What Causes Termites?

Termites on wood

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Termites can be a serious problem for homeowners as they have the potential to cause extensive damage to the structure of your home. It is important to find them before they do damage to the home. Unfortunately, they can severely damage and destroy homes and businesses so protecting your property is important. What causes termites? Moisture, wood, and warmth attract termites to building structures but you can prevent them.

Let’s take a look at termites and what causes them so you can keep them out of your home.

What are Termites?

Termites are small, social insects that feed on wood. They live in colonies that can number in the thousands or even millions. Termites play an essential role in recycling wood and plant matter in the environment, but when they infest homes, they can cause severe structural damage.

Drywood termites like the drywood.

Types of Termites

There are three main types of termites that commonly infest homes.

1. Subterranean termites – this type lives in the ground and goes back and forth to wood they like to eat and bring it back to their colony that is underground

2. Drywood termites – live inside the wood that they like to eat

3. Dampwood termites– like the drywood termites, they also live inside the wood they like to eat

What Attracts Termites to the Home?

Termites are attracted to homes that provide them with food, shelter, and moisture. They often infest structures with wood-to-soil contact, such as wooden porches, decks, or siding. Moisture problems, like leaks or damp basements, can also attract termites to a home.

Termites require moisture to survive. They cannot live in dry environments and rely on moisture sources to thrive. Ensuring proper drainage around your home and fixing any plumbing leaks can help reduce the attractiveness of your property to termites.

Protecting the foundation of the home is important to keep termites away.

How to Protect House Foundation

There are several steps you can take to protect the foundation of your house from termite damage:

  1. Remove any wood debris or cellulose materials near your home.
  2. Keep firewood and lumber raised off the ground and away from your house.
  3. Ensure proper ventilation in crawl spaces and attics to reduce moisture levels.
  4. Seal any cracks or openings in the foundation or walls of your home.
  5. Use termite-resistant materials whenever possible for construction or renovations.

Cracks in Exterior Buildings

Cracks in the exterior of the home or building may not be significant, however, they can provide easy access for termites. Regularly inspecting your home for cracks and promptly sealing them can help prevent termite infestations. Be sure to check the foundation, walls, windows, and doors for any signs of damage.

How to Remove Termites?

Once you find that you have them, termite removal typically requires professional assistance. DIY methods are often ineffective in completely eradicating termite colonies. Professional exterminators have access to specialized tools and techniques that can effectively eliminate termites from your home.

Cost to Prevent Termites

The cost of termite prevention measures can vary depending on factors such as the size of your home and the level of infestation risk in your area. Regular termite inspections and preventive treatments can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It is essential to consider this investment as protection against potentially significant repair costs in the future.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about what causes termites, let’s take a look at some other areas of recommended maintenance. One of those is mulch and termites. The good news is most mulch does not attract termites and actually repels them. However, there is some wood mulch that does attract them so be careful.

Another area is termite inspections. You should have a termite inspection done once a year so you can make sure you catch them early. Often, homeowners will have a termite bait trap set up in the yard in various places to keep them away. However, if you see mud tubes, and discarded wings to name a few, you may termites.

Lastly, if you see flying termites, you want to get rid of them. You can do this by using rubber or cedar mulch, orange oil, or boric acid to name a few.

When Do I Call a Professional?

If you suspect or observe termite activity in your home, it is advisable to call a professional termite exterminator immediately. We can assess the extent of the infestation and devise an appropriate treatment plan to eliminate the termites and protect your home from further damage.


Termites can cause severe damage to a home’s foundation if left unchecked. By understanding what attracts termites, implementing preventive measures, and seeking professional help when necessary, you can protect your home from these destructive pests and ensure its long-term structural integrity. Reach out to Fox Mountain Property Inspections for a termite inspection during a full home inspection in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia states.

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