Proactive Pest Management | Water

Management of Pest Insects

in and Around the Home

Proactive Pest Management  |  Water

Water. Excessive, persistent moisture is the most important condition allowing many types of pest infestations to establish and persist. Not only is water critical to the health and normal metabolism of all forms of life, its abundance leads to the growth of various molds, fungi, and other microorganisms which are the primary food source for numerous insect species. Homeowners should limit the occurrence of persistent moisture in and around their home. Moisture problems can only be remedied by correcting the underlying cause(s). Some common sources of excessive, or persistent, moisture that may lead to a pest problem include but are not limited to:

  • Leaking faucets or water lines;
  • Condensation, for example on pipes, in walls and under insulation;
  • Improper ventilation of walls, attics, crawlspaces, or basements;
  • Roof leaks, especially those that are the result of improperly installed flashing around pipe penetrations, sky lights, and chimneys (Figure 8A);
  • Improper landscape grade resulting in poor surface water drainage patterns;
  • Misdirected sprinkler heads;
  • Gaps around windows (especially bay windows) and doors that allow water behind the structure’s exterior sheathing (Figure 8B);
  • Clogged gutters and downspouts (Figure 8C);
  • Downspout and air conditioner drain lines that deposit water within five feet of the structure (Figure 8D).

Property owners should ensure that rainwater flows away from their home by examining the grade or slope of the landscape to make certain it is appropriate; that gutters, downspouts, roof, and air conditioner condensate drainage patterns are operating properly and depositing water away from the foundation; that attics, crawlspaces, and basements are properly ventilated; that a vapor barrier is in place in the crawlspace; that sprinklers are positioned properly, and there is no standing water or persistent wet spots next to the foundation or in the crawlspace.

Figure 8.

Proactive Pest Management
Man Made Harborages
Exterior Vegetation

Other Practices


Food, Shelter, Man Made Harborages, Exterior Vegetation, Water
Other Proactive Pest Management Practices

Crickets (Order Orthoptera)
Cockroaches (Order Blattaria)
Termites (Order Isoptera)
True Bugs (Order Hemiptera)
Beetles (Order Coleoptera)
Moths (Order Lepidoptera)
Flies (Order Diptera)
Ants, Bees, and Wasps (Order Hymenoptera)
Minor Orders of Insects – Occasional Pests
Non-Insectan Arthropods


University of Georgia publication Management of Pest Insects in and Around the Home

About this Publication

This article is part of the publication, “Management of
Pest Insects in and Around the Home” is a guide to
quick identification of 75 pests, including more than
120 color photos.



Daniel R. Suiter
Brian T. Forschler
Lisa M. Ames
E. Richard Hoebeke