Plastic termite barriers can serve three main purposes in termite prevention and control – sealing up termite entry points into homes, controlling termites trying to get inside homes and reducing moisture that allows termites to thrive.
A plastic sheet barrier treated with a termite repellent or insecticide can be used beneath the concrete slab in pre-construction. Some products use one sheet of plastic; others use two sheets of plastic with a termiticide layer between the two.
The plastic sheeting itself provides some protection against termites, since termites cannot consume plastic. The termiticides embedded inside the plastic can repel termites for more than 20 years. Since plastic does not absorb water, this waterproof termite barrier also helps protect the lower level of the home from water vapor.
Specially designed plastic pieces can be used to protect openings where pipes enter the floor or walls of a home. These barriers are made from polyethylene and contain termiticides. These plastic barriers are installed during home construction and are designed to repel termites in unseen areas where they are most likely to enter.
Other Ways Plastic Helps Prevent Termite Infestations
Plastic sheets, such as 6 mil polyethylene, also are used to control water vapor above ground. For example, a plastic sheet barrier can be placed in a crawlspace to reduce moisture in the area. When a crawlspace is dry, it is less comfortable for termites.
Can Termites Eat Through Plastic?
Termites do not eat plastic; however, the aggressive Formosan termite is known to attack plastic in search of food. Your termite expert can advise you on the types of plastic that termites in your area will not be able to penetrate.