“Conducive conditions” is a term that many pest management professionals (PMPs) use. Termites require food, water and shelter. If these are provided, then termite colonies can be supported. To combat this, it’s generally advised that PMPs take an integrated pest management (IPM) approach toward termites: inspection, identification, recommendation, treatment and evaluation.
Proper inspection is key to solving and/or preventing termite issues. The focus should be on identifying and documenting conducive conditions. The No. 1 conducive condition for subterranean termites is wood-to-soil contact. Examples include crawlspace doors, form boards, grade stakes, decks, stairs, gazebos, mulches, landscape timbers, retaining walls, door thresholds, cellulose debris on the ground, etc.
Additional examples of conditions conducive to termite infestation include excessive moisture (poor drainage, air-conditioning unit drip lines, dripping hoses and/or spigots), debris under and around structures, footing too low (soil grade high), expansion joints or cracks in slabs, excessive foliage, cracked foundations, poor underpinning, firewood next to foundations, tree branches touching buildings, clogged gutters, etc.
Interior conducive conditions include bath traps, shower drains, plumbing penetrations, moisture issues, interior joints, cracks and foundation anomalies, etc.
After inspection, conducive conditions should be documented and related to the customer. Focus on great services; per the old “Hill Street Blues” credo: “Let’s be careful out there!”