How To Keep Crawl Spaces Dry In Order To Prevent Termite Infestations

August 22, 2019 | Posted In: Georgia Pest & Termite Control

Termites infest homes in all states within the contiguous US, but the amount of termite activity, as well as the number of termite species is particularly high in the southeast US. This is because the humid subtropical climate in the southeast provides termites with ideal living conditions, and the relatively mild winter temperatures in the south allow termite pests to thrive year round. This is why termite swarms sometimes emerge in the wild during mild winters in the southeast, and it is not uncommon for termite swarms to emerge within infested homes and buildings during particularly cold winters in the region. Since the southeast region is the most termite-infested areas of the US, all homeowners in the state of Georgia should have regular termite inspections carried out on their property. The conditions within crawl spaces become tremendously moist during Georgia summers, which attracts subterranean termites. A crawl space is the most vulnerable area of a home when it comes to termite attacks.

Both subterranean and drywood termites can be found in Georgia, but subterranean termites are responsible for the vast majority of termite infestations in the state. Five subterranean termite pests have been documented within Georgia, and unlike drywood termites, subterranean termites dwell within soil where they often encounter timber framed structures. Naturally, a home’s crawl space is almost always the first area of a home to be attacked by subterranean termites. Vegetation around structural foundations trap moisture within crawlspaces, and rainwater significantly increases moisture retention in crawl spaces, especially in home’s where gutters are clogged and yards slope downward into a home’s foundation. When subterranean termites access crawl spaces, baseboards and floor joists are usually the first structural woods that become infested with termites. Spreading a plastic cover over the soil in crawl spaces helps to prevent structural wood from becoming saturated with moisture overtime, which makes subterranean termite infestations less likely to occur. The application of a vapor seal over crawl space dirt and up the foundation and piers prevents termites from penetrating important structural woods. Floor joists and all structural wood sources can also be protected by a sealed barrier, and foundation vents can be covered to prevent moist air from entering crawl spaces. In addition to these barriers, the installation of a dehumidifier keeps the air in crawl spaces dry, making conditions inhospitable for termite pests.

Is the soil in your crawl space chronically wet during the summer months?