Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black and the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Structural Pest Division are urging homeowners to fully review their pest control contract before opting for spray foam insulation in their home’s crawl space.
“Spray foam insulation is a growing choice for homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home,” Commissioner Black said. “And when applied properly, can provide many energy benefits, but it is imperative for homeowners to check their pest control contracts to ensure they are thoroughly covered.”
Subterranean termites cost U.S. homeowners billions of dollars a year for termite control and damage repair. The threat to homes and other structures by subterranean termites is greater in the Southeast, and Georgia lies in the middle of what is commonly referred to as the “termite belt”. The most important component of any pest management program is the inspection, and pest management professionals must be able to visibly see areas of the structure where termites are most likely to be present. When these areas are not visible, live termites and evidence of their presence may remain undetected and could ultimately void pest control contracts.
“Spray foam insulation may be applied to the inside of crawlspaces as an alternative to traditional insulation, but unfortunately, it may also inadvertently hide termite damage and/or the presence of live termites,” said Dr. Kristine Braman, head of the Entomology Department at the University of Georgia. “This could result in voiding existing termite control contracts or possibly preventing a company from providing future coverage.”
Homeowners who have spray foam insulation currently installed in their home and have a pest control contract for termites should contact their pest control company to review their contract. Those considering having spray foam insulation installed and have a pest control contract for termites should also contact their pest control company and discuss any potential impacts on their contract. Homeowners who are having spray foam insulation installed in their home should require the contractor to follow Georgia building code standards.
To determine if you have spray foam insulation installed in your home contact a home building inspector, an insulation contractor or pest management professional. Homeowners who would like more information can contact their local county extension agent by calling 1-800-ASK-UGA1, or the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Structural Pest Control Division at 404-656-3641.