Pests: A Side Effect of Plumbing Leaks

Pests: A Side Effect of Plumbing Leaks

If you have an unfinished basement or crawl space, you may be wondering why it seems like it’s such a hotbed for pests and insects. While you may be tempted to think it’s due to the cool, dark, and undisturbed conditions, those alone are not appealing to insect life. In reality, insects are also drawn to a source of water, and a plumbing leak in one of these areas is one of the most attractive prospects for nest-building.

Some pests that love dark, moist areas include species like book lice, camel crickets, carpenter ants, cockroaches, mice, rats, and silverfish. While most of these species are fairly harmless other than being an obnoxious intruder, one of the most damaging species that are attracted to water is termites. As any homeowner knows, termite intrusion is a serious threat, especially in an unfinished basement where a colony not only has a water, but also a food source. Termites often eat through structural beams in these areas, weakening your structure and possibly even getting into other areas. It’s because of termites that a leaky pipe could wind up costing tens of thousands of dollars in structural repair.

What Can You Do?

So now that you know what could be at stake when you have a plumbing leak, what can you do to prevent it and stop pests from getting in? The first thing you should do is regularly check your plumbing fixtures to see if any leaks have developed. Fixtures like sinks, toilets, shower and bathtub faucets, and more are all prone to leaks, both with the fixture themselves and with the plumbing that’s connected to them. Find any leaks and repair them as soon as possible to prevent moisture from building up and attracting bugs.

Second, check your water heater regularly as well. Water heaters do wear out and fail eventually, but they rarely fail abruptly, causing a major issue with little warning. Most of the time, their failure starts as a slow leak with just a few drops ever so often. However, over time this is enough to build up a moisture problem on the floor or walls of your home, attracting bugs.

Finally, homes with basements and crawl spaces should regularly check for leaks. Since these areas are rarely used, it’s easy for leaks to go weeks, months, or even years without detection, which is lots of time for bugs to build entire colonies. Finished basements also need to be wary of this issue: check for any signs of staining on the ceiling or walls, including brown stains that might indicate the presence of water from a pluming leak.

Need help fixing a leaky pipe or faucet? Call a Bartlett plumber from Smith’s Plumbing Services today at (901) 290-1110 and schedule your service!
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