As the warm days of summer give way to cooler fall temperatures insects and pests look for places to stay warm and survive the winter months. Crawl spaces provide a safe haven for many of them. Most crawl spaces are easily accessible for all kinds of pests from ants, spiders, termites, rodents, and other insects. While the pest lifecycle is relatively short for any single species their reproductive rates are huge which insures the colony or infestation continues unless those areas are regularly treated.
The Perfect Winter Home for Pests
Most crawl spaces provide ideal winter living conditions for all kinds of bugs. The temperature is constant and protective from freezing temperatures and exposure to winter rains, snow, and ice. Crawl space moisture levels provide access to water sources they need to survive. Additionally, they are loaded in potential food sources such as other insects, their waste, cellulose, wood, insulation, cardboard boxes, or other items stored under the home.
Pests find points of entry to crawl spaces through even the smallest gaps in the foundation, cracks, openings around vents, access doors, mortar joint cracks, exterior siding and, even from the main floors of your living space above. Fall is a great time to seal points of entry with caulk, insulation, vapor barriers, and other sealants.
Moisture and Humidity Levels
Two of the most critical issues regarding termites and other wood-destroying insects are excessive moisture levels underneath your home. When humidity and moisture levels exceed acceptable levels wood can rot, mold, and mildew which are like a buffet to these rapidly reproducing wood-destroying insects. Most homeowners only check their crawl space if there is a problem with the HVAC, plumbing, etc. Those who have regular pest and termite control benefit from regular inspections by trained technicians. Regular inspections are incredibly important to controlling and eliminating these pests because colonies breed fast and moist, or damp wood, cellulose, and insulation provide a stable food source.
Your termite and pest control company can locate sources of pest, insect, and water intrusion. Many times these can be eliminated simply by rerouting water from downspouts, unclogging gutters, or sealing up points of entry. If you have a termite bond or damage technicians can treat infested areas.
Vapor Barriers and Other Moisture Controls
If there is no vapor barrier your provider may recommend installing one to control moisture levels as well as minimize harmful things like mold, mildew, radon, and other gases that can cause serious breathing, and allergy problems.
A vapor barrier is one of the best ways to control moisture levels and contain natural ground gases while preventing mold and mildew. A vapor barrier is simply a thick plastic barrier the encases your entire crawl space. It will help insulate your pipes and air ducts limiting the amount of sweat and moisture from the crawl space floor preserving your subflooring and floor joists. Vapor barriers also help maintain a constant temperature inside your home which saves on energy costs.
Dehumidifiers, proper temperature regulating vents, and vapor barriers can eliminate moisture plagued homes, but you need a professional with experience to determine what you need so you don’t overspend.
Fall is a great time to perform inspections and install thermostatically controlled vents, vapor barriers, french drains, and foundation sealers to prevent water intrusion. Cutting off insect and pest water supplies forces them to seek other places away from the home for food and water to survive. Typical fall weather in the southeast is relatively dry ahead of the winter months which provides the best time to reroute and eliminate winter rain and snow sources of moisture.
Apex Termite and Pest Control have been working with moisture issues in Greenville, SC, for well over 50 years. Our trained professionals will diagnose your problem upon scheduling a visit and propose to you various solutions that we back with a guarantee that will fix the moisture issue you are dealing with whether it’s moisture, or termites, mold, or mildew as the result of an untreated crawl space. Contact us today for a free inspection and quote.