People with mold in their home often notice an increase in the number of indoor bugs. It’s appropriate to wonder, therefore, if mold and bugs are related. Well, they are. Mold — and the environment that fosters it — attracts bugs of many forms.
Conditions that Foster Mold Growth
Mold and bugs are attracted to the same environment, one with warmth and high levels of moisture. Mold needs at least an approximate 70 percent relative humidity to begin growing at temperatures as low as 60 degrees. And some insect species, such as camel crickets, centipedes, and cockroaches, require a lot of water. That’s why they seek out damp environments in homes and other buildings. The more moisture you have, the more of these insects you’re likely to find. Moisture likewise attracts subterranean termites, which feed on wooden supports.
If you have mold and bugs, you will need to address the sources of the moisture before anything else. Moisture can get into your house through a variety of means: leaky roofs, leaky pipes, unventilated bathrooms, spills, drafts, and your crawl space, to name a few.
To reduce moisture, you will have to contact the professional who can address its source. For all crawl-space related moisture problems, Yes Pest Pros in Columbus and Bloomington, Indiana, can provide the services you need.
Mold Itself Attracts Bugs
Bugs need more than moisture to survive, however. They need food, and mold is one source of nutrition. Many bugs feed on mold and decomposing matter. Booklice, for example, often inhabit moldy books. Fungus gnats and mold mites are two other pests closely associated with mold.
Cockroaches, camel crickets, slugs, and millipedes are attracted to mold, too, though not because they feed on it. They’re attracted to the organic matter that mold helps break down and decompose.
The smell of mold also attracts bugs. Many mold species produce gasses called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). These gasses are what people often associate with the musty smells of mold. While we might not like these smells, bugs do. Termites are one such bug attracted to mold smells. Because mold breaks down wood, it makes it easier for the termites to tunnel. Termites return the favor, of course, by providing mold more areas in which to grow — deeper into the wood.
How to Get Rid of Mold and Bugs
As said, the first thing you need to do is to address the sources of moisture. After addressing (or while addressing) the sources, you can then take care of the mold and bugs.
Bugs will likely disappear once you deal with the mold and moisture. However, if an infestation is severe, or if your home now houses carpenter ants or termites, you’ll need a local pest control specialist to exterminate them.
For wide-spread mold growth, you will have to call a remediation or disaster specialist, such as PuroClean. However, if the mold is limited to your crawl space, Yes Pest Pros can handle the issue. We’re licensed to treat all mold growth in crawl spaces and can make the space under your house so dry and clean you might actually want to go down there. Call or contact us today.