Pests can cut into budgets unexpectedly. Did you know termites cause $5 billion dollars in property damage alone every year? Or, that 56% of homeowners reported having a problem with ants within the past year?
The amount of property damage they can cause may daunt you, but there are safe and cost-effective ways to prevent a pest infestation. Take a look at our list of the most costly pests that could infest your home packed with some tips on how to prevent them:
As the weather gets warmer, termites come out of their winter homes and begin looking for food. These creatures love to snack on the wood, wallpaper and flooring of unsuspecting homeowners. Because termites are so small, you’re unable to hear them munching on the structure of your home until it’s too late!
Formosan termites are the most aggressive and devious of termite species, forming underground colonies and building complex mud nests. They can be found in California, Louisiana, Florida and other states in the Southwest.
You can prevent termite infestations by:
- Sealing cracks and holes on the outside of the house, such as pipes,
- Repairing leaking faucets
- Fixing water pipes and AC units located outside your home.
- Annual termite inspections by Ehrlich specialists can detect signs of an infestation before damage is too extensive for repair.
Rodents have a terrible habit of chewing on wires, insulation and well, pretty much everything. Rats, mice, and squirrels strip off the protective insulation on wires, which have been found to cause electrical fires.
Rodents can invade ductwork, AC units, and other building systems which can reduce the efficiency of equipment and cause permanent damage.
You can prevent rodent infestations by:
- Stocking up on Tupperware containers to seal food
- Keeping kitchens clean by wiping counters
- Emptying the garbage regularly
- Keeping trash containers clean and sealed, indoors and outdoors, is a simple yet effective way of keeping rodents at bay.
3. Bed bugs
Nothing ruins a comfy mattress like an infestation! Bed bugs are hard to eradicate because they are so small throughout every stage of their life. They also can live for months without eating, which means they can hide secretly in mattresses, box springs and headboards.
Bed bugs are also known to survive near-freezing temperatures and extreme heat.
You can prevent bed bug infestations by:
- Buying a mattress protector
- Checking baggage after a trip away from home
- While traveling keep your baggage in the hotel bathroom so it doesn’t come in close contact with the bed
If bed bugs have already made it into your home, it is strongly recommended to hire a professional bed bug treatment service due to their persistent nature.
4. Carpenter Ants
Their name gives it away. Carpenter ants have a notorious habit or digging tunnels into wood structures causing serious damage to homes and other buildings. They can be found indoors in crawlspaces, door and window frames, sinks, bathtubs and even chimneys.
Carpenter ants typically dig into wet or damaged wood and a colony can contain roughly 10,000 ants.
Luckily, there are many things homeowners can do to prevent a carpenter ant colony from damaging your home, including:
- Removing standing water from your property
- Use a dehumidifier in attics, crawlspaces or basements to eliminate moisture.
- Seal cracks near the foundation of your home, especially utility pipes to prevent an invasion.
- Trimming branches and shrubs in your yard. Branches and shrubs help carpenter ants and other pests to enter homes so trimming them is a great way to ensure no invasion will occur.
5. Carpenter bees
Ah, yet another wood-nesting pest! Carpenter bees don’t eat wood but create holes to lay their offspring. These bees love unpainted, aged and soft wood such as, cedar, pine and redwood. They rarely sting but female carpenter bees will attack if they feel threatened.
The best preventative measures for carpenter bees include:
- Routinely check your home for round, smooth holes and small piles of sawdust near wood structures.
- Homeowners can paint wood to provide a protective coating
If carpenter bees are still infesting your property despite your best efforts, it is recommended to hire a pest control technician for professional treatments to get rid of bees. If not properly treated, they can return year after year to nest and cause further damage.
Protect yourself from these costly pests with Ehrlich
Pests can take just as large of a bite of your budget as taxes. Luckily, there are many preventative measures you can take to make sure your home is safe and sound. If pests have made their way into your home or if you are interested in the peace of mind that comes with a Year-Round Protection Plan, contact us to help minimize the damage and put your mind at ease.