Knowing where termites come from is crucial to keeping them out of your space. You might think termites come from rotted wood. But that’s just what they eat! The most common type of termite comes from the ground. That’s where they live, build huge colonies, and serve their termite queen!
If you’ve ever found termites in your home or business, there’s a good chance you didn’t question where they came from… you just wanted them gone! Which is understandable—but to get rid of and prevent them, it’s important you know the where, why, and how.
What is the termite’s natural habitat?
There are three common varieties of termites: dampwood, drywood, and subterranean. Each of these has its own preferred habitat and its own point of origin.
- Drywood Termites come from dry wood habitats. Forests, suburban developments, and woodshops are some of their favorites. If they’re in your home, it’s because they’ve found uninhibited access to furniture and firewood (their favorite food). In nature, they set up shop within large, old trees.
- Dampwood Termites. You guessed it! These termites prefer moisture-rich environments, opposite to drywood termites. Dampwood termites love wood and trees that have rotted due to wetness. They’re drawn to homes with leaks and high humidity.
- Subterranean Termites require access to moisture-rich environments as well. They come from and look for the same environments as dampwood termites. The main difference is that they’re also known for building mud tunnels as a way to access food sources.
What attracts termites?
Termites are pests and like most pests, they’re attracted to three main things: food, shelter, and water. Anywhere termites can find easy, unhindered access to these things is a place that’s attractive to them.
- Food. Termites consume wood and cellulose material. The presence of these is always going to be the number one draw for termites. Lumber, paper, firewood, and framing all look delicious to termites.
- Shelter. A termite’s preferred home is somewhere that’s warm, dark, and wet. In most homes, likely locations are attics, crawl spaces, and garages.
- Water. When it comes to moisture, termites commonly get their fill through moist soil. If you have downspouts or gutters that don’t drain properly, your yard might turn into termite territory.
How can I prevent termites from being attracted to my home?
Sure, termites are problematic… but they can be stopped. Here are proactive measures you can take to better protect your home from termites:
- Schedule annual termite inspections. The small price of an expert consultation will help save you from immense repair costs.
- Keep an eye on potential hidden leaks. Leaks in your home could create damp spots that are attractive to termites. Tighten fittings and seal gaps as needed.
- Keep wood piles away from your home’s foundation. Termites need wood to live. Don’t draw them to your house with wood near the foundation.
Termite infestations can be scary… however, they’re easy to fight. All you need is some knowledge and a pest control partner that has your back. Next time you need help removing termites, or any type of pest, give the team at Plunkett’s Pest Control a call.