What Causes Termites? 5 Reasons You Easily Ignore

And A 11-Step Guide To Prevent Termites From Invading Your Home

In this guide, you’ll find out what causes termites in your home.

You’ll get to know what things in your home and yard attract termites and the factors that enable it.

That’s not all.

You’ll also get a detailed plan to stop termites from invading your home.

Keep reading.

What Attract Termites To Your House And Property?

What Causes Termites To Invade Your House

It’s essential to know what attracts termites before you get into what causes termites to invade your home.

Why?

It’s because knowing the factors that attract termites will help you in the process of getting rid of them.

Here are the top four things that attract termites.

Woodpiles And Rotting Wood Attracts Termites To Your Home And Yard

Without wood, there won’t be termites. And the primary thing that causes termites is wood.

Wood contains cellulose which is the essential element that termites eat.

Cellulose is also present in the paper. So, that’s the reason why termites also eat and destroy books.

Rotting or fresh pieces of firewood piles in your yard will draw termites to your yard. 

Firewood is one of the favorite types of wood for all species of termites. 

That’s why it’s always better to follow specific ways to store firewood in your yard to protect them from termite invasion.

Termites of all types, including dampwood termites, can infest firewood. 

Dampwood termites eat and nest in rotting and damp pieces of wood.

As rotting pieces of wood are not present in many homes, so chances of dampwood termite infestation in the interior of your home are pretty minimal.

Moisture In Your Home And Yard Attracts Termites

After wood, the second most essential thing that sustains termites is moisture.

Moisture gives the termites the necessary hydration to keep them alive.

That’s the reason why damp pieces of wood are more susceptible to termite attacks. 

In homes, doors at the bathroom and kitchen are one of the first to get termite infestation because they’re damp.

Also, places like basements and unfinished cellars lock moisture. That makes these places highly prone to termite invasion.

Mulch In Your Yard Attracts Termites

How To Get Rid Of Termites In Mulch

Mulch is wood chips that many homeowners use to make their yards and gardens look good.

These wood chips are food termites. As you spread the mulches over the soil’s layer, so that makes it easy for subterranean termites.

Subterranean termites are a type of termite that invade wood and homes from underground.

But does that mean that you shouldn’t use mulch at all in your yard because of termites?

Of course not.

Some mulches repel termites. And they significantly reduce the chances of termite infestation in your home too.

Tree Stumps Attract Termites

Termites in tree stump

Tree stumps in your yard are a perfect target for termites. 

Why?

It’s because the tree stumps are rooted in the soil. 

That makes it easy for subterranean termites to attack the tree stump from underground.

Also, tree stumps become a proper nesting place for termites. Rains or overwatering of the yard make the tree stumps moist. 

Tree wood and dampness make the tree stumps a prime place to live and breed.

But don’t presume that termites can infest only dead tree stumps. 

Termites are dangerous to trees that are alive too. But there are ways to protect trees from termite attacks. 

So, these are the four things that attract termites to your home.

But what are the causes of termite invasion of your home?

How do they sneak inside your home from outdoors?

You’ll get the answer in the following section. 

What Causes Termites To Invade Your Home?

Drywood Termites

When the termites are near the vicinity of your home, like in your yard or garden, it’s only a matter of time that they’ll invade your home.

There are some elements present in and around your home that termites exploit to get inside your home. 

Here are the reasons that cause termites to invade your home.

Firewood Piles Close To Your Home Makes It Easy For Termites To Invade Your Home

As you know by now, firewood piles are one of the go-to sources for the termites to infest.

Termites love it. They eat it, and they even nest in it.

So, when you keep firewood piles close to your home’s foundation or walls, you give them direct access to your home’s interiors. 

The door frames and window sills, and furniture near the walls will draw thousands of termites into your home.

And from the walls, the termites can quickly reach to the ceiling, floor, and the structural wooden beams of your home.

Termites From Underneath The Soil Will Invade Your Home

One of the ways that subterranean termites attack homes is from the underground.

Once the termites have overtaken your yard, then it’s only a matter of time that they’ll reach the soil around your home’s perimeter.

Termites will create mud tubes to sneak inside your home. These mud tubes are conduits that termites build, by using their saliva and mud, to go from one place to another.

Mud tubes are visible on the home walls, woodpiles, and even on the furniture that termites infest.

Choked Gutters Can Cause Termite Invasion On Your Home

Clogged Gutter

Well, it’s not from underground that termites invade. They can invade your home from the top too, especially from the gutters.

How?

Some trees are prone to termite infestation. And if you’ve got one of those trees in your yard or garden, then there must be termites.

Termites will move in by using the branches that are touching the roof of your home.

