recognizing pest damage and how to repair
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3 Tips For Recognizing Pest Damage and How To Repair

Insects, birds and small animals can cause outlandish damage to your home exterior. The damage can be severe enough to cause serious structural issues with your home and repairing pest damage can cost you thousands of dollars. 

Want to know how to recognize pest damage and know when to fix it yourself or when to invest in a professional? Keep reading, and you’ll be a pest damage expert in no time. Or, get ahead of the curve and invest in pest-resistant siding material — specifically pest damage resistant fiber cement siding.

Types of Pest Damage to Home Exterior

The most disastrous exterior issues come from pests that burrow into certain siding materials, especially wood siding. They destroy both the effectiveness of your structure and its aesthetic appearance. Once you know the most common invaders, you are at least prepared to know what your next move should be. The most common culprits are termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and woodpeckers.

Termites live underground and feed on wood surfaces buried deep below the surface. But once they’ve expended those food sources, they create “feeder tubes” or hollow channels in your siding that destroy the integrity of your home. 

Carpenter ants are most comfortable in insulation and inner walls, but if their colony expands, they will make their way outward to exterior siding. They prefer moist, rotting wood, so their presence often indicates a problem with decaying walls as well. 

Carpenter bees are tiny pests that look like bumblebees but with a much higher capacity to do damage. They tunnel into wood to create nests and if you don’t destroy them, they will inhabit them season after season. 

Woodpeckers are hard to miss because they usually announce their presence with notoriously loud tapping. They attempt to drill into exterior corners where two pieces of siding join. They especially love homes that are covered in cedar shakes.

identify pest damage

Tips On Recognizing Pest Damage

Termites are hard to spot because they can often be extremely deep below the surface. A good way to test for them is with a screwdriver. Tap your siding with a screwdriver, and if you hear a hollow sound, that could mean trouble.

A carpenter ant infestation will look like small piles of wood shavings around your exterior. These are produced as worker ants tunnel into the surface of the wood. You also might see the ants themselves. They are small, black and produce winged swarms when it is warm out.  

Carpenter bee nests will look like burrowed round, smooth holes in your exterior. You often will also be able to spot hovering bees outside the perimeter of your home — or crawling inside of it.

Woodpecker holes will be small and will run along the edges of your exterior siding. With the noise they emit, they are very easy to catch in the act.

pest control professional

When to Fix It Yourself and When to Call a Professional

Termites can cause serious, sometimes structural damage, so generally, we suggest engaging with a professional pest management service to get rid of them. A pest exterminator will typically bait the soil surrounding your house with organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides.

Termites caused an estimated $5 billion in damage last year to homes, more than fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes combined. Don’t let yourself be included in that statistic.

With carpenter ants, you can often diagnose them yourself and you can buy insecticide baits for their nests at your nearest home goods store. You should also make sure to inspect your attic vents, your foundation, roof, pipes, chimney, and outer envelope vents because they commonly build nests there. If your problem is expansive or that sounds exhausting, hire a professional. 

Carpenter bees are easy to defeat without the help of a professional. Once you find their nests, you can destroy them by filling the holes with insecticide and plugging them with appropriate exterior caulking.

To get rid of woodpeckers, you can attach shiny materials or electronic deterrents to the side of your house. This is a humane way to make your siding less appealing to woodpeckers and their colonies. Or, you can set up a woodpecker feeder birdhouse which gives them an alternate place to nest.

pest damage costs

Estimated Pest Damage Costs

The pests detailed above can be terrible for your home and can go undetected for a long time without proactive patrolling, causing out of control infestations. Almost all of the pests can be controlled early on, but if you wait too long or miss a nest, you could be in serious trouble.

If a professional needs to be involved, the average cost to hire an exterminator or pest control expert is between $108 and $261 (usually before any work is done), depending on the magnitude of the problem. But, if you let wood-boring insects get so bad that they make your home structurally unsafe or advance to your window sills and interior walls, you are looking at tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.

It also differs if it is a one-time visit, an initial visit or a periodic visit. The typical one-time cost is $300 to $550 because of the amount of work needed. Just an assessment can be $180 to $185. And monthly visits as routine maintenance are usually $40 to $45. 

You might find yourself eyeing a cheaper siding option that has lower upfront costs. But what about the repair and maintenance costs associated with them? Your best option is to purchase a quality exterior siding material that is pest-resistant to start with, to help save your home from large damages and give you peace of mind.

fiber cement pest damage

How Quality Exterior Materials Can Save Your Home From Large Damages

Fiber cement siding is resistant to a plethora of types of pests and requires less frequent checks for pest damage. Termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, woodpeckers and other critters can’t invade the durable cladding that fiber cement provides: The fly ash and cellulose composite makes it virtually impossible. 

Nichiha’s fiber cement also meets today’s ever-changing safety and building codes for weather and fire protection. This includes wet-coastal areas that are prone to hurricanes and cold climates. 

Everyone loves the look of wood, but the risks aren’t worth the cost of repairing damage to your home — not to mention the time spent on preventative maintenance. Make fiber cement your number one contender. It will provide you with solutions for pest protection and give you style versatility with a resilient design that will last you for decades to come. 

Check out our pest-resistant fiber cement siding today. Or check out our gallery for inspiration.

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