Nobody wants to deal with pests, but unfortunately, they are a reality for many homeowners and homeowners. Pests can be a real problem. However, some of them can be treated relatively easily. Others can cause severe damage and devalue your property. We’ll look at four common pests that can damage and devalue your home.
We will also provide some tips on how to prevent them from becoming a problem. So, whether you are a homeowner or a landlord, make sure to read on for information on how to protect your investment!
In this post, we will see 4 of the most common and more damaging pests affecting homeowners in the United States.
A termite infestation is a property owner’s worst nightmare. These tiny insects form massive colonies that devour the physical structures of your home. Termite damage is extensive, costly, and poses potential health risks.
In nature, a termite’s job is to break down old and dying trees in forests to make room for new plants to flourish. However, termite feeding habits can cause house physical damage, financial problems, and health risks to homeowners and inhabitants.
A termite colony in your house can cause significant structural damage. Pests feed on internal structures, including studs, beams, and posts, and can spread without no one noticing. In severe cases where termites go unnoticed for extended periods, the insects create an unsafe and uninhabitable home.
Termite Damage Costs
Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage – costs that aren’t covered by homeowners insurance policies. This is why being vigilant about termite control and termite extermination is so important.
The typical range for termite treatment costs is from $300 to $1,000, with the national average of $600.
Cost of repairing termite damages:
Repairing termite damages can go up between 1,000 to 100,000 Dollars or more depending on the severity of the damage; they may include:
- Costs for local material/equipment delivery and service provider transportation to and from the job site.
- Preparing the worksite for Termite Damage Repair includes costs to protect existing structure(s), finishes, materials, and components.
- Labor setup time, mobilization time, and minimum hourly charges are commonly included for small Termite Damage Repair jobs.
The cost estimate does NOT include:
- Costs for removing, relocating, repairing, or modifying existing framing, surfacing, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems – or bringing those systems into compliance with current building codes.
- Costs for testing and remediation hazardous materials (asbestos, lead, etc.).
- General contractor overhead and markup for organizing and supervising the Termite Damage Repair. Add 15% to 30% to the total cost above if a general contractor supervises this project.
- Sales tax on materials and supplies depends on your state.
- Permit or inspection fees that your local building department may require.
Do regular pest inspections if you own a house. You can avoid further economic damage by contacting your local pet control company and discussing preventive inspections.
When you sell your property, you are required to disclose all the house inspections; failing to do so, you would be suitable to pay for the buyer’s overstated costs of having the termites exterminated, the termite damage repaired, and pay the buyer’s attorney fees.
2. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants vary in size and color but are black and generally large (1/4-1/2 inch). From time to time, swarms of winged carpenter ant breeders will emerge inside a house. Usually, in the spring, Carpenter ant swarms occur and are a sign that a colony is nesting within the structure.
Carpenter ants don’t eat the wood they excavate. They feed on a wide variety of plant and animal materials, including sweet substances, such as honeydew produced by aphids. Most of this foraging is nocturnal. Carpenter ants bite painfully but cannot sting.
The presence of carpenter ants can be a sign they’ve created a nest in the home; however, to determine if they’ve made a nest on the property or are just passing through for food, it is necessary to have an inspection. Here are some signs of carpenter ants in the house to help you determine your course of action
Costs of damages caused by carpenter ants
We generally hear much more about termite damage than ant damage, but both pests are bad news for our homes. Even when you think you have controlled their presence in your garden, they still find ways to access homes.
While termites can be a multi-million dollar problem, carpenter ants number in the hundreds of millions because the vast majority of wood pest damage in the US is due to subterranean termites.
Carpenter ants can enter a home through a variety of means. For example, they could enter your house through the firewood you brought. Your house may also have some cracks where ants can get through. In other cases, they may have invaded your home by crossing a tree branch connecting to it.
That’s why keeping up with your yearly maintenance inside and outside your home is essential. Anytime you start seeing pests in your home, it’s a red flag that your perimeter is under attack! A pest inspection costs from 250 to 700 dollars.
Repair the damages caused by the carpenter ants depend on the damage extent, but you can be ready to pay from 1,000 to 200,000 dollars.
3. Rats and Mice
The long front teeth of rats, called incisors, never stop growing; that is why rats need to be gnawing all the time.
Rats and mice can cause structural damage to homes, apartments, offices, and virtually any type of building through gnawing, nest-building, and defecation:
In your house, rats love to live inside the walls’ insulation. Some cheap construction has only the insulation inside the drywalls that later became the nest of dozens of rats or mice. It is recommended to put the insulation in place and to spend a little more and install panels To prevent rats get into your walls.