And if there are gutters choked with foliage and organic debris, then it’s even better for termites. Termites love to hide in conditions like these.

On top of that, the foliage and debris will absorb moisture and turn damp.

That dampness will also make the roof and the surrounding walls damp.

Termites will take refuge in the choked gutters, and slowly, they’ll exploit the moist roof and walls to get inside your home.

Cracks And Gaps On The Walls And The Roof

Termite mud tubes on walls

Termites, and many invasive bugs like roaches, invade homes by sneaking inside through the tiny gaps and cracks on the walls.

Things get worse when the crevices are on the home’s foundation. 

It’s because termites will exploit these cracks to get inside from underground by building mud tubes.

And, as you got to know from the last section, choked gutters can also aid in developing the cracks on the roofs by making them moist.

If there are termites in these gutters, termites will indeed move inside your home through these gaps.

Termites In The Neighborhood Will Cause Termites In Your Home

When dealing with invasive pests like termites, roaches, and bed bugs, you can’t ignore the role your neighborhood plays.

It’s because these invasive pests in the neighborhood will surely engulf pest-free homes nearby.

Termites, when they’re left untreated, can multiply and spread very fast. Termites will look for new food sources that will make them gorge entire neighborhoods.

Some termites, like the Formosan termite, a type of destructive subterranean termite, have more capacity for destruction, and they breed fast as well.

Their ability to travel underground and swarm (drywood termites) makes them quickly cover one home after another.

So, your neighbor’s termite-infested home can cause a massive termite invasion on your home.

What Causes Termites To Swarm?

What causes termites to swarm

This post wouldn’t have been complete had you didn’t get to know about swarming termites.

It’s because swarming termites can also invade your homes.

So, what are swarming termites? And what causes termites to swarm?

Swarming termites, or flying termites with wings, is a particular life cycle stage of termites. 

The termites belonging to this life cycle stage with wings are known as Alates. 

Alates are reproductive termites. They leave their colony to search for new places to infest because the colony has no room for other termites.

So, they move out of their colony in swarms.

And when they find a new home to destroy, they’ll breed, lose their wings, drill holes on the soil or in the wood, and start a new colony.

That’s the reason why broken wings on the floor of your home are a dangerous sign of termite infestation.

Swarming termites look like a giant balloons of bugs with wings moving from one place to another in the air.

Subterranean termites can invade homes from both underground and in swarms.

Different species of termites have different swarming seasons.

Subterranean termites swarm during the spring in broad daylight.

Drywood termites invade homes only in swarms, and they swarm in the middle of late summer and fall during evening hours.

Artificial light attracts drywood termites. 

So, if the windows and doors of your home are open during the swarming months, then drywood termite swarms will invade your home.

Dampwood termites that infest only rotting and damp pieces of wood swarm during the summer.

11-Step Guide To Prevent Termites From Invading Your Home?

How To Prevent termites from invading your home

Now that you know what attracts termites and what causes termites to invade your homes, it’s time to find out how to stop them.

In this section, you’ll find out 10 easy steps that you can take right now to stop the menace from entering your home.

Here’s the 10-step guide to stop termite invasion.

Step#1 – Fix Leakages In Your Home And Yard To Reduce Moisture

Moisture attracts termites. 

Overwatering your yard will make both the soil in your yard and the pieces of wood damp.

That’s something you don’t want. So, ensure that you don’t overwater your yard or garden.

Water leakages also increase the dampness in your home and yard.

Leaking pipes cause waterlogging around your home.

That increases the moisture content not only in your yard but also around the home’s foundation. The increase in dampness leads to softening of the walls.

It makes it easy for the termites to build mud tubes on the walls and get inside your home.

Make sure that there are no waterlogging or leakages around your home’s foundation. 

If there’s any water pipe around your home’s foundation, check for any water leakages, and if there’s any, fix it. 

Excess moisture attracts not only termites but also roaches and other insects. 

Look for any leakages in the plumbing area of the kitchen, bathroom, basement, and sinks. 

That’s the place where most of the leakages happen. 

Step#2 – Clean Your Yard Or Garden

Get rid of any rotting pieces of wood, foliage, and organic debris from your garden or yard. 

These are the things that attract termites. 

A clean yard or garden goes a long way to repel termites and many other pests.

Also, make sure that there are no waterholes in your yard or garden. Waterholes increase the dampness of the soil, which attracts termites. 

If there’s any, fill the waterholes with piles of sand. Sand will soak excessive moisture and help in reducing the dampness.

Step#3 – Keep Firewood Away From Your Home’s Walls

Firewood Pile

Don’t keep firewood near the home’s walls, as the termites in the firewood can use the firewood to enter your home. 

