For many of us, gardening is a much-loved hobby that can be enjoyed all year round due to our beautiful climate. However, while you may be transforming your garden into a tropical paradise, you could also be unsuspectingly creating a paradise for a termite colony. Here are five bad gardening habits that attract termites, and five good gardening habits that will help fight a termite threat.
Termite-attracting gardening habits
- Planting too close to your home. A common gardening scheme includes planting beds which hide the foundation of your home. These create an environment which encourages termites into your foundations, giving the moistness required and creating a natural pathway to the under-build and beyond.
- Removing treated soil. Soil next to your foundations may have been treated with liquid termiticide. Keen gardeners often mistakenly dig this over in efforts to improve aesthetic qualities, but all that is accomplished is the removal of this protective barrier.
- Wood products mulches. Many gardeners use mulch for the goodness of their gardens and to control weeds. A wood-product mulch is a termite attractor, and if it is placed right up to the house borders on an open invitation to the local termite colony.
- Leaf build-up. When leaves fall in the autumn, gardeners begin the never-ending fight to keep their gardens clear of dead foliage. If fallen leaves are left too long, they can clog gutters and drains, and provide the perfect habitat for a thriving termite colony to expand and attack your home.
- Over-watering. A well-presented garden requires water to thrive. In an effort to maintain correct soil moisture, gardeners will over-water, creating the damp surroundings that termites love.
Termite-fighting gardening habits
- Keep a safe distance. Add colour to the garden by planting beds away from your home’s foundations, and avoid digging treated ground next to your home’s walls. Clear the garden of leaves and other debris on at least a weekly basis
- Wood alternatives. Use mulches that are made from non-wood products, such as pine straw, gravel, rocks, and rubber.
- Water control. Make sure that taps and water pipes are kept in good repair, checking regularly and fixing drips quickly. Seal around pipes and utility lines where water may enter.
- Pipe maintenance. Maintain gutters and downspouts, clearing all debris as soon as it appears, and divert water away from foundations.
- Store wood away from your home. If you keep a wood store, make sure it is well away from the home and keep untreated wood away from the soil.