Rats and mice not only spread diseases but there’s another reason you do not want them anywhere near your home. Mice and rats chew on anything they see useful in building their nests, such as wood, paper, cloth, books, etc.
Rodent infestations are also a leading cause of house fires. If your house gets rats or mice infested, there is a big chance they will start working on the electrical wires at any moment.
The 2021 Fire Administration statists report shows that in 2019 occurred, 27,200 unintentional, careless fires. A significant percentage of these fires originated from rats or mice activities.
Cost of Damages Caused by Rats and Mice
Rodents invade your house or business looking for food or shelter. They can live anywhere inside your home, Kitchen, garage, basement, attic, walls, or bathrooms.
Pest control to eradicate rats or mice infestation can run from $ 300 to $ 2,000; this, however, is an insignificant amount compared with the repairs you need to do to your house. Sterilization, Replacing insulation, putting the shields to prevent rats invasion, drywalls, baseboard, and painting are costs that can go from $25,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Sometimes the damage is so extensive that the property has to be demolished.
Fleas are also associated with rats. The black plague or bubonic fever was a disease that killed millions during the middle ages of human history. The infection was transmitted when fleas from rats bit people. Rat urine is responsible for the spread of leptospirosis, which can lead to liver and kidney damage.
Other diseases caused by rats and mice include lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), a viral infectious disease transmitted through the saliva and urine of rats. Among others, illnesses transmitted by rats or mice are allergies and viral infections such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.
Leptospirosis: This is a bacterial disease that can be transmitted by contacting infected water and many more.
Cockroaches don’t damage your home like other pests, but they can burrow into electrical outlets and hide in appliances and inside walls in insulation. They chew on healthy metal or wood, such as support beams, heating ducts, or pipes.
Cockroaches, as rats, are deeply engraved in the human memory. Scientists believe that for millenniums these pests have shared space and habitat with humans causing diseases and allergies, which is why many people experience repulsion when they are around.
Damage to the home caused by cockroaches is usually temporary once the infestation has been eliminated and cleaning has been done. However, you may need to replace some electrical outlets, do some basic repairs, paint and decorate. The presence of roaches is not a good sign for your visitors, and it works against you if you want to sell the property.
Although there’s little evidence linking cockroaches and specific disease outbreaks, cockroaches can carry bacteria.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), cockroaches carry bacterias that, if deposited on food, cause salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cockroaches are carriers of intestinal diseases, such as dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid fever.
How To Prevent Home Damage Caused by Pests?
The most effective pest control is preventing plague from ever entering your home. There are inexpensive and easy steps to preventative pest control that you can take.
- Inspect the exterior of your home for any damaged areas that may allow pest sander like cracks in the foundation.
- Clean out your gutters of any leaves and debris.
- Make sure bushes and trees are always trimmed, so they don’t touch the house or foundation.
- If you have a ground cover like pine straw or mulch around your house, rake it back about six inches.
- Distribute any granular or compound around your home that may react to water to prevent pests from entering your home.
- Chose an insecticide and spread it around your homes, windows, doors, garage, and where the siding meets the foundation.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing the prevention yourself, you can hire professional pest control. Hundreds of good pest control companies do an adequate job and orient you on how to inspect your home and specific property spots periodically.
Some people think that preventing pest infestations is expensive. Unfortunately, much more costly is dealing with the devastating effects of infestations. As we have seen, damages can range from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A house with pest issues is a red flag to potential buyers. Neighborhoods are also affected to an extent when homes show signs of infestations. People who plan to refinance or sell their properties may face rejection from lenders and buyers.
Selling A Pest Infested House
Hiring a real estate agent is the traditional way to sell a house. However, the market demands that properties for sale fit specific standards. In general, properties for sale must be in perfect condition. Properties with pest issues will limit the opportunity to find buyers.
Suppose a homeowner doesn’t have the means to solve the infestation problems, say, hire a pest control company and repair the physical damages caused for the plague. In that case, they will have minimum or no chance to list their properties.
The harsh reality is that buyers will not bid on a house with records of infestation. In the best case, they would make an offer by chopping off a substantial amount, but the market is not the only alternative desperate homeowners have to sell their properties.
An off-market sale is a door that homeowners should consider. Investors are willing to purchase homes As-Is. Real estate investors offer many solutions to homeowners in need of selling their properties.
They will visit homeowners’ houses right after getting contacted. They will make an offer and close as soon as seven days.
Any house is a risk of being a victim of pests. However, homeowners can establish a routine to monitor and inspect periodically around the property to prevent infestations.
Sometimes pest problems are manageable; it does not require a significant withdrawal of money to correct them. Occasionally, the damage is extensive and almost impossible to resolve. Homeowners facing infestation problems can seek help from local authorities, hire a real estate agent, or sell their properties to an investor.