For most of us, our homes are the biggest investment we will make in our lifetimes. So when it comes to safeguarding our homes’ value, we must put our “pest” foot forward. The Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) area is no stranger to pests, but being aware of which pests are capable of damaging and devaluing your home is absolutely essential.
The first pest on our list should be no surprise – termites. The damage that these tiny insects can inflict on a structure is substantial. In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), termites cause over $5 billion in property damage every year in the United States.
Factor in that homeowner’s insurance typically does not cover termite damage, and it becomes quite clear that this pernicious pest must be taken seriously.
However, what is worse than the thousands of dollars termites can cost a homeowner is the grave safety risk they incur. Severe termite damage can cause sagging and unstable walls and floors leading to a complete loss of structural integrity.
To protect both yourself and your wallet, early termite detection is absolutely paramount.
In Texas, the most common problem-causing termite species is the eastern subterranean termite. Take notice of any small, brown/black insects with lengthy wings. They’ll look almost like winged ants to the untrained eye – and if you’re not sure whether you’re seeing an ant or a termite, you should always consult with a professional to be safe. Check around your foundation for any signs of their telltale mud tubes. You may also notice piles of their tiny waste.
If you notice any signs of termites on your property, we urge you to immediately call a pest control company. Procrastinating on termite control can seriously cost you, and termite treatment is not for amateurs. If these insects occupy a space long enough, the damage can be absolutely disastrous.
Unfortunately, if you thought the worst an ant could do was bite, you would be mistaken. Some species of ants are capable of causing significant harm to homes and structures. Carpenter ants and fire ants are two fairly common structural pests of the DFW area. Although these two species look very similar, they display different behaviors and harm structures differently.
Although carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, they are wood-destroying insects. These tiny creatures are endowed with powerful jaws, which they use to bore into wood to build nests. These ants can hollow out wood, creating winding nest galleries weakening and destabilizing structures.
They’re also known to nest in void areas like around insulation or in hollow wood.
Carpenter ants typically have black abdomens with red/brown heads and are around ¼ inch in size. The presence of carpenter ants and any damage they’ve caused are also reportable on real estate transactions.
Fire ants are also considered structure-damaging pests. These aggressive insects are attracted to electric fields. Subsequently, they like to build their nests in electrical boxes, outlets, air conditioning units, transformer boxes, and the likes.
These insects vary in color from red to black and can be ⅛ to ¼ inch long. Due to the electrical risks associated with these pests, it is highly recommended that you contact a local professional pest control company for treatment and removal.
When ants, wasps, or roaches are nearby, people know to put up their guard and have the insects removed right away. However, when it comes to beetles, we tend to see their presence as benign and often flat-out ignore them.
And while, yes, it’s true that beetles typically pose no threat to humans by way of biting, they can still pose a threat. Several beetles infest wood and are considered structure-damaging insects. In Texas, the most common is the powderpost beetle.
Although not nearly as famous as the termite, powderpost beetles can cause almost as much structural damage as termites. These slender insects are usually red/brown or black in color and can grow to around ¼ inch long.
Powder Post beetles chew and bore into hardwoods leaving behind unsightly, small round holes in molding, flooring, furniture, doors, cabinets, and other hardwoods.
Powderpost beetle infestations negatively impact the value of homes and are reportable on state wood-destroying-insect reports. Early detection is vital to avoid high repair costs and home devaluation. Infested wood will need to be removed and a professional company should be brought in for pest control.
Bee-lieve it or not, some species of bees are capable of damaging and devaluing your home. As their name suggests, carpenter bees are big wood enthusiasts. These insects will “drill” into wood, leaving unsightly round tunnel holes in their wake.
They prefer untreated and decaying wood often found under eaves, decks, fences, and other lumber. Treating and coating wood is an effective way to protect your wood surfaces from carpenter bees.
Another bee capable of harming your DFW home is the honey bee. Although honey bees are of great ecological importance, they can also be a great nuisance if they take up residence in your home.
These bees will frequently move indoors for shelter, entering through tiny holes in your home to build nests inside walls, attics, crawl spaces, and other void areas.
Their nests can grow to be several pounds and the gooey, sticky wax and honey materials used to construct them can leak into your home. Not only can this heavy mess significantly damage your home, but that sweet, sticky hive can also attract other pests to move in. The earlier you notice the bees, the better. Hive removal can be rather costly.
When we think of “rodents,” our mind often conjures up grotesque images of filthy rats in sewers, alleys, and other far-off disgusting places. Well, sorry to burst that thought bubble and land rodents a little closer to home, but sadly we must.
The fact is that according to the NPMA, around 29% of Americans have had a rodent problem in their homes. Almost a third of Americans!!
Rats, mice, and squirrels are the top home-invading rodents in the United States. These grimy creatures, though small, can carry a large punch. Not only can rodents bite and transmit diseases, but they can also cause direct damage to homes.
The piles of dirt and waste they leave behind can soak through furniture and flooring, and that’s just where the damage begins.
These pests will chew through just about anything! From pipes and wood to wiring and insulation, rodents will gnaw away. This sort of behavior can obviously wreak havoc on a structure, and repairing the damage is extremely expensive.
Not to mention, this can cause power outages and even fires. In fact, according to the NPMA, around 25% of structure fires with otherwise “undetermined” causes are actually started by pests.
If you suspect there may be rodents invading your home, contact a professional pest control company without delay.
Gecko Green Can Protect Your Family & Home from Pesky Pests!
It is often said that your home is your biggest investment, and it’s true! We invest thousands into our houses, but pests and pest damage can quickly drop your home’s value. The small cost of routine professional pest control treatments now can save you from potentially throwing away thousands of dollars later on pest-related home damage repairs.
Gecko Green’s complete Preventative Pest Control Program will fortify your home through every season. Having our expert technicians monitoring your property is the best way to safeguard your family and your home from pest damage. Call us today to learn about our guaranteed services!