structural pests in the Northwest of greatest concern are
all dependent on high moisture content in the wood.
This moisture can come from rain, soil, water
supply lines and drains. All these possible sources need
to be addressed or there will certainly be a problem.
Around here, keep it dry and them pests will usually keep
away. This is a picture from under a toilet. We checked it
before we got in the crawlspace, and noted that it was
loose. This nearly always leads to leaks and if not
promptly addressed, wood decay. Such leaks are sometimes
not so obvious especially if there is insulation and or
|This is frass,
debris or excrement produced by insects. This piles were
in regular intervals along the base of the homes exterior
wall. After carefully looking at it, we determined that it
was not sand and the regular intervals aligned perfectly
with the floor joists. I removed some of the insulation
that covered the rim on the outside of the building and I
found moisture ants, lots of them and extensive damage to
the structure. There were about 15 joists visible, and 15
neat piles of frass.
single joist we looked at was covered in these pesky pests
at this end of the home. We took careful note of this area
of the home and proceeded to explore the exterior to
determine what were the contributing problems that causes
investigation we noticed that the grade next to the home
on this side was sloped the wrong way, trapping water next
to the home. The gutters and downspouts were in poor
condition, and there was other visible damage on the
siding. The exterior of this home had been neglected for
years, having plants touching the structure is several
places, deck framing in poor condition, and need of paint
Inside the crawlspace we found more frass,
and bare earth.
pest species are yellow; they can vary to a rather dark brown,
from 3–5 mm long. These are monomorphic
species having workers all the same size. Maxillary palpi
are long and five-segmented. Colonies usually occur in decayed
logs and stumps, but some may be found in soil"
Extension Bulletin 1382
soil under homes should be covered with plastic. This vapor barrier
will help control the moisture that can evaporate
under the home and bringing up the moisture content up to the
point of being susceptible
to wood destroying organisms.
buy a home without a complete wood destroying organism
Read more about Moisture ants and their control
Extension Bulletin 1382,
by Art Antonelli, WSU Extension entomologist, WSU Puyallup.