Correct moisture problems to help prevent pests and protect your home.

Excessive moisture around your home can attract many pests.  It can also cause fungi to grow, including wood rot fungus which can lead to severe structural damage.  Just like you and I, many insect pests need an ample supply of water to survive.  If there is not enough water to sustain a population, the insects will move to a more suitable location.  Some insects, such as springtails, camel crickets, and psocids (aka booklice) can be controlled simply by reducing the moisture or humidity in the home.  Excessive moisture can also attract common pests such as cockroaches and ants.  So, here are some things you can look for.  Some may be obvious, and some may be things that you might not think of.

Inside your home:

  • Fix leaking pipes.  Sometimes a leak may not be obvious.  Periodically check under sinks and around toilets and look for wet spots.  Even a slow leak can lead to big problems.
  • Inspect caulking around bathtubs and showers.  A small hole or break in the caulk will allow water to seep through.  Many times when people find springtails (tiny grey insects that jump) in their sinks, bathtubs, or showers, it’s because the caulking has failed and allows water to accumulate in the wall voids, under flooring, or behind the tub enclosure.
  • Keep humidity levels low.  You can reduce the humidity in your home by using a dehumidifier or circulating the air with fans.  Dehumidifiers are especially useful in basements.

Outside your home:

  • Make sure gutters are not clogged and work properly.  Clogged gutters can breed mosquitoes and attract a variety of pests such as carpenter ants and cockroaches/palmetto bugs.  This can also cause fascia boards to rot.  Terminix Service offers gutter protection, just call for a free inspection and estimate.  They can also fix those rotten fascia boards!
  • Keep bushes and trees trimmed back away from the house.  Heavy vegetation can trap moisture and provide harborage for many pests.  The pests can also use bushes and tree limbs to gain access to the house and avoid areas treated with pesticides.
  • Do not use excessive amounts of mulch or pine straw around the foundation of your home.  This can trap moisture and keep the foundation wet, plus provide harborage for pests.
  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the foundation.  Sometimes you may need to grade the soil sloping away from the foundation, or have a drain system installed, to prevent water from pooling there.
  • Empty water from old flower pots, trashcans, wheelbarrows, toys, etc.  Mosquitoes can breed in any amount of standing water that lasts for two weeks.  Terminix Service offers a mosquito management program.  They will treat the vegetation in your yard once a month to control adult mosquitoes and identify potential breeding sources which are then eliminated or treated with a mosquito growth regulator.
  • Make sure sprinkler heads are positioned to project water away from the house and not onto it.

Under your home:

  • If you have a crawlspace it needs to be dry and free of wood debris.  A dry crawlspace is a healthy crawlspace and a healthy crawlspace equals a happy home.  Excessive moisture in the crawlspace makes it more attractive to termites and other pests.  It can also cause wood destroying fungi to grow which causes wood rot.  There are a number of options available to help dry out your crawlspace such as a vapor barrier, drainage system, or new foundation vents.
  • Sometimes conventional methods may not work because the problem is due to high levels of humidity coming into the crawlspace causing condensation to occur. In this situation, you may need to have your crawlspace encapsulated and a dehumidifier installed.

Water is a necessity of life, but can also lead to a multitude of problems for your home.  Terminix Service offers a variety of methods to dry out your crawlspace and make it better.  With one phone call you can schedule a free moisture inspection by a trained professional.  The technician will discuss what needs to be corrected and the appropriate options that are available.  Whether its gutter protection, vapor barrier, replacing broken foundation vents, drainage systems, or a complete crawlspace encapsulation and dehumidification, they will find the right solution to your moisture problems.  Then, many pests may not find your house so inviting.

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