Termites account for an astounding $2 billion per year in home damage throughout the United States, making them every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Although termites can plague nearly any place in a home, they prefer moist areas like the crawl space. This area tends to get damp, which can lead to wood rot. Decaying wood nourishes the termites and other pests.
What Is Termiticide?
Termiticide refers to a class of insecticides that have been specially formulated to eradicate termites. Today, pest control experts and builders are integrating termiticides with waterproofing solutions to effectively prevent termites from infesting homes. The available formulation of termiticides include the following.
Termiticides work by killing or repelling termites before they enter your crawl space. They also eliminate termites leaving the structure to return to their colony. If termites are already present inside your crawl space and a termiticide is used, the termites back up inside your walls to control it. Over time, the absence of moisture inhibits the termites from forming a new colony. Eventually, those trapped inside dehydrate and die.
Spot treatments are a common type of termiticide. These chemicals act as barriers to stop invading termites and to kill those that are actively infesting the structure. When liquid termiticides are sprayed or brushed directly onto a surface of lumber, plywood, or OSB, they diffuse deep into the wood fibers and act as a preservative to protect your wood from termites.
When termites ingest these termiticides, the chemical begins to build up in their system. Over time, the insect slowly becomes sluggish and eventually dies. The delayed action is beneficial since it allows the termite to go back to its nest where it comes into contact and transmits the chemicals to other termites. So, this chemical spreads more effectively throughout the colony.
This system incorporates both termite monitoring and baiting systems. Plastic bait stations containing non-toxic wood, paper cardboard, or foods attractive to termites are placed below the ground. These stations act as traps to lure termites towards the stations and discourage them from heading into your home while foraging. These non-toxic foods stay below the ground until termite activity is confirmed. Once termite activity is confirmed, toxic termiticide bait is applied to eradicate and prevent termites from infesting your home.
This system uses bait in the form of small amounts of foods that termites like to eat like paper or cardboard products. These foods are combined with a slow-acting poison that is lethal to termites. Once consumed, these baits knock out colonies of termites foraging in and around your home. While there is no preventative or control method that guarantees you will never get termites, termiticide bait greatly reduces the chances of a termite infestation.
Controlling Crawl Space Termites
Whenever you’re dealing with a termite infestation, the first thing you’ll want to do is eliminate moisture from the crawl space. Remember, moisture creates a conducive environment for termites. You can cut off moisture by asking a waterproofing contractor to encapsulate the crawl space. They’ll cover your crawl space walls and floor with a heavy-duty at least 20-mil plastic vapor barrier. Once in place, the barrier will cut out outside air leaving you with a healthy, moist-free crawl space that is less attractive to pests.
If you have a dirt crawl space, make sure that you trench and treat the inside of the foundation wall. Also, treat the soil on the floor and areas where utility lines and pipes enter and exit the crawl space. It also pays to eliminate soil-to-wood contact. This way, termites won’t have access to food, shelter, and moisture.
Make sure wood siding, doors, and window frames are at least six inches off the ground. In some cases, you may have to regrade or pill soil or mulch back from the foundation.
Is Foam Board Insulation Termite-Resistant?
Sadly, termites can chew up your foam board insulation or puncture holes right through them. They’ll then use them to get to the wooden beams. That’s not to mention also that foam insulation holds moisture and retains heat, which creates a conducive environment for termites. So, you can’t rely on foam board insulation to beat back the moisture and termites that come in.
A great alternative to foam insulation is the ExTremeBloc™, a superior material for insulating your exposed crawl space. It has a fantastic energy rating and provides better safety. Best of all, this material incorporates termiticide, which eliminates termites trying to chew your insulation board.
If you have a serious termite infestation, we advise you to talk to your local pest control company to find a lasting solution. It’s possible to combine termiticides with effective insulation to beat back termites. Would you like to seal up the crawl space or replace your worn-out insulation? Contact Groundworks for a free crawl space inspection and repair quote. We use industry-approved solutions that guarantee lasting results.