The joys of home ownership — nothing quite fills that void within as that pride you often feel. But when pests invade, and that sanctity is broken, nothing is more disappointing than having it rain on your parade.
Coupled with the pest issue is usually the realization that your biggest investment is going to require a constant stream of maintenance and its accompanying expense. Welcome to reality and that unexpected price of neglect. Your pest friends welcome your procrastination.
OFA. Old and falling apart. It’s my favorite phrase. I use it regularly with my physician in lamenting about my self-diagnosis of my latest aches and pains. It’s also a phrase I find myself employing routinely in explaining why a home has developed a pest problem: settling foundation, sealant drying and cracking, worn shingles, broken fixtures, rusting parts.
Time really does fly. And as a homeowner, nothing says “spend money” as clearly as when you wake up to find your “new” roof leaking. Except that it was replaced 20 years ago. And its been 15 years since that hot water tank helped deplete your coffers.
Your emotions, and your wallet, would like to put off that needed fix. But your heart, and possibly that stream of ants, know that the new water stain on the ceiling certainly needs your attention. Pay now or really pay later.
Caulking and sealants are commonly used to keep water out from around windows, doors, vents and just about any protruding building element. As these materials age, they shrink and crack, allowing damaging moisture to penetrate. This creates an alluring environment for ants, termites, sow bugs and a collage of problems, including rot and mold.
While some sealants perform better than others, categorically they are off the radar screen for maintenance and attention. Countless problems can be traced to the failure of this inexpensive moisture solution. Windows and doors should be examined yearly.
Climbing up the price ladder from sealants, appliance replacements become the next inevitable expense. Take care of appliances, especially those that incorporate water into their function, like dishwashers and garbage disposals.
A dishwasher can suffer an agonizing demise, and it’s often slow and inconspicuous, spewing water into unknown regions. Accumulating moisture may eventually become visible. The legions of flies, ants and mystery odors now spell m-o-n-e-y.
I have found mouse lairs and carpenter ant nests within their rusting framework.
Garbage disposals tend to be another source of kitchen pests. Being fed just about anything left lying around, these devices can easily trap grease and other organic food debris within their mechanism.
While recommended to be updated every five years, this rarely occurs, and they are usually only replaced upon their death. Prime sources for plumes of flies and assorted gnats, these harbingers of food and water are a go-to for many pests. The first indication of a problem is an unusual noise or a most unpleasant odor. It’s time for this appliance to be shown the door.