Most homeowners know how important gutters are to the health of a home. Still, many do not understand that working gutters can prevent pest damage, particularly damage caused by termites. Today, we're going to zero in on this issue. We'll explain how moisture problems lead to termite problems and share some specific tips that will help you create a dry foundation that is resistant to termites.
As always, keep Gecko Pest Control in mind if you decide to invest in termite damage prevention for your Longview home. When it comes to avoiding termite damage, there is no better solution. We create a complete barrier around your home that termites can't detect. When they pass through it, they pick up the active ingredient and share it with the other termites in the colony, eliminating the termite colony.
Contact us any time to get started with ongoing, always active, professional termite control in Longview, and put termite control out of your mind for good.
The Impact Of Water Accumulation On Termite Infestations
One sign of termites in a home is the appearance of termite damage. If you've ever looked at photos of termite damage, you may have noticed that it looks a lot like water damage. The reason is that water damage and termite damage go hand-in-hand. Here's how it works:
Rain falls on the roof and pours down into the gutters. The rain follows the gutter system and dumps out on the ground in an appropriate location away from the home. If the gutters have clogs, the water runs over the side and saturates the ground.
After a rainstorm, the ground absorbs the water next to your home. If the soil is oversaturated, puddles form on the surface. These puddles create humidity and cause the wood in your house to become damp.
Spores float through the air and attach to damp wood. These spores start the process of wood decay.
As wood decays, it becomes a target for carpenter ants, carpenter bees, wood-boring beetles, and termites.
When termite workers find a desirable food source, such as a rotting board, they recruit others. The recruited workers help to break down the food to feed their colony.
Worker termites don't focus on one food source at a time. As workers come and go from the rotted board, they will look for other food sources. As they do, they'll find other timbers in your home.
The more food termite workers find, the faster the queen will produce offspring. She strives to grow her colony as quickly as she can, and the availability of food is the only thing that limits her.
When a colony grows large enough, winged reproductives emerge. These winged termites, called swarmers, leave the nest, find their mates, and create new colonies in the general area.
A termite problem picks up steam over time. How fast the problem can grow is linked to water accumulation and soil saturation. Let's look at these conditions and consider your options to avoid trouble.
Landscaping Around Gutters: Termite-Friendly Practices
Your gutters and downspouts play a big role in causing damp conditions, but there is more to consider. The water that runs down the side of your house is only one issue; your landscaping can promote another. Let's look at how this works:
Tall grass can capture moisture and increase humidity. Keep the grass trimmed next to your foundation wall to reduce the damp conditions that allow spores to attach.
Leaf litter can capture moisture and increase humidity. Blow leaves out of your vegetation and away from your home.
Plants that touch your exterior walls can trap moisture. Trim these plants so that they no longer touch your exterior walls.
Certain plants, such as broadleaf vegetation, increase humidity levels. Consider replacing these plants in the landscaping near your home, particularly on the side of your house where you have gutters.
When you address these conditions, you'll reduce humidity and the potential for wood rot. You'll also keep the soil drier, and that can also have an impact on termites. A worker termite gets dehydrated easily. For this reason, it doesn't like to tunnel in dry soil. It gravitates to ground that has a higher level of moisture or humidity. Damp earth near your home can increase your chances of a termite problem.
DIY Gutter Cleaning For Longview Homeowners
There are professional gutter cleaning services available. Professionals have training to tackle this tough job correctly. They're also insured in case anything goes wrong. But knowing a few important facts is important if you prefer to do things yourself.
Before you begin, perform an inspection of your gutter system. Check to see if there are any sections you'll need to replace. If so, there is no sense in cleaning those gutters out. Inspect your downspouts to make sure that any water you apply to your gutters while cleaning will channel away from your exterior walls and foundation. Run water down your spouts to make sure they're working and unclogged. If you have a clog, you can try breaking it by snaking your hose up the downspout and clearing the clog. You may use a plumber's snake to clear the clog if that isn't enough.
Once you're sure the water can flow out of your downspouts, you can clean your gutters. First, you'll need a pair of work gloves, surgical gloves, safety glasses, a ladder, and a hose. Next, follow these steps:
Place your ladder on a solid spot and make sure it is secure.
When you climb your ladder, stop a few steps below the top.
Clean around your downspouts first and scoop away from the spouts.
Wear surgical rubber gloves underneath your work gloves if removing damp debris.
Wear safety glasses before using a hose to clear out any debris.
Remove leaves, twigs, and soil by scooping, and apply water with a hose to get the rest of the debris.
After removing the debris, wipe your gutter troughs with a cloth.
Once your gutters are clean, check to see if they work properly. Go as far away from the downspout as possible and apply water with your hose. Check for any areas where water rests in your gutters. If you see puddles form, you may need to adjust the slope. That will require a bit more knowledge.
When your gutters are clean and in good working order, you should never see puddles forming near your foundation after a typical rainstorm in Longview. If you do, contact a professional and have them check your work.
Seasonal Gutter Maintenance For Long-Term Termite Control
There are times of the year when gutter maintenance is very important. We're sure you can make an educated guess as to what times of year. Fall is critical because it is when leaves fall from the trees and find their way into gutter systems. The other time of year you should check your gutters is in the spring, particularly if you didn't clean your gutters in the fall. Spring is the rainy time of year, and spring rains can overwhelm your gutters. When they do, they can invite a termite problem.
Seasonal gutter maintenance is essential for long-term termite control because damp soil and decaying wood invite termites—so do the factors that increase humidity, such as leaf litter, dead branches, dense vegetation, tall grass, etc. If you don't have professional termite control, gutter maintenance is critical.
Along with gutter seasonal gutter maintenance, it is also important to know how to detect the warning signs of active termites. Here are a few:
Subterranean termites often have to create shelter tubes to get at the wood of structures. These tubes look like thin, wiggly mud lines.
You may see worker termites in your yard. Worker termites are tiny, pale insects. You might find them underneath dead branches, campfire wood, logs, and other wood debris.
You may see swarmers. A swarmer termite has a black or orange body, depending on the species. It will also have long wings that hang well past the end of the abdomen. These wings stack on top of each other and have rounded tips.
You may find termite damage. Check the wood on your home touching the soil. If you see damage, dig around the wood and look for trenches in the wood below the surface. Also, look for worker or soldier termites.
These tips will help you reduce the chance of a termite infestation and help you guard against termite damage. If you want an easier and stress-free solution, contact Gecko Pest Control for termite control services. We have many options that can help you protect your home. We'll help you find the right solution for your needs and budget. We know that one size does not fit all.
Connect with us today to explore your options and schedule a termite inspection for your Longview home. When you have professional termite control, you no longer have to think about these pests. If that sounds like a plan, connect with your Gecko Pest Controlteam today.
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