If you have moisture in the crawlspace beneath your home, you may be welcoming some uninvited guests. Here are two household pests that will readily inhabit a damp crawlspace.
Termites are tiny wood-eaters that homeowners dread. They enjoy dark, damp environments and feed on moist or decayed wood. Often, because a crawlspace is not regularly inspected, a termite infestation can go unnoticed until thousands of dollars of damage has already been done.
Here are a few signs that termites have already taken residence in your home:
- There may be small piles of wings around your crawlspace entryway or on the window sills of your home. When winged termites find a new place to infest, they often mate to add to the size of their colony. As they mate, they sometimes shed their wings.
- Mud lines on the walls outside of your crawlspace are often a sign of termites. The insects are sensitive to arid, bright conditions, so to move about above ground, termites build mud tunnels as pathways from their underground home to the outside destinations that they frequent. The tunnels allow the insects to move about in the damp, dark conditions to which they are accustomed.
- Puckered wood around your crawlspace can also indicate the presence of termites. Many wood products used in the construction of your home are a combination of hard and soft woods. Termites prefer soft wood, so they are apt to eat the soft portions of a wood plank and leave the hard wood portions in place. This results in a hollowing or puckering of the wood.
American cockroaches often inhabit a moist crawlspace. These large flying bugs, which are sometimes called waterbugs because of their affinity for moisture, can grow to be more than 1.5 inches long. The roaches enjoy feeding on decaying matter. In addition, they will eat book bindings, clothing and sweets. Still, the moisture in a crawlspace may be particularly attractive because the insects are more dependent on water than food. An American cockroach can live up to three months without food. However, they can only survive about 30 days without water.
Here are few signs that your crawlspace is inhabited by American cockroaches:
- Brown, cylindrical egg capsules may be attached to corner walls, wooden beams or decaying wood.
- The bugs love dark areas, so if you suddenly flood your crawlspace with light, you may see the large insects scatter.
- Black pepper-like debris could indicate bug droppings.
Insect infestations can be difficult to control without the help of a professional. If you suspect that bugs are inhabiting your crawlspace, contact a pest control specialist like Bug Busters Inc.