Most homeowners worry about water leaks because of the structural damage and mold that they can create. However, there’s another serious problem that can come from water leaks. Insect infestations are more likely to occur when water is present.
When our certified pest control technicians inspect a client’s property, we look for signs of current infestations as well as conditions that can cause future problems. Water leaks are a condition at the top of that list for the following reasons.
Water Leaks Give Mosquitoes a Place to Lay Eggs
All it takes is an inch of stagnant water for mosquitoes to lay eggs. A leaky outdoor water faucet is enough to create a full-blown mosquito infestation. One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent and control mosquitoes is to make sure there’s no standing water in your yard.
Regularly check your outdoor faucets and hoses to make sure they aren’t leaking. Another spot that can become problematic is around sprinkler heads that aren’t working properly.
Leaking gutters are another problem that can create puddles. Instead of draining the water so that it flows off properly, the leak will drip rain into spots where the water can collect. This can also cause the trim to soften and rot, which will attract more pests (see below).
Wood Damage Creates Optimal Conditions for Wood Boring Insects
Termites, carpenter ants and powderpost beetles will chew into just about any wood, but the moisture content is a huge factor. When a leak goes undetected it damages the wood and causes the fibers to soften. This makes it easier for wood boring insects to chew through the cellulose. In fact, some insects aren’t able to cause damage unless the moisture has already reached a certain level.
Common areas where water leaks lead to wood boring insect infestations include:
- Crawl spaces
- Bath traps
- Around air conditioners
- Utility pipes and drip lines
Wood boring insects won’t just chew through water damaged wood. Some bugs, like old house borers, will actually lay their eggs in wood. The higher the moisture content, the quicker larvae will grow into adults.
Indoor Infestations From Insects Needing Water
Insects need water to survive just like any other animal on the planet. If they can’t find it outside they will make their way indoors. That’s one reason homeowners often find insects in the bathroom around drains and near pipes. Ants are one of the biggest culprits that invade homes in search of water during the summer months. If pipes are leaking it gives insects easy access to a water supply.
If you have water leaks, then the top priority is getting them fixed to limit damage and discourage pests. Anywhere that moisture is present should also be spot treated to avoid infestations. If you live in Central Alabama Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. can help you identify areas where moisture could attract pests. We can also make suggestions on what you can do to control moisture and correct water damage.