The importance of crawl spaces cannot be understated. They are the foundation on which your house sits and holds vital components – from HVAC cables and plumbing pipes to electrical wiring that is responsible for literally powering your entire home. But because they are situated next to the moist, damp soil, and accumulate dirt and humidity over time, they can become an attractive proposition for the worst kind of pests – termites.
Q: Did you know that termite colonies can develop in as little as 3 weeks?
Why do crawl spaces host the perfect conditions for termite attacks?
Termites live in moist areas like under decks or around a basement wall. Wherever they can find the perfect source of moisture and food, that’s where you will find them. That’s the perfect living condition, in a crawl space that affords the right conducive conditions for these termites. You must be wondering why?
While we already answered that question above; to recap – it’s to do with how and where the crawl space is built. As a consequence, usually, crawl spaces are situated directly underneath the main building of a house. Therefore, this location, that is necessary, puts the crawl space right on top of the moist soil which can creep into its vicinity within a couple of weeks. Bearing in mind, the environment in South Carolina is humid and has a higher concentration of moisture. Crawl spaces therefore harbor warm, moist conditions. Then the conditions cause issues with the wood and degradation of the wood and easy access to the cellulose is all they need. Ah! The perfect home to build a colony!
You can connect the rest of the dots now, right?
How a termite infestation happens – From start to finish!
With that being said, there is a common pattern to all termite infestations. We’ve outlined these phases below to help you understand the pattern to an infestation and growth of a termite colony.
Phase 1 – Termites find an opportunity to get inside the crawl space.
Crawl spaces aren’t impenetrable by any means. Over time, air and moisture happen to lead to the growth of mold inside and outside the crawl space area. This leads to crevices being formed around that area. This presents the first real opportunity for a termite invasion.
Termites usually get in through these crevices in numbers (it can take only a few termites to cause havoc) and seal themselves in. They continue to feed on wood and cellulose supported by moisture inside the crawl space and move into phase two.
Phase 2 – Grow and Multiply
Once they’re in, it’s only a matter of weeks before the invasion begins. As previously stated, termite infestations can happen in as little as 3 weeks. How is that so? You must be wondering…
To start off, your crawl space already has food in the form of wood and cellulose. And your crawl space also happens to have moisture and damp soil. As soon as termites get in, they start laying eggs, depending on pre-existing conditions, and hatch within 20-30 days.
The war is on as soon as the first set of hatchlings breathe their first breath of air. Then the colony begins to expand rather rapidly and the colony begins to feast on your home from the inside. They are your silent invaders.
Phase 3 – The infestation starts
As soon as the first set of termites hatch, they begin feasting instantly. Termites are ravenous creatures and eat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No rest, no stopping and every bite, is one more bite of your home. They continue the work of their predecessors, they continue to grow in numbers. Within 1-2 years, depending on the state of your crawl space, the colony grows to a significant number of hungry termites ready to invade your crawl space and the associated household.
While previously, a few termites took weeks to destroy the structure holding your crawl space, now the entire colony (about 100k to a million termites) is able to cause significant damage in a matter of days. Now it is unusual to have termites grow to over a million in our area, but the possibility, of course, exists, should it go undetected.
What Is The Cost Of The Damage?
The cost to the homeowner when they are faced with a colony of termites can be very high. NPMA Experts estimate that termites cause $5m in property damage annually. Moreover, it’s stated a single acre of land may support as many as 12 termite colonies. Just imagine the damage 12 entire colonies could cause!
The cost worsens as the prevention is delayed, and it’s found that homeowners have to spend an average of $3,000 and upwards to repair the damage.
Termites are no mean feat. To make sure your house stays free from such a disaster, it’s advisable to be proactive rather than reactive and take preventive measures (as outlined below) to ensure the pesky little creatures never have you cornered in one place.
Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive.
It’s better to stay on top of things rather than act out when the trouble is already halfway through. There are a number of active remedies you can put in place to ward off any danger from termites.
We have distilled those into 4 main Steps you can take and be proactive against Termite Infestations:
- Eliminate moisture within the crawl space: This can be done by using a dehumidifier, properly insulating the crawl space, and by covering the floor of the crawl space.
- Reduce water and dampness within the crawl space: Once again, you can reduce dampness by covering the base of the crawl space using a water-absorbent fabric. You can also make sure that water is diverted away from the crawl space through pipes, gutters, and splash blocks, but most of all – installing a French drain.
- Routinely check for any cracks and crevices around the crawl space: Termites are tiny creatures, so getting in through the cracks and crevices isn’t a difficult job for them. If you do identify such problem areas, make sure to cover them using insulation material.
- Have a professional inspect the crawl space at least once a year: No matter how many videos you watch or articles you read, you cannot compete against the experience and practical knowledge that Termite Control Specialists possess. They are there to do one and one job only – to make sure your house is free of termites.
Schedule A Free Inspection
All houses either being sold or bought require a CL-100 Termite Inspection by realtors and possible homeowners. Because termites are a threat to the safety of a house, there are laws in place that require active inspections.
Scouts Pest Control is actively providing 5-star rated services in the South Carolina region for quite some time. As a family-owned company, we understand the danger posed by these infestations, and so we offer free inspections all year long.
How that adds up for you:
- A specialist carefully examines each part of your house to identify infestations already in the works or points out potential infestation hot spots.
- We provide you with possible solutions at discounted prices and give you a turnaround time (Note: Time is of the essence, so we have to act quick)
- You hire Scouts Pest Control’s services, and we guarantee our work.
You can schedule a free inspection right now by visiting Scouts Pest Control.
If you’re still not convinced, talk to one of our specialists who will provide you with the complete details at: