Warning! If you suffer from entomophobia – the fear of bugs – this blog may make you squirm. However, it’s better to understand what can cause bugs in your home rather than actually having them in your home!
Of course, no one wants to find bugs in their home. It’s like a nasty intruder coming in unannounced. Now, of course, you’re going to be seeing bugs in your house from time to time, but if these unwelcome guests are coming around frequently it could be a sign that you have a plumbing problem. So what’s the connection between a plumbing leak and an insect infestation? Let’s take a look.
Seeing Bugs Around Your Plumbing
While most people think insects come in through the drains, more often they’re slipping in through doors, windows, or other openings and then reproducing in the home. But why are they coming in in the first place?
Well, let’s say you keep a clean home but continue to see nasty bugs in the bathroom or in other plumbing-related areas such as:
- Bathtubs and showers
- Dishwasher and washing machine water lines
- Under P-traps, S-traps, and garbage disposal units
- Water heaters
- Crawlspaces and basements
- Around air conditioning units
- Areas under leaky sections of rain gutters
This could mean there’s an insect infection, and typically there are four issues at play.
1. Leaky pipes and faucets
A leaky pipe or faucet may seem like a minor issue that you don’t want to fix right away. However, not only can it cause hazardous mold and mildew, it leaves standing water to which insects are attracted. In time, they will make this area their nesting ground. That can lead to an abundance of pests like silverfish, carpenter ants, earwigs, drain flies, bathroom bugs, and the like.
2. Condensation on pipes
A slow leaking pipe in your walls or a pipe that produces condensation because it is a cold surface in a warm home can also bring in the bugs due to the humidity. Therefore, it’s important to be sure your hot and cold pipes are well insulated.
3. Clogged Drains
Most drain bugs thrive in moist environments so plumbing is perfect for them. Well-kept plumbing should keep them at bay, but if you’re letting your drains become regularly clogged, drain bugs will proliferate. That’s because they feed on organic matter like hair and food waste. Then, they will lay their eggs in the gunk that collects throughout your plumbing, leading to an infestation.
3. Sewer Leaks
Rodents and insects love sewers because of the bacteria and other waste products that they can feed off. So, sewer leaks will attract them, and then they can make their way into your home, bringing in harmful bacteria and disease. The most common sign of a sewer leak is very bad odors. If you keep catching a whiff or an unwelcome smell, call in a pro right away.
4. Rotting Wood
Bugs from water damage such as termites are also not uncommon. For example, if an unnoticed plumbing leak causes damage to the wood in your home, the now compromised structure becomes an open invitation to these wood-boring insects. Termites need a good amount of water to survive, so damp rotting wood plus the constant supply of water provided by a leak makes this an oasis for them.
The most common types of termites found in bathrooms are flying termites, which are termites that leave their colony to reproduce. Flying termites can produce a new colony of termites very fast if left unchecked.
Other Pest-Related Issues
Left unchecked, a plumbing issue can lead to even worse conditions than the ones described above. Consider the following situations straight out of many people’s nightmares.
You might not think much of a roach or two creeping around a leak. But, because pests like cockroaches are attracted to water, they can get into your drain and then your plumbing system. And, since they multiply quickly, they can eventually clog your drains. This will damage your plumbing system further, leading to an even worse cockroach infestation.
That rotting wood isn’t just a magnet for bugs. Rodents like mice can easily chew through it, entering your walls. They can also climb up in your plumbing pipes and leave debris in them. And, if they die in your plumbing system, they can cause a plumbing backup. This will create pressure in your plumbing lines and cause leaks, which will lead to insects, compounding the problem.
Bugs in Your House Don’t Always Indicate a Plumbing Problem
Some of the situations described in this blog are extreme conditions. So, just because you see a water bug in your bathtub or drain doesn’t mean you have a bathroom leak or that you should panic. But, if you continually see insects gathering in a particular spot, especially if it’s near plumbing-related areas, you’ll want to investigate.
If you uncover a plumbing leak during your investigation, clean up any water right away to deter insects and prevent further damage to your home. Then, call in the professionals. You may need to call a plumber to fix the leak and an exterminator to rid the home of existing pests. But, don’t wait until an infestation gets out of hand.
Have a Plumbing Issue in the Sacramento Area?
If you live in the Sacramento, California area and believe your home or business like a restaurant, may have a plumbing issue that’s attracting pests, contact the experts at Express Sewer & Drain. We can quickly diagnose and address the problem before it becomes a much bigger one!