Are damp patches appearing from nowhere? Are strange smells and noises emitting from your home? You could be under siege. Mother Nature certainly has us on our toes as the weather, plants and critters can all wreak havoc upon our homes and cause considerable damage. Check out 10 of the most notorious property pests below…
Incredibly invasive, Japanese knotweed forces its way through the concrete walls and floors of properties, causing serious damage. The plant itself is quite pretty, meaning many people leave it unattended to creep into their properties. The weed is a serious threat to properties and needs to be eradicated to protect all home in the vicinity as it can creep and attack other structures.
Whilst they appear as the fluffy tailed critters who mooch about our gardens, squirrels can be utter terrors if they take a shine to your property. Sidings, drainpipes and soffits have all felt the nibble of squirrel teeth at one point or another. Furthermore, if you can hear the pitter patter of feet in your attic, prepare that they are hunkering down in your home and it won’t be pretty when holes and scratches appear on the external faces of your home.
The Deathwatch beetle
If your property has been affected by fungal decay in the past you are more susceptible to deathwatch beetle infestations. Their prescence will appear in the form of weakened and damaged timbers. They like to infiltrate damp wood inside your home and can chomp away at fixtures and fittings until there’s nothing left.
Dry rot spores are not harmful to your health, but it is a sign that there is excessive moisture in your property which could make you ill. Dry rot itself is a fungus which digests damp wood, leaving it dark in colour and heavily cracked. This can affect the structural integrity of your home as the wood becomes weak.
Unlike dry rot, wet rot is a general term used to describe an array of ways in which fungi caused by water can destroy the home. Wet rot occurs on timbers that contain over 50% moisture, where dry rot needs only 20% moisture to germinate. Wet rot is much easier to notice due to typical water damage stains and it can cause considerable damage to walls, ceilings and floors.
If you have noticed strange holes in your wooden surfaces and small piles of fine sawdust around your property you could have a woodworm infestation. Often people are not aware of woodworm until the damage has already been done. However, left untreated, woodworm can weaken timber in your property and cause structural failure.
Rising damp is often noticed by the internal water damage it causes to walls of a home. It is caused by moisture travelling from the ground and up through the capillaries of the wall. Rising damp is rare as most homes have protection. But, if you notice tide marks, damaged paint or wallpaper and orange water staining around your skirting board you need to seek expert help.
Nothing is safe in your home is silverfish have intruded. They will feed on anything containing starch or cellulose, meaning plaster, painting, photographs and books are not safe. Silverfish are insects which love high humidity locations in the home so tend to be found in the dark corners of bathrooms, kitchens, basements and attics.
Mice and rats
Whilst most homeowners don’t want mice or rats in their house due to the fact they leave droppings and contaminate food, many don’t realise they can cause an abundance of damage to properties too. It must be remembered that mice and rats are gnawers and will chew just about anything to make their nests, including insulation and electrical wires.
Most moths in the UK are harmless. However, they are a few species that lay their eggs in our stored belongings. When the larvae hatch this is when the damage can be caused. Clothes, carpets, soft furnishings and anything made of fabric can become moth larvae victims if undetected over long periods of time.
How can I stop pests destroying my home?
With most of the flora and fauna above you are going to need to contact a pest specialist. Most pest control companies also offer property care services, meaning you can have your property free of the culprit and any damaged fixed. Whether plant, insect or mammal, do not try to fix the issue yourself as you could put the structural integrity of your home at further risk.