How to Regulate Household Moisture for Subterranean Termite Control

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Israel Alvarez

Owner @ Insight Pest Management

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Termite damageHow To Regulate Household Moisture For Subterranean Termite Control

Several species of subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites inhabit southern California, and while all three of these termite groups are damaging to structures and valued outdoor wooden items, subterranean termites are the most economically significant group of termites in the region. Drywood termite infestations are also common in California, but due to the relatively small size of drywood termite colonies, as well as the slower rate in which their colonies mature, drywood termite infestations are not usually as damaging to structures as subterranean termite infestations.

Subterranean termites dwell below the ground where the moist soil constantly hydrates the insects. Given their need for abundant moisture, it is important for homeowners to prevent moisture from building up around foundations and within crawl spaces. Poorly ventilated crawl spaces allow for moisture build up, making crawl space vents important for the prevention of subterranean termite pest issues. Crawl space vents should be sufficiently large and numerous enough on foundations to allow outside air to make contact with the soil beneath houses. An abundance of plant matter, particularly shrubbery may block foundation vents, preventing moisture from escaping from the soil within crawl spaces.

Plumbing should be regularly inspected for leaks, and the ground surrounding homes should slant downwards from foundations in order to prevent rainwater from flowing into crawl spaces. Moisture may also become abundant in crawl spaces as a result of shower stall leaks, but unfortunately, there is no easy way to repair faulty shower stall pans that fail to collect water that collects on bathroom floors. However, replacing outdated and ineffective shower stall pans with modern copper, fiberglass or even masonry pans can prevent shower water from leaking into the soil beneath a home. It is also important to make sure that a water tight wall overlaps the pan interior, and the lumber components that make up the pan frame should be both pressure treated and treated with chemicals that repel termites and prevent fungal growth.

Do you think that your crawl space is properly ventilated?



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