Home & Family
Homewreckers: Pests that Can Do Damage
10/4/2012 11:14:30 AM

Your home is probably your costliest investment, yet its strength and value can be compromised by something millions of times smaller.

Pests such as ants, termites and mice can invade every nook and cranny, making themselves comfortable throughout your home. "Even the least offensive pests can cause major damage. No one wants them inside their home. For health and safety, it’s important for homeowners to watch out for pests,” said J.J. Cooley, manager with J&J Exterminating in DeRidder.

Cooley gave this list of common pests that can cause serious damage to homes.

Termites. They cause more damage to homes than any other pest; in fact, billions of dollars worth of damage is caused across the country. Termites eat wood, insulation and other household items.

"Every home is at risk for termite infestation,” Cooley said. Mud tunneling is often how they are noticed. As they chew their way through wood and reach the surface, they’ll create a tunnel from mud, saliva and other debris and cover up the hole with the mud-like substance.

Carpenter Ants. These big, black ants are usually seen in kitchens and bathrooms because they tunnel into wood that is moist as they make their way around your home, damaging it as they go.

Carpenter Bees. These big bees are easy to see as they tunnel through exposed, unfinished wood, leaving gaps in siding and exterior wood.

Mice. "A mouse or a rat tops the list for the most unwanted pest in a home,” said Cooley. "They are dirty, spread disease, and can cause a lot of damage.” They’ll gnaw on virtually anything, including electrical wiring, attic insulation, human food, pet food and paper.

"They can enter your home through almost any opening or crack; the space they need is surprisingly small. As they crawl throughout your home, they can spread diseases like salmonella and contaminate surfaces,” he said. "Consistent pest control will provide protection to your home and help safeguard you and your family from devastating problems from pests harming your home or your health.”

He advised inspecting undisturbed areas in the home for evidence, such as the pantry, along baseboards, inside cabinets.

"If you’re experiencing problems with pests, or to avoid future problems, talk with a pest control professional for expert service,” Cooley said. "It will provide protection for your home and your health.”

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