What Is The Relationship Between Moisture And Pest Infestation?
May 1, 2017
What’s more annoying than trying to make dinner and having your ceiling drops of water fall on you? Or worse hearing a guests’ scream from the bathroom because he or she saw an insect in the guestroom.
Ideally, you want your home to be your sanctuary and personal domain. It is where you sleep, eat, entertain, and carry out any other activity you choose. It is also where you'll create some of your precious memories and grandest dreams.
After investing a lot of time, effort and money into your home, you want it as close to perfection as it can get. So, having to deal with moisture and pest problems can ruin your home.
How Excess Moisture Leads to Pest Problems
One of the many purposes of a home is to provide you with protection from the elements of weather. But sometimes, moisture gets into you home through leaking roofs, clogged and cracked gutters, downspouts, and through the walls of your foundation.
Other factors that contribute to excess moisture include groundwater sources located near your home as well as the landscape. Having shrubs, bushes, and trees too close to your foundation can prevent sunlight from reaching it as well as obstruct the flow of air leading to a moisture buildup.
How does all of this result in pest problems? Insects may be ugly and creepy, but they need food, water, and shelter like humans. The insect anatomy being as small as makes it difficult to hold on to a reasonable amount of moisture. Because of this, insects require constant access to water for survival. A lot of insects are attracted to homes because they can find a good supply of water, food and a place to build a home of their own.
Termites, for example, will enter a foundation because of the excess moisture and immediately start eating away. The carpenter ant favors water damaged or wet wood to create their nests. If your wood has any water damage, then the carpenter ant is probably waiting to move in. Centipedes know that they can find other insects to feed on in damp areas, so they're always looking for wet places to crawl into. Ants, millipedes, earwigs, silverfish, springtails, and a host of other pests thrive on moisture as such they gravitate to places with ample amount of water.
The more moisture problems your home suffers from, the more attractive your home is to these pests. Keeping your home dry will go a long way to drive off most of these pests.
Signs of Moisture Problems in Your Home
A considerable number of homeowners are not consciously aware that their homes have moisture problems.
The following signs will help you identify whether you are one of those homeowners suffering from moisture problems:
- Greenish discoloration, lichen, or moss on your roof
- Damp soil around the foundation whereas other places are dry
- Peeling or blistered paint on interior walls or siding
- Porch or patio having water stains
- Soil around crawlspaces are wet
- Bottom of floor insulation having condensed moisture
- ‘Sweaty’ floor or walls
- Water stains on patio or porch
- Rusted door frames or metal windows
- Ceilings or Walls having mildew
- The place usually smells musty
- The wood produces a hollow sound when struck
- Wood is soft to touch and breaks easily
- Rust on metal window or door frames
- Mold on walls or ceiling
If you've ever noticed any of these signs, it is advisable for you to seek professional help. If the symptoms were present when you came in, then perhaps it is an old problem. The professional will decide if the issue has been solved or if additional solutions are required.
How to Reduce Excess Moisture in Your Home
Apart from natural ground and rainwater, several items around the home also cause an increase in the humidity of your home. Preventing excess moisture in the home is not entirely possible. What you can do, is to reduce it. Here are a few tips to help you reduce excess moisture in your home:
• Change Carpets Regularly
Carpets most time retain moisture. If you have tried several methods of reducing the moisture to no avail, consider replacing it completely. Dust mites are usually fond of carpets so changing it helps to prevent dust mites.
• Insulate Your Pipes
Adding wrap or tubular insulation to your pipe also contributes to reducing excess moisture. The insulated tubing helps to decrease "sweating."
• Protect Your Water Tanks
Due to the temperature difference between the air and the water in pipes and tanks, water pipes and toilet tanks also tend to contribute to the moisture in the home. By adding waterproof insulation to the body of the tank, and a mixing valve to the water supply line, you can reduce the effect.
• Reducing Cold Surface Moist
Excess moisture builds up when warm, moist air comes in contact with a cold surface. You can reduce this by adding plastic films to windows, making repairs to window frames and windows when necessary. You can also decide to add storm windows and install caulking and weathers stripping on both the outside and inside of the window.
• Insulate Crawl Spaces
Crawl spaces should be insulated with vapor barriers, preferably plastic.
• Check Roof for Leaks
Rainwater tends to leak through loose flashings and shingles. The rain water then gets into walls, insulation, attics and other places in the home. Ensure to check tour roof regularly to prevent such leaks.
Moisture problems and the pests they bring in can be annoying and difficult to deal with. The good thing is that once you deal with the underlying moisture problem, the pest problem usually reduces or disappears.
Contact Alliance Pest Services for all your pest problems today.