When cavity insulation is needed within homes, consumers have traditionally relied on fiberglass batt or loose fill products. However, for the past twenty years, a plethora of alternative insulation products have been introduced. Spray foam insulation eventually replaced fiberglass products as the leading type of cavity insulation within homes. It is also becoming more common for homeowners and contractors to use spray foam insulation on a wider scale, such as using it for basement and attic insulation as well as in between walls. Unfortunately, pest control professionals are beginning to notice that termites are disproportionately infesting homes containing spray foam insulation. Also, eradicating termites from homes containing spray foam insulation is more difficult than eradicating termites from homes that don’t contain spray foam. So why are so many stubborn termite infestations being found within homes that contain large amounts of spray foam?
Considering the low price and convenience of using spray foam as opposed to traditional fiberglass insulation within homes, more contractors are installing spray foam insulation within homes during construction. This increase in spray foam insulation has led to an increase in hard-to-eradicate termite infestations, as spray foam insulation gives termites a convenient place to hide during termite inspections. Applying spray foam in between walls is particularly problematic in this regard, as their is no easy way to determine whether or not termites have colonized these areas. One pest control professional from Georgia recently discussed how a two year old home became dominated by termites that could not initially be seen as a result of having hidden within the massive amount of spray foam insulation contained within the home. It was found that subterranean termites had built extensive tunnels spanning fifteen feat within the home’s spray foam insulation. Unlike typical fiberglass insulation, termites have no problem accessing and dwelling within spray foam. In fact, termites can tunnel through spray foam insulation more easily than they can tunnel through wood. As a result of this unexpected issue, several lawsuits have been filed over disputes involving termite infestations within spray foam insulation. Officials with the Spray Foam Coalition have denied that termite infestations are more problematic within home’s containing spray foam insulation. As long as spray foam is not used as a replacement for traditional fiberglass insulation, repeat and/or stubborn termite infestations within a home should not become a problem.
Do you know how much spray foam your home contains? And do you worry about acquiring termites within your home’s spray foam insulation?