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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Columbia, Md
    Posts
    3

    Default Placing gravel/rocks around house for termite protection?

    Hi - I purchased a house about a year ago and the termite inspector recommended I put a 12" gravel barrier around my house to prevent termites. There are no existing issues and the house foundation is dry. There currently is mulch and I think this needs to go. If not gravel - then what? Just dirt? The house is a brick rancher in Columbia Maryland. The termite guy said the mulch was the same as putting blood in the water for sharks.

    thanks

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Placing gravel/rocks around house for termite protection?

    Technically, termites eat wood, but live in the earth, so wood chips on the surface near the house is a bit like ringing a dinner bell, however, without your house having earth/wood contact, it's not likely that they'll infest the structure UNLESS you've created a path for them (earth/wood contact). As long as the mulch stays several inches below any exposed wood on the house, you won't likely have a problem. I live in a termite infested area, have always used mulch in the flowerbeds around the house, and have never had a problem.

    BTW, wood mulch or not, if the termites want to munch on your house, they're going to do it. I've repaired many structures where there was no mulch and no earth/wood contact to a structure and yet it still gets infested. Some of these properties had regular pest control mitigation and "preventative" tactics as well, and still had infestations.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,363

    Default Re: Placing gravel/rocks around house for termite protection?

    What you want is a clear 6 inches or more of clearly visible foundation below the brick / siding line all around your home. This allows you to see any exterior termites making tubes up the outside of the foundation. As long as you have that clear foundation, the mulch doesn't make much of a dent. You can't see interior termites, so the mulch or stones won't make a difference either.

    The advice about the rocks was 'misguided' and makes me second guess any of his other advice. Bless his heart.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Placing gravel/rocks around house for termite protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRemodeler View Post
    The advice about the rocks was 'misguided' and makes me second guess any of his other advice. Bless his heart.
    That I'd wholeheartedly agree with! Not saying he is a bad chap, just not completely wise to the ways of the critter world.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Placing gravel/rocks around house for termite protection?

    Howdy consider applying borate to the wood framing of the house 2'in an up from the foundation - if there is access.... cheaper an way more effective then rock. Keeping the soils dry adjoining the house will also deminish termites wanting to come in an play...


    Consider viewing this for information .http://www.pestproducts.com/timbor.htm

    I have applied Timbor with a spray bottle and a weed sprayer. Real easy to apply ....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Placing gravel/rocks around house for termite protection?

    Termites know no boundry, and some crushed rock is definately no barrier for them.
    Have your home inspected from time to time and treated if necessary - that's all you can do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Columbia, Md
    Posts
    3

    Smile Re: Placing gravel/rocks around house for termite protection?

    Thanks to all for the advice. That saves a bit of work. As far as my credentials. I'm an IT professional by trade, however, I had worked serveal years in the construction business in my teens and through college. I maitain three rental properties and have no problems with you asking my tenants about my repair work. I only do it right. I do not know everything and do use professionals when it is either labor intensive or beyond my expertise. The last time I used a pro was to repoint brick. For what it's worth.

    If an expert tells me something, I will respect that opinion and seek the truth. It sounded a bit unusual since I've never heard of the in the past, so I decided to ask you guys. thanks

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