If you meticulously clean up every crumb in the kitchen, religiously inspect cardboard boxes before bringing them into your home, have a house cleaning regimen that would make a military general proud and still have pests–moisture might have something to do with it.
Pests of all sorts require water to live, however, unlike us, creatures like ants, cockroaches, crickets, and other pests can live exclusively on water for weeks. This means that even if you are doing a superb job of keeping your kitchen spotless and your home clutter-free, you still may experience problems with pests. Cutting back on the moisture can sometimes be more difficult than eliminating sources of food, but knowing where to look for excess moisture issues and how to recognize them are the first steps in keeping pest problems in check.
Common Moisture Problem Areas
Start making the habit of inspecting the pipes in and around your home, rather than casting a cursory glance around the bathroom or laundry room and calling it a day. Take the time to thoroughly inspect the fixtures and appliances in these areas for signs of moisture, as it doesn’t take much to keep ants or other small creatures alive. Don’t forget about the dishwasher or pipes in the basement and investigate the areas on the outside of your home where the plumbing connects.
Also keep in mind, any point of entry for you is also a potential point of entry for pests. Routinely inspect windows and doors for cracks, tears in screens, or fit issues. If you have a window that has difficulties closing entirely or a main door that hovers off the ground, you may want to look into products such as door sweeps or draft stoppers that will block this entry point to pests and rain.
While checking points of entry around your home, don’t forget about your gutters, as they happen to be a common area where moisture collects. To help alleviate this, clear out debris and ensure that your gutters are working properly. If they are clogged, this can be the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and an excellent source of life-sustaining water for ants and cockroaches. On a related note, ensure that water from your gutters is not puddling somewhere close to your home. You may need to use downspout extensions or grade your soil so that the water runs away from the house.
Potential Indicators of Excess Moisture
When in doubt, follow the green, as plants need moisture to live. Spotting a greenish tinge on the side of your home or moss on your roof are fairly concrete indicators that you may have a moisture problem. Newly developed unwanted greenery around your home is often caused by other plants that have gotten too close to the house. For example, large tree limbs may shelter places of moisture on your roof or bushes along the side of your home may trap moisture. Trim these back to help cut down on the excess moisture.
Other straightforward indicators of excess moisture are bubbling paint and water stains on wood. Paint bubbles on the outside of your house may be caused by other things besides water, but if you see them, you should inspect further for the cause. If you catch a whiff of something musty, you might be dealing with a moisture problem.
Another sign that moisture might be creeping into your home is the AC condensation drip line. Call on a professional or check for yourself to make sure water is being directed away from the foundation, as this is a crucial problem that could potentially add to the moisture in your home.
Lastly, examine the bricks of your home to see if there are signs of crumbling or crystal-like deposits. The white deposits are something known as mineral efflorescence, and this occurs when there has been or there is water present.
We’ve just entered the spring season, which means that the rain is on its way and bringing moisture right along with it. Make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to help protect your home from moisture-enticed pests and contact Palmetto Exterminators if you have questions.