Stop Termites in Their Tracks with a Termite Barrier for Your Crawl Space

Say Goodbye to Harmful Pesticides and Hello to a Healthier Home with These 3 Termite SolutionsStop-Termites-In-Their-Tracks

Crawl spaces can be musty, damp, and inviting places for all sorts of pests to take up residence. While we may not consider the crawl space as part of our home, we should; in many geographical areas, we’ve given over the real estate beneath our feet to rodents, insects, and even the occasional feral cat. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. A high-performance, properly installed, and long-lasting moisture vapor barrier can help transform your crawl space into a clean, dry, healthy, and usable part of your home that is uninviting to rodents and other pests.  

Termites, however, can and will chew through even high-performance plastics to enter a crawl space with the goal of reaching a food source. Termites love neglected crawl spaces: they’re humid, damp, and dark critical environmental factors that termites are attracted to. Additionally, crawl spaces are often littered with wood scraps, cardboard, and other construction debris, which provide a great food source for termites. Best of all (for the termites, at least), a crawl space provides a secluded and protected point of entry to the biggest food source of all for termites: the structure of your home itself.   

If you live in an area where subterranean termites are found, crawl space pest control needs to be addressed. Traditionally, for termite prevention, that means that the soil under your home will be saturated with pesticides to provide a chemical barrier to termite infestation.  

But as you’re maybe sitting or standing above this critical area of your home as you read this, you might ask yourself, “Is it better to risk a termite attack and forego the use of pesticides? Or is it better to liberally apply pesticides under the home in which you and your family live and breathe?”  

I come with good news: we are not limited to these options. 

If avoiding exposure to pesticides is important to you and I would argue it should be we need to look at physical termite barrier options for your crawl space, three in fact, that are a far less toxic solution than termiticide. Read on for the good news!

Termite Shields – A Shield or Deflection? 

A termite shield is a metal barrier installed around common termite entry points. Typically, that means on top of foundations and under the sill plate, on piers, and pipe penetrations. Termite shields are typically either galvanized steel or copper sheet metal.  

While termites will be unable to chew through these materials, termite shields won’t necessarily prevent termites from bypassing them altogether. Termites are resourceful creatures and will build mud tubes, which they travel through, to get around a termite shield barrier. The primary benefit of a termite shield is that it forces termites (and their mud tubes) out into the open, where they can be observed and treated…with pesticides. Termite shields also do not provide a solution to ground moisture. A vapor barrier that covers the ground and is sealed/attached to the perimeter wall will need to be installed to protect your crawl space and home from moisture vapor.  Don’t feel defeated, read on for an all-encompassing solution. 

Borates – No Pesticides Directly Into the Soil But... 

While technically a pesticide and not a physical barrier to termites, borates provide a less toxic option than traditional pesticides. These products can be applied to wood and concrete structures within your crawl space either in a powder form or as a spray-applied solution. Similar to pesticides, borates are designed to kill/deter termites. Unlike pesticides, borates are applied directly to the structure and not to the soil. In powder form, borates can be sprinkled on any flat surface, but spray applied solutions are commonly applied to vertical and horizontal surfaces.  Borates will not provide any level of moisture protection for your crawl space. 

The Ultimate Crawl Space Superhero – Moisture and Termite Barrier Provides Lasting Protection for Your Home 

So, we have listed out some less-toxic termite treatment options, but all previously mentioned options were missing the ability to control moisture. Let me first cover why a moisture vapor barrier is necessary/beneficial.

When it comes to a crawl space, a quality vapor barrier liner can help create a clean and dry area that is uninviting to pests by controlling the natural, upward transmission of moisture vapor from the soil. It is the first step that should be considered for crawl space pest control. Even more, inadequate vapor protection in the crawl space can lead to health concerns with soil gas (like radon) movement from the ground and moisture-induced mold/mildew growth on, or damage to, wood surfaces. A vapor barrier, especially when used to encapsulate the crawl space as part of a fully sealed, insulated, and conditioned crawl space, will play an important role in the energy performance, indoor air quality, and durability of the home.  


There are several crawl space vapor barriers on the market that help prevent moisture migration into the home, but even these high-performance vapor barriers are susceptible to termite attack.  

But have no fear, there are options available that are both a barrier to water vapor as well as to subterranean termites, providing a two-in-one solution ideally suited for crawl space applications.  

The crawl space superhero I want to highlight is Pango Wrap. Pango Wrap Termite/Vapor Barrier combines uniquely designed barrier materials with the flexibility and strength of extruded, high-performance polyolefin film into an easy-to-install, physical barrier for termites as well as water vapor. As a physical termite barrier, Pango Wrap does not contain any pesticides, and relies on the strength of the film itself to block termite access. No longer do we have to rely on chemical termiticides to protect our crawl spaces and homes from termite attack.  

Eliminating the need for termiticides to be applied directly under our living space should bring peace of mind that your loved ones are just as safe as the home you are protecting. Pango Wrap contains zero VOCs, is Clean Air Gold Certified, has a Health Product Declaration®, and is a NGBS Green Certified product. 
Before installing any vapor barrier in your crawl space, put great care and attention into preparation. Manipulating your crawl space environment to be unattractive to termites and other pests is a critical first step towards protecting your home. But, preventing subterranean termites from entering the crawl space and getting access to the home’s structure may require an additional consideration. Pango Wrap, that acts as a physical and verifiably safe barrier to termites and soil vapor may be just the solution.  


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Ryan Goodwin

Written by Ryan Goodwin

Ryan Goodwin is the Pango® Product Manager at Stego Industries, LLC. He has been a part of the Stego team for over fifteen years with previous roles as the Regional Manager and Regional Director for Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. As the Pango Product Manager, Ryan was a part of the team that developed Pango Wrap. Ryan appreciates working with design professionals, pest management professionals, and contractors to promote Integrated Pest Management practices and sustainable solutions for pest control.

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