As a homeowner, there’s nothing better than having a beautiful home exterior that stands out (in a good way!).
On the other hand, there’s nothing worse than discovering your home’s striking exterior has underlying damage—often from pests. Unfortunately, termites, ants, and woodpeckers can wreak havoc on your siding and cause destruction to your home before you even realize it.
Before you become a victim of pest damage, discover why pests are attracted to your home, how to identify the damage, and the best way to protect your home and siding from these pesky critters.
Types of Pests that Cause Siding Damage
Termites live underground, where they feed on wood surfaces. However, if they find wood siding, they may eat their way through the board and create a “feeder tube”—a hollow channel hidden under the surface of the wood that compromises the structural integrity of the home.
It’s virtually impossible to visibly identify termite damage on your home’s exterior since the burrowing occurs within your siding boards. However, if you hear a hollow sound when you tap on your siding with a metal tool, like a screwdriver, you may have a termite issue.
Powderpost beetles rely on wood to survive. Their larvae live inside and feed on wood until they reach full maturity, and then they burrow out. These tunnels compromise the home’s structural integrity.
Typically, you’ll notice small “exit holes” where powderpost beetles leave your wood siding, as well as piles of fine sawdust surrounding the holes.
Carpenter bees look like regular bumblebees, but instead of living in a hive, they burrow in wood surfaces, creating nests they reuse every year.
To identify carpenter bees, look for small holes in your siding surrounded by sawdust, like powderpost beetles. However, to identify a carpenter bee problem specifically, look for a yellowish tint near the entrance of the holes created by bee pollen and excrement.
Carpenter ants build nests inside of wood, just like carpenter bees. Many carpenter ants have wings, and they are attracted to wet, moldy timber.
Carpenter ants usually start burrowing in your insulation and inner walls, so if you notice winged ants swarming around your home, you may have a more significant problem. These pests will typically only start burrowing in your siding as their colony expands.
Woodpeckers drill holes into wood siding and may tap on vinyl siding to create dents and cracks. You can identify woodpecker damage pretty quickly—just listen for the pounding noise, and sometimes, the calling sound the woodpecker might make to a nearby mate.
You can also look for small holes or dents in your siding to identify woodpecker damage. These indentations are often clustered together in small groups on the corners of your siding boards.
Squirrels and other rodents, like rats or mice, love to gnaw on siding panels. Although they are partial to wood, they will bite vinyl siding boards, too. Usually, rodents chew to keep their teeth from growing too long, but they’ll also gnaw on objects in an attempt to find or create a comfortable nesting space.
Typically, rodent damage will manifest on the edges of your siding boards. You’ll likely notice rough, splintery areas and even some chewed pieces at the bottom of your panels.
Reasons Why Pests Are Attracted to Your Siding
There are several reasons why pests think your siding is the perfect place to nest or burrow. Here are a few factors these pesky creatures find most appealing:
- Moisture—Pests are attracted to moist surfaces because they are easier to chew and provide a life-sustaining water source.
- Wood rot—When your wood surfaces are decaying, it becomes easier for pests to burrow through them.
- Soil—If your siding is flush against the ground and covered with dirt, insects can easily crawl from the soil onto your siding.
- Firewood—Since most pests are attracted to wood, keeping firewood near your home encourages these pesky creatures to chew on your siding, too.
- Trees—Large trees situated near your home provide the perfect launching point for rodents, like squirrels, to wreak havoc on your roof and siding.
Types of Siding Prone to Pest Damage
Wood siding is undoubtedly the most attractive option for pests—termites eat it, carpenter bees and ants burrow in it, and woodpeckers love to drum on it.
If you have wood siding, you can take precautionary steps to avoid damage, like keeping your siding dry and well-maintained and keeping soil away from your home.
However, despite your best efforts, you can almost guarantee that your wood siding will attract pests at some point.
Although less susceptible to pest damage than wood boards, vinyl siding can still suffer damage from woodpeckers and rodents.
Although woodpeckers prefer wood siding, they’ll still drum on vinyl siding, too. Plus, squirrels, rats, and other rodents will gnaw on vinyl siding, creating jagged edges and holes on your boards. Then, your damaged panels make the area between your home and siding a safe, accessible haven for other pests, like bees, ants, and beetles.
The Solution: Durable, Pest-Resistant Fiber Cement Siding from StateLine Exteriors
Instead of worrying when your wood or vinyl siding will attract pesky creatures, invest in a material engineered to deter these pests—fiber cement siding.
Fiber cement siding is made from a unique blend of sand, cement, water, and cellulose fibers to offer a long-lasting, durable exterior. This siding is too sturdy for woodpeckers to drum on, and ants, bees, and beetles can’t burrow in it. Plus, it won’t be eaten by termites or gnawed on by rodents, so you can be confident your home will remain pest-free for decades.
StateLine Exteriors installs long-lasting, attractive fiber cement siding to provide unbeatable pest resistance for your Kansas City home. Learn more about the benefits of fiber cement siding to discover why this tough, enduring option is the superior choice for your exterior.