Prevention is the key to preventing a termite infestation. Once this occurs, the wood in your home can be eaten away at a rate of 15 pounds (6.80 kg) per week. There are several forms of termite protection including the mechanical alteration of your property, soil treatment and wood treatment.
Termites are attracted to soft wood, which is usually the result of wet, humid conditions. Keeping the perimeter of your house dry and free of debris, such as cardboard and paper, is key to termite protection. Start by verifying that you don't have any wood, such as fence posts or supports, making contact with the ground. If you do, remove them and replace with metal supports. Make sure you have rain gutters installed and that they drain away from your house to prevent the wood supports from becoming moist and becoming a meal for termites.
Soil treatment is also an effective form of termite protection of properties where the house has already been built. This method of prevention involves digging a trench at least 6 inches (15.24 cm) deep around the inside and outside perimeter of the foundation wall. A vertical barrier is created in the soil around foundation walls, chimney bases and pilasters to to block access. After the trench has been dug, termiticide is mixed with water at a ratio of 4 gallons (15.14 liters), per 10 feet (3.05 m) of length, per foot (30.48 cm) of depth.
When building a new house, request that the carpenters use pressure-treated wood for termite protection. If the home will be two stories high, the pressure-treated wood only needs to be used from the ground to the top of the first floor. Pressure-treated wood is undesirable to termites as it has been treated with termiticide. If your home has already been built, you can deter termites by injecting termiticide into the center of the wood and brushing it on the outside.
If you develop an infestation despite the use of termite protection methods, you will need to take other measures such as the use of termite bait and chemicals. These measures are best taken by an exterminator who can access the extent of the infestation and recommend the best methods for you to get rid of termites. When choosing an exterminator, verify that he deals with specifically with termites, as they aren't dealt with like standard household pests.