Our home is our sanctuary, a safe place to return to at the end of a long day. This is also one of our precious investments, which is why protecting it from any damage is important.
But sometimes, that feeling of safety and security is violated when we find out that pests have infiltrated our home.
Unfortunately, many things can threaten the structural integrity of our homes – from severe weather to poor construction – but one of the most common and destructive threats comes in the form of pests. While most of them are mere nuisances, some can cause serious harm to your home’s structure.
Top 3 Pest That Can Cause Home Structural Damage
There’s nothing worse than finding out that pests have damaged your home. Not only are you faced with the repairs, but you also have to deal with the emotional trauma of knowing that critters are crawling around your home.
Here are three of the most common pests that can cause serious damage to the structure of your home:
Termites are one of the most destructive pests and can easily go undetected until it’s too late. In fact, as per research, the US spends $5 billion annually to control termites and repair the damage they’ve caused.
Termites eat away at the wood from the inside out. They leave a massive hole through the foundation; the more holes they make, your home will risk collapsing. Termites can also infest other parts of your home, including furniture, carpeting, and even books.
Some common signs of termite damage include:
Hollow wood: If you tap on the wood and it sounds hollow, it’s a sign that termites have eaten away inside.
Mud tubes: Termites travel back and forth from their nests to their food source. If you see small mud tubes on your walls or foundation, chances are there is a termite infestation.
Sawdust or wood shavings around your home: As termites eat away at the wood, they’ll leave behind sawdust or wood shavings. If you see any of these, it’s time to call an exterminator.
2. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are another type of pest that can cause serious damage to your home. Like termites, they excavate wood to build their nests.
Carpenter ants create their colonies by hollowing out areas in the wood. This includes both softwoods and hardwoods. The damage they cause can weaken the structure of your home and make it more susceptible to collapse.
Carpenter ants aren’t as destructive as termites, but they can still cause significant damage if left unchecked. Some common signs of carpenter ant damage include:
Holes in wood: If you see small holes in the wood around your home, it is a sign that carpenter ants are present.
Sawdust: Carpenter ants also leave behind sawdust as they excavate wood.
Winged ants: If you see winged ants around your home, it is a sign that the colony is mature and looking to expand.
3. Powderpost Beetles
Powderpost beetles are small insects that infest wood, causing it to become powdery and weak. These pests are usually 1/8 -3/4 inch long that can cause serious damage to hardwood floors, furniture, and even the framing of your home. Ash, oak, hickory, and walnut are the most commonly infested woods by these.
Powderpost beetles infest homes to lay their eggs. They deposit their eggs into small holes they’ve drilled into the wood. Once the larvae hatch, they start to eat their way through the wood, causing it to become powdery and weak.
Some common signs of powderpost beetle damage include:
Small holes in wood: If you see small holes in the wood around your home, it is a sign that powderpost beetles are present.
Powdery wood: As the larvae eat their way through the wood, they’ll leave behind a powdery substance.
Suppose you see any of these signs in your home, it is important to call an exterminator as soon as possible. Pests can cause serious damage to the structure of your home, and the sooner you get rid of them, the better.
How To Prevent Pest Damage To Your Home
Although pest damage is often unpredictable, there are some measures you can take to lessen the chances of it happening. The best way to prevent pest damage to your home is to be proactive.
- Inspect your home regularly: It’s important to inspect your home regularly for signs of pests. Also, pay close attention to the wood, as this is where most pests will infest.
- Use pest-resistant materials: When building or renovating your home, use pest-resistant materials whenever possible. This includes treated wood, steel, and concrete.
- Fix water leaks: Pests are attracted to moisture, so fixing any water leaks in your home is a good way to prevent them from coming inside.
- Seal cracks and openings: Pests can enter your home through the smallest openings. Sealing cracks and openings around your home, such as in the foundation, is a good way to prevent them from getting inside.
- Hire a professional: If you suspect you have a pest problem, it is always best to hire a professional to take care of it. They’ll be able to properly identify the pests and eliminate them in the most effective way possible.
Pest damage can be costly and time-consuming to fix. However, by taking some preventive measures, you can lessen the chances of it happening to your home.