The use of spray foam to insulate homes is making it challenging for pest management professionals to inspect for, and treat, termites.
In February, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) announced it is working with the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) and the American Chemistry Council’s Spray Foam Coalition (SFC) to devise a way to help keep subterranean termites out of homes.
A popular option for homeowners who want to reduce heat loss and lower utility bills, spray foam insulation can mask termite activity. The product commonly is used in basements, crawlspaces and attics. Termites can and do penetrate the insulation, which makes their presence difficult to detect.
(Editor’s Note: Read our January Termite Management Survey for more on how home improvements may impede inspections.)
PMP columnist Dr. Jim Fredericks, the NPMA’s vice president of technical and regulatory affairs, explains the reason for the collaboration.
“As part of our efforts with SFC and SPFA, we’re working to educate homeowners on the importance of understanding the specific terms and conditions of their termite warranties before altering their homes — including the application of SPF in their homes,” he says. “This will protect both the homeowner and pest management service provider.”
Subterranean termites are responsible for more than $5 billion in damage to structures in the United States every year, the NPMA reports. PMPs have the tools needed to protect homes and buildings from the destruction caused by these wood-destroying pests.
“The NPMA and its members are committed to ensuring homeowners are well protected against unwanted and potentially destructive pests in their homes,” Dr. Fredericks says.