Also, firewood has a lot of moisture. 

Keeping the firewood piles stuck with the wall will increase the wall’s dampness. 

The dampness, in turn, will attract the termites.

To protect your firewood from getting infested by termites through the ground, keep the pile on cemented foundation or an elevated surface. 

It’ll break the firewood pile’s contact with the ground, protect it from termite infestation. 

As you know by now, a pile of wet firewood is a termite’s delicacy. 

So, it’d be best if you keep the firewood pile under a shed or cover it to protect it from getting wet in the rain. 

To know more, check our post on how to store firewood to keep termites away.

Step#4 – Use Hardwood Mulch To Avoid Termites Entering Your Home

There are many hardwood mulches that are termite repellents

Most of the softwood mulches attract termites, so avoid using them. 

And don’t keep mulches close to your home. Termites can use it as a bridge to get inside your home. 

Maintain a distance of at least a foot distance between the mulch layer and your home’s foundation. It’ll make deter the termites from entering your home. 

Step#5 – Cut The Tree Branches Touching Your Home

As you know by now, termites can use tree branches to enter your home. 

If any tree branches are touching your home’s roofs or windows, cut them off. 

Termites won’t be able them as a bridge to sneak inside your home. 

Also, make sure that the tree branches are at least 2 feet away from your home’s gutters.

If there are tree stumps in the yard, get rid of them too. You don’t termites nesting and breeding in dead tree stumps.

It’ll discourage the termites from getting into your home through the gutters.

Step#6 – Clean The Gutters

Clean the gutter

A clogged gutter always has foliage and moisture that can attract termites. 

Unclog the gutters. Clean them often to ensure that termites don’t use them to enter your home. 

Step#7 – Use a Mixture Of Boric Acid And Hot Water To Kill Termites

Spray a mixture of boric acid and hot water on damp places and mulch to kill hidden termites in your yard or garden. 

Boric acid is harmless for the soil when used in the correct quantity. 

To know more about making one, check out our post on the boric acid termite killer recipe.

Alternatively, you can also sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth to kill termites.

Step#8 – Put Window Screens To Prevent Drywood Termite Swarms From Invading Your Home

Drywood termites invade homes by flying in swarms. 

They’re active all year round, but the busiest months for drywood termite swarms are April and May. 

Put a window screen on all the main windows in your home. 

As bathroom and kitchen are the most damp places in your home, don’t forget to use a window screen on the windows of these areas too.

Step#9 – Use Dehumidifier To Reduce Dampness In Your Home

It’s often ignored, but it’s an important step, especially if you live in states like Florida and Texas, where humidity is high. 

Dehumidifiers play a positive role in reducing the dampness of your home. 

Low dampness makes your home repellent to invasive pests, termites, roaches, bed bugs, and many other insects.

A dehumidifier in the attic, basement, laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen go a long way in keeping your home’s moisture levels down.

Step# 10 – Seal The Cracks And Fissures On Your Home’s Walls

Finally, the most crucial step to keep termites away from your home is to seal the cracks on your home’s walls, roof, and foundation. 

Termites exploit these gaps to enter your home. 

Keep an eye for any cracks on the home’s foundation touching the ground. 

Subterranean termites invade homes from underneath the ground. These cracks on the foundation are their prime channels to enter your home. 

Use a suitable quality sealant to caulk the gaps and make your home’s foundation impenetrable to termites and other bugs. 

Silicon-based sealants are the best and they can easily last for a decade.

And the best part is, these sealants are so strong that bugs can’t chew through them.

Step# 11 – Use Termite Granules Around Your Home’s Perimeter

The most overlooked way to stop termites from invading your home is the termite granules.

They’re so easy to use and so effective that they help in reducing the chances of termite infestation significantly.

All you’ve to do is scatter termite granules on the soil around your home’s perimeter, especially near the home’s foundation.

The sprinkle some water on the granules. That’s it.

The granules will sink into the soil. It has termite killing ingredients that will kill any termites hiding underneath the soil’s layer.

And the best part, that these granules last at least for six months. So, you’ll have to use it once every six months to secure your home from an underground termite invasion.

To know more, read our post on how termite granules work.

Conclusion

In this guide you’ve got to know the top 5 reasons that cause termites invasion on your home. These are –

  1. Firewood piles
  2. Termites underneath the soil of your yard or garden
  3. Choked gutters
  4. Cracks and gaps on the walls
  5. Termites in the neighborhood

You’ve also found out what attracts termites to your home and property. Excessive moisture and dampness in your yard and home is one of the prime reasons that attract termites.

There’s also a 11 step guide that you can follow right away to prevent a massive termite invasion.

But keep in mind that these steps will not remove termites in your home.