If you are a homeowner or just enjoy living in a clean and sound house you have most likely thought about or encountered pest damage. Ants, termites, cockroaches, mice, bed bugs… All of them have their place in the great outdoors and a position in the natural ecosystem but once inside our homes they tend to unbalance the way we planned out our lives and cause damage to our establishment.
Apart from the fact that no one wants to look at hollowed out furniture or find small eggs inside their wardrobe, the pests can cause more serious, structural damage to supporting roof beams or even transmit disease.
Common Domestic Pests and the Damage They Cause
A brief list of the most encountered but unwanted animals and insects in our homes:
Ants come in varying sizes and colors, but most of them very small and with a dark hue. They come into our houses looking for food, which is not a terrible thing if it only meant leftover crumbs on the floor, but they can also cause damage to the wood. They convert cellulose from wood to gain energy, thereby weakening the structure they are eating. The best way to solve such a problem would be to spot them on time (they tend to form colonies and move in dense lines) and use a convenient bug spray repellent on their route.
Include many species, most of them unpleasant to nest around peoples’ houses. When searching for food, they will defend themselves aggressively if provoked, and their sting can be very painful, although rarely dangerous. If stung, it is best to cool off the red and swelling area and contact a doctor if you fear an anaphylactic shock. Their nests can be difficult to remove safely, so it is best to wear a suitable protective suit (such as beekeepers have) or call a professional to do it.
These are troublesome pests and cause significant damage to many households in the entire world. It is assumed that termites are responsible for up to several thousand dollars worth of damage annually in houses in countries such as the USA or Australia. Assessing the state of your house’s wooden frame after you’ve spotted a termite colony is difficult and, as advised at asbir.com.au, is best left to professional pest inspectors. Since termites can sometimes leave an almost hollow wooden structure, with only an outer shell remaining, it is a difficult process to repair the damage.
Cockroaches are, to many people, the first pest they think of and the last they want to encounter. This small insect is a sign of lower levels of cleanliness in the general area, if talking about an urban zone, as they typically feed off remains of human and pet food. Even though they don’t cause structural problems such as termites, they are still considered a pest.
They leave behind them a foul odor and can be a transporter for pathogens and allergens. Another side effect is that some people dislike them so much it becomes a problem for them to even live in a place infested with them.
Careful cleaning and disinfecting is the first step towards their riddance. Use store-bought traps or baits in places they tend to hide or eat (cracks in walls, open faucets, under the fridge, etc.). Boric acid is also used for them, hidden in the form of foodstuff, which they digest and die, later becoming bait for other roaches or rodents.
Mice are useful in laboratory experiments and are sometimes kept as pets in cages but are an age-old pest when roaming free in the house. They gnaw on almost anything chewable they can find and can create whole labyrinths for themselves inside walls. If you don’t have a dog or cat at hand, it is best to use a spring-loaded mouse trap placed next to a wall in a kitchen or pantry.
If they damage furniture, it is best to fill in the holes with new cotton or softwood and mask everything with matching upholstery. Damage caused to walls or heat insulation is best dealt with by refurbishing new materials by a licensed constructor.
This age-old problem is still often solved with age-old solutions – simple traps, cleanliness, and a bit of roughness. However, if the structural integrity of your building is at stake, it is best to take additional measures and hire professionals who can use new instruments and reliable experience to fix up all those nooks and crannies.