The Silent Home Wrecker

Katherine Stanislawski
Published on March 17, 2016

The Silent Home Wrecker

4 Tips To Prevent Termites

Termites are an important part of our ecosystem but we want to keep them far away from our homes. Termites are often known as the“silent destroyers”. It can take months or even years before a  homeowner discovers that they have an infestation. By then, these silent destroyers have wreaked havoc. Termites consume dead organic matter which is exactly what your home is made up of. If you are searching for a home for sale in the Rolla, St. James area, you’ll want to be sure to have a termite inspection done on the home you select. Here are some quick tips to help prevent termites in your home.


  • Wood should never be in contact with soil
  • Never store wood close to your house
  • Seal cracks in concrete and siding
  • Consider a termite barrier or trap

Your deck and porches should never be directly in contact with the ground. Notice the footings on the deck in the photo above. Concrete or stone footings keep the wood off of the ground, therefore keeping the wood dry. Termites love soft wood. Here in Missouri, it’s important to note this as our termites are subterranean termites. Subterranean termites live in the soil or wood that is in contact with the soil. You can read more about the biology and infestation habits of subterranean termites here at the University of Missouri Extension Office. You can also visit the University of Missouri Extension office in Phelps County at 200 N. Main Street here in Rolla.

Same thing goes for siding. If your siding is touching the ground it’s likely drawing in moisture and trapping it against your house which becomes the perfect breeding ground for termites. Some experts suggest keeping garden mulch away from the foundation of your house as well. Either way, be sure to periodically inspect your mulch for termites. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you identify termites next to your home. If you think you have found a termite but aren’t certain it is a termite, you can bring it to the University of Missouri Extension office here in Rolla for identification.


Many homes for sale Rolla MO have enjoyed a wood burning fireplace or may heat their homes with an outdoor furnace. This often means that wood has been stored and allowed to season. Seasoning wood can take several months or more to allow the wood to properly dry out before use. It’s important to not store wood near your house. The wood could already have active termites or termites may found their way to your stack of wood. If it’s located close to your house it’s like leaving the door open for them to enter. You can read more about properly seasoning wood here. If you’re considering an outdoor wood burning furnace or insert for a home in the Rolla, St. James area visit Garner’s Refrigeration and Heating.

Inspect the exterior of your home. Spring is a great time to do this while you are preparing to pressure wash your siding, porch and decks. Check out the 4 Steps To Get Your Home Ready Now For The Spring Real Estate Market article. Seal cracks and crevices to deter termites and other insects from making their way inside. This is simply good practice for not only keeping bugs out but you’ll be keeping the weather out as well. Just be sure you use the proper sealant for the job.

If you are building a new home, a barrier can be put in place in the early days of construction. If you have an existing home, often times a soil treatment is suggested. Please be sure to use someone who is qualified to do this for you. If you need recommendations for a quality contractor be sure to contact me.

For further reading visit The University of Missouri Extension website for more information on termites found in Missouri. If you are a homeowner and considering selling your home and have had termites and wondering how it may affect the sale of your home, contact me and I will be happy to discuss this with you.


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