Leaking faucets and clogged pipes are troublesome enough without the threat of a cockroach invasion. To survive, pests will squeeze their way into your home through the tiniest cracks and holes. Keep reading to learn more about these pesky invaders and how to protect your home from them.
Plumbing Leaks and Pest Problems
Just like humans, bugs and rodents need water to survive. Hot summers and dry winters drive pest indoors where they know they can find moisture under your kitchen sink or in your bathroom. Basements and crawl spaces are prime real estate for bugs and rodents.
Cockroaches, crickets, and rats love the warmth generated by your water heater as well as the moist conditions in your laundry room. Carpenter ants and termites are more likely to seek out damp wood in your attic or basement because the moisture makes it easier for them to chew through the wood. Pests like these can compromise the structural integrity of your home and roof if left unchecked, while rats and cockroaches carry diseases that can make you and your family sick. However, there are several things you can do to block their access and make your home less appealing to pests and rodents.
Outdoor Home Maintenance
Maintaining low moisture levels outside your home is just as important as reducing indoor moisture levels. When it comes to this daunting task, take the top-down approach. First, inspect your roof and gutters. Remove dead leaves from the corners of the roof to prevent leaks and the formation of mold. It's not uncommon for birds and other woodland creatures to make their nests inside your gutters and downspouts. Carefully remove nests or call animal control to relocate them to a more suitable habitat.
Downspouts should be directed away from the foundation and flowerbeds to reduce puddles and excess moisture. In the warmer months, this will also help reduce mosquito populations around your home, as they like to lay their eggs in stagnant water. Monitor your gutters for leaks and replace any sections with holes or cracks.
If you have a chimney, have it inspected at least once a year for leaks. The flashing around your chimney is prone to leaking as well; replace it as needed to prevent roof leaks. Change out the mulch in your flowerbeds once a year, preferably in the spring. Consider replacing it with recycled rubber mulch that is impervious to mold and drains better than wood mulch.
Indoor Plumbing Maintenance
To prevent insects and rodents from taking over your home, first, locate and repair the source of the excess moisture in your home. The leaky garbage disposal under the kitchen sink is a prime target for cockroaches as well as dripping faucets; repair or replace them as soon as possible.
Inspect your attic for leaks on a regular basis but especially after a hailstorm or hurricane. Identify and repair leaky pipes in your basement or crawlspace as quickly as possible to reduce moisture levels and save money on water loss. Call in a professional plumber to inspect major appliances like your dishwasher for leaks and to replace old fittings and hardware.