Do wood fences and patio covers keep termites away from the house?

Question: My wife and I live in a townhouse in Southern California. Our homeowners' association has asked all homeowners to replace their wood patio covers with patio covers constructed of non-wood materials such as vinyl, metal or plastic in order to help prevent termite damage to our townhouse and garage; our patio cover spans between the house and the garage.

We have NO termites in the garage nor in the house, but some damage (limited) within the patio cover, which has been easily spot treated. In addition to the patio covers, any fencing between neighbors' patios that is constructed of wood and has termites present will have to be replaced with a vinyl or plastic coated material.

Our question is: Do wood fences and patio covers act as easy targets for termites and steer them away from nearby houses and garages? Are termites predictable?

Termite Damaged Window

Answer: Termites forage randomly and are unpredictable. They are always looking for a food source and there is no way to "steer" them away from one location toward another one. In Southern California you actually have to contend with subterranean as well as drywood termites. Once termites find the cellulose, they will continue to eat the wood until control treatments are completed.

Termite work is not meant for those inclined to DIY. Frankly, there is too much at stake, your biggest investment, your home. The best approach is to set up a Termite Inspection by a highly trained Orkin Inspector. Call us to set up an inspection today.

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