According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you spend 93 percent of your life indoors. With most of your time spent inside your home, it might be worthy to note that you may not be as safe as you’d think.

What Lies Beneath

Pests, insects, and nuisance wildlife all threaten the structural integrity of your home. They weaken walls, flooring, and the beams that keep it upright. With the vulnerability of your home’s structure, the walls may cave in. Your property will not only be destroyed, but your and your family’s safety will be compromised, too.

Although you can get a local exterminator to get rid of the nuisance and eventual hazard, prevention would offer an ideal solution.

You should look for the warning signs of pest infestations. Determining the cause of the problem and performing the appropriate response to it minimizes the pest’s damage to your home.

Warning Signs of a Probable Infestation

Sometimes, pest infestations are subtle. You won’t notice the damage done to your property until it’s too late and there are holes on your walls. That said, there are ways to tell if pests are the root of your home’s structural damage.

The first thing you have to look for are tiny piles of sawdust nears walls or damp areas. These are actually termite droppings, and they are a definite way to determine termite infestations in your home.

Another thing to watch out for is bubbling wallpaper, swollen ceilings and floors, and visible mazes on your furniture. Insects and pests love to burrow under dark, damp areas. Look under your carpets, your wallpaper, and in your basement. Pests frequent these areas and, subsequently, these areas suffer from the most structural damage.

During spring, swarming happens. Swarming is when winged termites emerge from your home. Though these types of termites don’t pry on wood, they are definite signs of other termites and pests inhabiting your home.

What Different Pests Do to Your Home

couple disinfecting their homeTermites consume wood primarily. But these pests also chew on plaster, insulation, and metal siding. When they burrow into dark, secluded places in your home, they wear down these structures. Termites cause both cosmetic and safety-related damages.

These pests can eat into the very foundation of your home: flooring, structural beams, posts, joists, and wall studs. If even a small portion of these support structures suffer from damage, it can cause a collapse and cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars in repair.

Carpenter ants burrow into wood and insulation, rendering these structures hollow. These hollowed out structures easily crumble under simple applied pressure, and they cause just as much structural damage as termites do.

Mice and rats nibble through wood, plaster, insulation, plumbing, and even through wiring. These rodents wreak havoc in your home by boring holes through the walls, the flooring, and the ceiling. The damage they inflict on your home can be a safety concern and a fire hazard.

Raccoons inflict the same damage mice and rats do, but in larger doses. These animals tear through ducts, insulation, pipes, and destroy your roof.

Pests, whether they’re termites or raccoons, can turn into more than just a nuisance — a hassle. In the worst case possible, an infestation may compromise the safety of your home. From damaging the property’s structure to presenting a fire hazard, pests are bad news. So it’s in your best interest to get rid of them.