Unfortunately, there are so many pests that can invade your home. However, while some are just annoying and use your basement or crawl space as a toilet, others can significantly impact the health of your home and compromise its structural integrity. No homeowner is glad to find out that termites have taken over their property. This happens quite a lot, and these insects are responsible for singlehandedly causing $2 billion per year in damages. Although termites can inhabit any place in your home, they prefer the crawl space, since it is usually dark and moist. When those wooden beams in your foundation are exposed to moisture, they begin to rot, and decaying wood is the perfect food for termites.
Getting rid of termites is now easier than before. There are various termiticides on the market that have proven themselves effective in the battle against these pests. Read on as we take a closer look at types of termiticides and the way they work.
What Is Termiticide?
Termiticide is a type of insecticide designed to exterminate termites. Nowadays, the best way to get rid of these pests is to combine termiticides with waterproofing solutions. Here are several types of termiticides you can use to help eradicate termites.
This chemical is a common type of termiticide. It is used to prevent termites from further invading the structure and to kill those that have already attacked the building. They are sprayed or brushed onto the surface of elements made of lumber, plywood, or OSB. The chemicals slowly spread throughout the wood fibers and keep them protected from termites. When these insects try to eat the wood and with it this chemical, it begins to build up in their system. Eventually, the termites will become very sluggish and die. The fact that this poison doesn’t instantly kill them is not its weakness, but its strength. The sick termites will go to the nest and come in contact with other termites that have not eaten the poison and transmit the chemicals to them. This way the insecticide can exterminate the whole colony without having to infest each termite individually.
This system also includes termite monitoring. Firstly, plastic containers with non-toxic food for termites are placed below the ground. These contain things that are attractive to termites such as wood, paper, cardboard, or types of foods these insects love. The purpose of these baits is to lure the termites away from your home. Once termite activity is confirmed, non-toxic foods are replaced with insecticides that will exterminate termites and prevent them from infesting your home.
Termite bait comes in the form of small portions of termite food, such as paper or cardboard. These foods are covered with slow-acting insecticide which can eliminate whole colonies of termites that are seeking food around your home. Although no method will 100% guarantee that you will never have termites in your home, with termite bait in place you can minimize this risk.
How Do Termiticides Work?
These insecticides are designed to kill or repel termites that might enter your crawl space. They can also kill those termites that are already inside your foundation and prevent them from returning to their colony. When these insects are in your crawl space and the termiticide is applied, they seek shelter inside your walls. When there is no moisture in your walls, the termites are prevented from forming new colonies. Eventually, they dehydrate and die.
Controlling Termites in the Crawl Space
If you wish to get rid of termites, you need to make sure that there is no moisture in your crawl space. Otherwise, even with termiticide, termites can form a new colony inside of your walls. The best way to keep the moisture out of this area is with encapsulation. When it comes to this waterproofing method, professional contractors cover the crawl space floor and walls with a thick and durable plastic vapor barrier that keeps the moisture from entering this area. This way the crawl space stays dry and less attractive to pests. With encapsulation, you can also prevent moisture from the soil beneath your home from infiltrating the foundation space and causing condensation.
Potential Issues with Foam Board Insulation
If you believe that your home is protected against termites because you have insulated your crawl space, think again. Termites are persistent creatures, and they can eat their way through the insulation and access your wooden structures. Another problem with insulation is that it creates a perfect living space for termites because it retains moisture and heat. This is why insulation is everything but effective in the battle against termites. To solve these problems, waterproofing companies are finding innovative ways to add termiticides to the insulation. One of the most effective types of insulation to use in your crawl space is expanded polystyrene foam insulation panels.
What Is Expanded Polystyrene Foam Insulation?
Expanded polystyrene foam insulation panels are a type of insulation that is integrated with a termiticide. Therefore, it repels any termites that are trying to eat their way into your crawl space. It is a much better option for insulating a crawl space than regular insulation. In addition, it can help reduce energy usage in your home by 15% to 20%, therefore saving you money.
Some homeowners have a difficult time deciding whether they want to opt for pest control measures or whether they would rather insulate their crawl space. Luckily, these two measures can easily co-exist. With expanded polystyrene foam insulation panels, you can keep your crawl space dry and your home less hospitable to pests.
If you wish to encapsulate or insulate your crawl space and turn it into a moisture-free area that is not termite-friendly, call AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists. We serve homes in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee, so schedule a free inspection and repair quote today. Our experts will assess the state of your crawl space and recommend suitable waterproofing measures.