We’re going to guess that, like most homeowners, a termite infestation is the last thing you want. But just in case you’re eager to attract termites, who can then set up camp and begin destroying your home, here are four nearly surefire ways to accomplish that goal.

Don’t clean your gutters. Once debris clogs up your gutters, water pools because it can’t drain efficiently. This standing water begins to rot the siding or roof of your home, and the softened wood attracts termites. Gutters should be cleaned annually, or more often if they become clogged.

Mulching the garden right up to your home’s foundation. Mulch is a popular choice for garden beds, both for weed control and its nice, uniform appearance, But the softened wood chips also provide the ideal food for termites and a great environment for them to thrive. If you don’t want termites invading your home, keep mulch at least 15 inches away from the foundation.

Keep piles of debris in the yard. Piles of firewood will inevitably experience some rot, which draws termites to this perfect environment. If you do stack firewood, keep it at least 20 feet from your home or other structures. Also, any debris such as old stumps, trees, or shrubbery which you’ve previously pruned should be removed rather than left in the yard.

Let your trees and shrubs encroach on your home. When branches from trees or shrubs become overgrown, they can encroach on the walls or roof of your home. At this point they provide an easy entry point to termites and other pests that are looking for a new place to live.

Obviously, you don’t actually want to do any of these things! A termite infestation can seriously damage the inside of your home before you even realize something is amiss. We recommend that you avoid all of the above mistakes, but most importantly, contact us about termite protection. Regular preventive actions can help to ensure that termites never choose your property as their next home base.