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 nonwood 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?

Termite Damage on Window Frame
Termite Damage on
Window Frame




ANSWER: Termites forage randomly. 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 do-it-yourselfers. 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 your local Orkin branch office to set one up today.


Our Pest Library

Find out more about your suspects

Our Pest Library is full of up-to-date information on termites, ants, and cockroaches as well as more than 25 common household pests. Find out more information about their behavior, habits, and other cool facts.