Can Plumbing Leaks Cause Household Pests?

Statistics from a survey sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that almost 50% of all buildings in US cities are infested with pests including cockroaches and rats. Besides threatening human health, these pests can cause substantial structural damage to buildings as well as plumbing leaks. This is according to the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM). Below is some more information about how pests are attracted to plumbing leaks and, in some cases, can even cause plumbing leaks.

Termites

how to prevent household pestsSince termites require water to survive, they tend to gravitate towards water sources such as dripping faucets, bathtubs, toilets, drains, sinks, bathrooms, and leaky water pipes. In fact, they prefer environments where they can easily access cellulose-containing materials such as timber. More worryingly, a research paper published by Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences says termites can establish colonies without ground contact provided they can access food and water from elsewhere. As such, they can damage above ground structures, especially those near sources of condensation or leaky pipes.

Rats And Mice

Larger pests such as rats and mice can cause serious water pipe blockages after accessing a building’s plumbing system via the sewer system. According to a publication prepared by the US Department of Health & Human Services and the National Center for Environmental Health, rats and mice prefer to scurry along walls or between objects that allow them to maintain contact with the surrounding surfaces. In fact, the UC IPM says that mice can squeeze through small spaces measuring about ¼ inch across, jump as high as 12 inches (from flat surface to flat surface), run up vertical rough surfaces, and run along cables/ropes. This essentially means that mice can easily get into your home’s plumbing pipes and clog your plumbing system. If this happens, it will ultimately lead to plumbing leaks because pressure will build up inside your plumbing pipes causing them to break/burst.

Cockroaches

household pests and plumbing leaksAccording to the Armed Forces Pest Management Board, the US is home to 55 cockroach species and they freely move from one housing unit or room to another via plumbing and utility installations. Unfortunately, cockroaches can clog sink traps causing plumbing problems including dirty water buildup in sinks and leakage beneath.

 

Fix Your Plumbing Leaks to Control Pests

To prevent pest-induced damage to the plumbing system in your Easton, PA home, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends finding and fixing all leaking water fixtures or plumbing leaks. For instance, leaky faucets tend to have worn out washers that you can easily replace. In addition, remove or seal all sources of water, shelter, and food. This includes garbage cans, food leftovers, and areas where water accumulates in your home. A study in the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives found that the likelihood of pest infestation increases tends to be high in dirty homes with peeling paint and water damage. Some plumbing leaks are obvious such as a leaking faucet. However, there are also possibilities of water leaks that you might be unaware of. Be sure to have a professional plumber come out and inspect your plumbing system.

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Conclusion

Household pests such as mice, termites, and cockroaches can cause substantial damage to your home’s plumbing system. Luckily, you can prevent this from happening by fixing all leaky water pipes, keeping your home clean, as well as ensuring there are no easily accessible sources of food and water.

Not only do plumbing leaks promote household pests, but they waste water and can cause health issues for household members. Water causes mold and pests carry diseases. It is advisable that you get any plumbing leaks fixed right away to prevent the numerous problems that are associated with them. For a professional plumber in your area, Robinson Plumbing can assist you with any plumbing questions that you might have as well as address any of your plumbing needs. We also specialize in leak repair services. Robinson Plumbing is a local, family owned company that is known for trusted, quality service.

We service Bath PA 18014, Bethlehem PA 18015, Easton PA 18040, Martins Creek PA 18063, Nazareth PA 18064, Riegelsville PA 18077, Stockertown PA 18083, Tatamy PA 18085, and surrounding areas.

Call us today at (610) 351-9889 or contact us for any questions that you might have!