Termites require food, water and shelter. The term “conducive conditions” describes areas that have enough food, water and shelter to support termites.
Pest management professionals use integrated pest management (IPM) in services. The five steps of IPM include inspection, identification, recommendation, treatment and evaluation. Proper inspection and identification are key to solving and/or preventing termite issues.
But do not just look for termites; you should also inspect for conducive conditions. The No. 1 conducive condition for subterranean termites is wood-to-soil contact. Examples include crawlspace doors, formboards, grade stakes, decks, stairs, mulch, landscaping timbers, retaining walls, door thresholds, cellulose debris on the ground, etc.
Other conditions conducive to termite infestation can include excessive moisture (poor drainage, air-conditioning drip lines, dripping hoses or spigots); debris under or around the structure; soil grade too high; expansion joints; cracks in slab or foundation; excessive foliage by the structure; firewood by the foundation; tree branches touching the structure; clogged gutters; etc. Interior conducive conditions can include bath traps, shower drains, plumbing penetrations, moisture issues, interior joints, cracks and other foundation anomalies, etc.
Conducive conditions should be documented and discussed with the customer. Focus on great services, and be careful out there.