Many people hear the word termites and immediately have their hearts sink. Termites are considered a pest in large part because of the extensive damage that they can do to a property in a short amount of time. The cost of repairs and treatments can add up quickly, but it is also important to remember that termites actually perform an important function in the ecosystem.
Break Down Old Wood into Soil
One of the biggest benefits that termites have on the environment is the ability to break down the dead wood into soil. As termites eat the wood, they break it back down into soil so that it can be used to help other plants to grow. The termites can not only deal with the wood that you see above the ground, but can also help to clear out the roots that are underground that you do not see. If they did not do this, then there would be issues with the amount of wood around the world.
Aerate the Soil
The tunnels that the subterranean termites build actually help with aerating the soil. This is important because it addresses soil compactness, which can make it easier for plants to take root and grow. Aeration makes it easier for water and nutrients to reach all parts of the soil which helps the plants to grow overall.
Help with Drainage
In dry areas, the termites that tunnel can also make it easier for water to drain when it rains instead of causing floods. It can also limit the amount of soil erosion in these areas because the water is able to drain properly.
Protecting Your Home
While termites have benefits for the environment, this does not mean that you want them on your property. You can combat this by making sure you that do things to protect your home. Understanding things that can attract termites can help you to stop termites from coming onto your property and possibly damaging your home. The biggest step that you can take is to remove dead wood from your property. Check for rotting or sick trees. Avoid using wood mulch around your property since termites like to feed on that. Clearing out leaf debris can also protect your home. Another thing you may want to do is to address your crawlspace to be sure that it is well ventilated and sealed completely so that it does not attract termites or other insects.