When pests like termites, carpenter ants, and woodpeckers invade your home’s siding, the damage they create can be overwhelming. Costly extermination, repairs, and even siding replacement may result.
Pest infestation destroys the function and looks of your siding and can lead to structural issues depending on which pests are involved and how long they have made your home theirs.
Read on to discover the most common pests that invade home siding and what to do about them if they show up at your house.
Pests that Destroy Siding and More
Termites cause more structural damage in the U.S. than any other insect. They cause more costly damage than other types of disasters too. The subterranean species are the most destructive type. They live underground and eat wood surfaces below the ground. If there is wood at the bottom of your home siding, there’s trouble ahead because they create hollow channels (feeder tubes) that destroy the structural integrity of the wood.
Termites are often hard to detect before it’s too late. If you think you have termites, tap your siding with a tool. If you hear a hollow sound, you may already have an infestation.
What to do about termites: Hire a pest management company to drive the termites out of your home. They will place bait around the perimeter of your house, and pests will ingest it and die.
These little pests love the insulation in your home’s walls, but they work their way outward to your siding as they become more significant in number. They are drawn to wet, rotting wood.
If you have carpenter ants, you may see little stacks of wood shavings or see the ants themselves. They are black and show up in flying swarms when temperatures are warm. Your attic vents, foundation, chimney, and vents are common sites for their nests.
What to do about carpenter ants: Set insecticide baits in any nests you find. If you suspect you have a problem with these pests, but can’t find their nests, consider hiring a professional who can locate them.
Powder post beetles
These pesky critters live inside wood and eat the starches in the wood until they reach maturity. Then, they tunnel out while leaving fine sawdust and small holes behind them. The easiest way to find them is to locate their exit holes. Due to creating multiple holes, they make wood look like a sponge.
What to do about powder post beetles: You can defeat beetles by cutting off their access to moisture. Standing water causes wood rot, and pests love to burrow into decaying wood. The solution? Keep your drainage system in good shape: gutters and downspouts need to be free and clear of debris so they don’t get clogged. Clean them twice a year so they don’t spill over onto your siding, making it moist.
Also — and only if your siding is not stained — you can spray wood preservative treatment onto it, which will deter the beetles. Another solution is to call an exterminator and have them apply pesticide to your siding’s interior with a wood injector.
These nuisance pests that look like bumblebees can be highly damaging to your home. They tunnel into wood to make their nests (which they reuse seasonally).
What to do about carpenter bees: You can defeat carpenter bees by destroying their nests. Fill their holes with insecticide and plug them with exterior caulking so they can’t return to them annually.
If you hear tapping on your home siding, it’s likely woodpeckers. They drill small holes into the joint where two pieces of siding come together. These pesky birds also make small holes along your siding’s edges, particularly if you have wood siding or cedar shakes.
What to do about woodpeckers: Once woodpeckers invade your wood siding, even if you repair their destruction, they will likely return annually. The best long-term solution to woodpecker damage is to replace your siding with an inedible material such as fiber cement, brick, stucco, or stone.
Rats and mice
Rodents chew on wood siding to gain entrance into your home and make it theirs. They climb easily and gnaw holes through your soffits, fascia, and around your attic to make their way inside your home.
What to do about rats and mice: Call a pest control company to have them eliminated.
How to Make Your Home Unappealing to Pests
Keep firewood away from your home siding
If you like building fires in your firepit and need a place to store your firewood, make it somewhere at least several feet away from your home’s perimeter. Insects are attracted to wood as a place to live; you don’t want to draw them toward your home siding by keeping wood near it.
Choose siding that keeps pests at bay
Fiber cement, brick, stucco, and stone are not edible or attractive as homes or mating grounds for pests like termites, carpenter ants, woodpeckers, squirrels, and other critters. If you’re in the market for new siding and want to ensure you won’t have to deal with the costly repairs and replacement siding needs pest damage creates, stick with one or two of these siding materials.
Trusted Siding Replacement for Your Southeast Pennsylvania Home
If your siding is damaged due to pest infestation, birds, small animals, moisture intrusion, or age, have it inspected and begin learning about replacement siding material options. Fiber cement and stucco are some great possibilities to consider.
At Porter Family Exteriors, we’re not a typical corporate company. We are family-owned and operated. We understand that living or working on a construction site is never easy. That’s why we go out of our way to ensure that our team is always polite and keeps your Southeast Pennsylvania property clean throughout your project.
If you have siding damage, take a moment to learn more about our siding services.