Early detection of a structural pest infestation in our crawlspace may have a huge impact on the structure of our property and in our wallet. And most importantly – we are only a couple clicks away from seeing the daylight …
1. Cracked foundation / possible structural problems
2. Leaking foundation
3. Drainage problems / flooding crawlspace
4. Plumbing components issues – leaking water supply lines, drain pipes, crawlspace water heater installation problems
5. Heating system issues
6. Electrical components issues
7. Floor framing and structure support issues
8. Structural pest infestation – those are Termites, Powder Post Beetle, and Carpenter Ants
9. Mold problems
10. Crawlspace ventilation and insulation
8. House Crawlspace Structural pest infestation
Termites and Powder Post Beetles aren’t that hard to eliminate; Carpenter Ants on the other hand are much more difficult to control. However, if we don’t know what is happening under the floor and by the time somebody tells us about it, structural damage and repair cost may be significantly larger than detecting it sooner. Moisture is what attracts all of those critters, and if you could control that, chances of getting your structure infested are minimized.
Termites – the most common in Illinois area are probably Subterranean Termites. Because they emerge from under the ground, a typical sign of infestation in the crawlspace area (and anywhere else around the house) would be a mud tube attached to the foundation wall, floor framing or any other surface.
Those tubes provide protection from an open air (Subterranean Termites will die if exposed to open air for an extend period of time) and transfer of termites between the ground and wooden structures. You might notice small piles of collapsed tubes in crawlspace sections further away from the foundation or any vertical surfaces. You can use a screwdriver or a sharp pin to probe wooden floor structure components. Sometimes, there might be no visible damage on the exterior, but if your tool easily penetrates a piece of wood, it’ll confirm internal damage. Have it further evaluated and treated by a professional if necessary, all effected structural members should be properly reinforced or replaced.
Powder Post Beetles – it’s the generic name for Wood Boring Beetles, and they love moist wood! Things to look for in your crawlspace are tiny, round holes on wooden surfaces with powdery dust (flower-like in consistence) pouring from them; sometimes you’ll find piles of that powder beneath the infested areas. This powder is a product of that little beetle’s digestion process when it crawls through and feeds on your house wood framing.
By looking at the color of that tiny hole, you might be able to tell if the infestation is old (which will be a darker color), or a more recent one (being lighter). However, if there’s moisture in your crawlspace and you see a lot of those small holes with powder underneath, the chances of an active Powder Post Beetle infestation are high – get a pest control company.
Eliminate the moisture problem in your crawlspace and around the house!
Carpenter Ants – They are the largest ants in Illinois, and also nest in damp locations, preferably in water damaged wood. The main colony is usually somewhere outside of the house, with possible satellite colonies inside the house. Unlike Termites and Powder Post Beetles, Carpenter Ants do not eat wood – they remove small bits of it creating sawdust like piles, just to make room for their new colony and tunnel inside the wooden beams. So, if you notice certain similarities between the description and your wood, don’t hesitate to call a professional because the destruction after just a few years of their presence in your house might be significant, and like I said earlier – Carpenter Ants are hard to control and to get rid off.
For the last time in this post – get rid of, or at least try to minimize the amount of moisture around / in your house – this will resolve many problems.