Believe it or not, the very foundation your home sits on can be a conduit for invading pests. That's because your foundation serves as the lowest point of contact between your home and the ground. An unprotected foundation can allow carpenter ants, termites, spiders, and other pests to move into your home. Here are a few things you can do to protect your foundation and keep pests at bay.

Keep Moisture and Clutter Away From Your Home

Keeping a pile of wood, dead leaves, or mulch too close to your home can have some unforeseen consequences. These piles can retain large amounts of moisture, especially after periods of rain or high humidity, making them ideal places for termites, carpenter ants, and other insects to take refuge in. A pile that's too close to your home can be perfect starting point for an insect invasion.

If you plan on storing mulch or firewood, make sure they're kept as far away from your home as possible. You should also keep piles of grass clippings and leaves well away from your home. Shrubs and other nearby vegetation growing close to your home should also be trimmed back to prevent contact with the foundation wall or slab.

Check for Cracks and Gaps

A crack or gap in your foundation wall or slab can offer an open invitation to insects. Termites and carpenter ants often take advantage of gaps along the bottom of siding or trim, which could provide easy access further into your home's wooden structure.

You can use polyurethane foam or caulk to temporarily seal up minor cracks and gaps along your foundation. If you encounter larger cracks, you may want to have a foundation expert take a close look and determine if there is any serious damage.

Consider Preventive Treatment

A bit of prevention can go a long way toward keeping insects out of your home. Have your pest control specialist treat the perimeter by spraying a chemical insecticide on the foundation. The insecticide should kill any insects that come into contact with it.

If you're looking for more natural alternatives to chemical treatments, consider using diatomaceous earth or boric acid. Diatomaceous earth acts as an absorbent and abrasive, causing insects that travel through the powder to dry out. Boric acid disrupts insects' digestive systems when ingested.

Sprinkle an ample amount of either substance along the base of your foundation slab or walls. Both substances are non-toxic, meaning you can use them without putting pets or children in harm's way. If you suspect you have an insect invasion, contact an exterminator for pest control services.