural Wood: Beams, joists, studs, and other load-bearing elements.


  • Wooden Flooring: Hardwood floors, subfloors, and wooden tiles.


  • Wooden Furniture: Chairs, tables, cabinets, and other wooden fixtures.


2. Paper Products


Paper products contain cellulose, making them highly attractive to termites. These products include:


  • Books: Termites can destroy valuable books, documents, and photo albums.


  • Cardboard Boxes: Storage boxes made of cardboard are a common target.


  • Wallpaper: Some types of wallpaper contain cellulose and can be consumed by termites.


3. Drywall


Drywall, also known as sheetrock, has a paper backing that termites can feed on. This can lead to significant damage to walls and ceilings.


4. Other Cellulose-Based Materials


Beyond wood and paper, termites may also feed on:


  • Insulation: Certain types of insulation materials contain cellulose.


  • Plant Materials: Dead plant materials, mulch, and compost piles can attract termites.


Protecting Your Home from Termite Damage


1. Eliminate Moisture Sources


Termites thrive in moist environments. Reducing moisture around your home can deter termites:


  • Fix Leaks: Repair any plumbing leaks, leaky faucets, and faulty pipes promptly.


  • Improve Drainage: Ensure proper drainage around your home by cleaning gutters and downspouts.


  • Ventilation: Keep crawl spaces, basements, and attics well-ventilated to reduce humidity levels.


  • Condensation Control: Use dehumidifiers and ensure air conditioning units are properly maintained to prevent condensation buildup.


2. Reduce Wood-to-Soil Contact


Minimizing contact between wood and soil can help prevent termites from accessing your home:


  • Foundation Gaps: Maintain a gap between soil and wooden parts of your home’s foundation.


  • Barrier Installation: Use metal or concrete barriers to separate wooden structures from the ground.


  • Firewood Storage: Store firewood, lumber, and other wooden materials away from your home and elevated off the ground.


3. Protect Wooden Structures


Applying treatments and maintaining wooden structures can deter termites:


  • Treated Wood: Use pressure-treated wood for construction and outdoor projects.


  • Wood Preservatives: Apply termiticides or wood preservatives to vulnerable areas.


  • Sealing Cracks: Seal any cracks or crevices in the foundation, walls, and around windows and doors to prevent termite entry.


4. Conduct Regular Inspections


Regular inspections can help detect termite activity early and prevent extensive damage:


  • Professional Inspections: Schedule annual termite inspections by a professional pest control service.


  • Self-Inspections: Regularly check for mud tubes, discarded wings, and damaged wood around your home.


  • Monitoring Stations: Consider installing termite monitoring stations around your property.


5. Reduce Cellulose-Based Materials


Minimizing the availability of cellulose-based materials around your home can help prevent infestations:


  • Yard Maintenance: Keep your yard free of dead trees, stumps, and debris.


  • Mulch Alternatives: Avoid using wood mulch near the foundation; opt for alternatives like gravel or rubber mulch.


  • Storage Practices: Store paper products, cardboard boxes, and other cellulose-based materials off the floor and away from walls.


6. Maintain Your Home’s Exterior


Keeping the exterior of your home in good condition can prevent termite access:


  • Paint and Seal: Regularly paint and seal wooden structures to protect them from moisture.


  • Siding and Roofing: Inspect and maintain siding and roofing to ensure they are in good condition and free of damage.


  • Landscape Management: Trim bushes, trees, and other vegetation away from the exterior of your home to prevent termites from using them as bridges.


7. Consider Chemical Barriers


In areas prone to termite infestations, chemical barriers can offer additional protection:


  • Soil Treatments: Apply liquid termiticides to the soil around your home to create a chemical barrier that repels termites.


  • Bait Systems: Install termite bait systems around your property to attract and eliminate termite colonies.


Conclusion


For homeowners in Lavon, TX, understanding what termites eat and implementing preventive measures is key to protecting your home from termite damage. By eliminating moisture sources, reducing wood-to-soil contact, protecting wooden structures, conducting regular inspections, and minimizing cellulose-based materials, you can significantly reduce the risk of termite infestations. Taking these proactive steps will help safeguard your home and belongings, ensuring they remain termite-free and well-protected.


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