What Causes Termites to Attack Your Home?

Asking the question “How do you get termites?” is like asking, “How do you get the flu?” You want to know so that you can do everything in your power to prevent it from happening.

Termites are a true pest, literally eating you out of house and home. Learning where they come from, what attracts them and how they get inside can help you take steps to uninvite these most-unwelcome guests.

Where Do Termites Come From?

Eastern subterranean termites are the most common type in Ohio, and, as the name suggests, they enter your home from below ground level—sneaky! Termites come from the soil, where they burrow tunnels in search of their favorite food, cellulose, a major component of wood. Termites also love moisture and warmth, so the combination of wet, warm wood is a huge draw for these bugs.

Subterranean termites often find an underground entry point into your home, but sometimes they build above-ground tunnels called mud tubes, which protect them from the elements and predators as they venture above ground level in pursuit of food. Sometimes these tubes are visible near your home’s foundation, so keep an eye out for this red flag.

Where Do Termites Enter a House?

With subterranean termites, most of the action happens underground and out of sight, so you may not detect anything until termites have munched their way inside. Since you don’t have X-ray vision to see what’s going on, is there any way to block these dangerous invaders?

One strategy is to seal off potential underground entry points. When burrowing termites encounter your home’s foundation, they’ll search for cracks to go through. They can fit through fissures as thin as a piece of cardstock paper (1/32nd inch), so caulk and fill cracks in concrete, bricks and mortar, as well as the seals to your plumbing and electrical lines.

For even more peace of mind, call us to learn about preventative termite monitoring and barrier protection.

What Attracts Termites?

There are things you can do above ground, too. Just as Hansel and Gretel followed breadcrumbs through the forest, termites follow the food. Having termite food sources too close to your house is like laying out a welcome mat. So, remove any wood that comes in contact with both your home and the soil. Termites often make the jump from soil to these wooden elements of your home:

  • Door frames
  • Trims
  • Decks
  • Porches
  • Steps
  • Support or fixtures

Remember the three W’s: wet, warm, wood. That’s fine dining for termites. Here are a few more tips for eliminating those worrisome W’s:

  • Drain any standing water near your house and fix areas where water tends to pool or over-saturate the ground.
  • Don’t allow mulch, trellises, firewood, project lumber, old furniture or decaying tree parts (stumps, branches, logs) to come in contact with your house.

If you’d rather have experienced eyes doing termite inspection for you, check out our Guardian Plus Program.

Where Do Termites Nest in a House?

Because termites still nest in the soil and have to return to the colony every day, they take advantage of your home and use it as a food source. Where can you look for early signs that this is happening? While it’s not impossible to inspect a slab foundation for subterranean termites, all walls (internal and external) have to be inspected (not just the exterior).

If you observe termite wings, mud tubes or termites themselves, then you definitely have a colony, and it’s time to call ScherZinger.

Want to learn more about termites? Check out the termite section of our pest control library and our termites resources page.

We’ve Got You Covered

ScherZinger Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton and Columbus. We’ve been pioneers who have engineered new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website or Facebook.