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Carpenter Ant Damage

Causes & Solutions: Protect Your Memphis Plumbing System from Pests

From its rich music history to pork barbecue and one of the largest artesian well systems in the world, there are many great things Memphis is known for. It’s no wonder so many people are drawn to the area, right?

But, with the good, comes some not-so-appealing things for homeowners, like pests. They probably just want to be included in all the excitement of Memphis living, but that shouldn’t be a nuisance for you. So, what can be done? We’ve compiled resources for understanding and removing these pests so that you can take back your home once and for all.

What Attracts Termites to a Home’s Plumbing?

Pipe leaks create the perfect environment for pest infestations because they are drawn to a source of water. Not only can this lead to a lack of structural integrity in your home’s foundation, but it also creates a much more expensive plumbing repair.

Termite Damage

And beyond termites, there are other pests that enjoy the same creature comforts of moist, dark areas that plumbing leaks offer, such as:

  • Carpenter ants
  • Cockroaches
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Book lice
  • Silverfish

How to Help Stop Termite Invasions

The first thing to do is ensure that you don’t have any scrap wood, tree stumps, cardboard, or other organic materials close to the foundation of your home. Especially in the Memphis area, termites feed on these items, so you’re essentially inviting them over. Eventually, they’ll gnaw their way through. This is particularly true if your home has decaying or damaged wood, so be sure to replace it right away.

Regularly inspect the foundation of your home and be sure to also look for moist soil that could indicate a leaky outdoor faucet while you’re at it. Termites like those warm, dark areas that are generally left alone.

Why Are There Drain Flies in The Sink?

So, you’ve got flies that almost look like moths spending time around drains. Drain flies, also known as moth or sink flies, are about the size of fruit flies but are fuzzy and round in appearance. Though they have ‘fly’ in the name, drain flies tend to hop around rather than fly and are attracted to stagnant water in:

  • Sinks that go unused
  • Shower, tub, and storm drains
  • Sewers and septic tanks

Drain flies can lay up to 300 eggs within a 48-hour period, and they do this within the film that forms on the inside of pipes and drains where water pools.

Drain Fly

How to Eliminate Drain Flies

There are natural and chemical solutions for drain fly problems, depending on your preferences and the degree of infestation.

The natural methods you can use to control drain flies include:

  • Boiling Water – The easiest and first step to try would be simply pouring boiling water down and around the drain once or twice a week.
  • Baking Soda, Salt, and Vinegar – If basic water doesn’t work, another option is to combine a half cup each of salt and baking soda with one cup of vinegar to pour down the drain. Leave the solution in the drain overnight, and finish with boiling water the next day.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Plastic Wrap – All you need for this is a small dish to pour the ACV into, and plastic wrap to cover the dish. Poke some holes in the wrap to attract the flies into the dish.
  • Soapy Water, Sugar, and Vinegar – This is similar to the ACV method, but instead of using plastic wrap, combine a few drops of dish soap into a bowl with water, add some sugar and vinegar, and let the bowl sit. The thickness of the soap will prevent the flies from leaving.

Chemical solutions for drain flies include traditional drain cleaner and common pest control killers, though you should be careful where you use these chemicals and safe so as not to damage your pipes.

Top 3 Easy Ways to Prevent Pests from Getting into Plumbing

  1. Seal Doors, Windows, and Ducts – Even the smallest crack leaves an opportunity for rodents to get inside. Use screen mesh, wood, and/or concrete to patch up openings, and wrap any vents to keep pests out.
  2. Address Any Leaks – From storage closets to crawl areas, laundry rooms, and other utility spaces, you should monitor for leaks and take care of them as quickly as possible to mitigate potential problems.
  3. Inspect Your Water Heater – While water heaters generally won’t fail suddenly, they may have small issues that build up over time, which means it’s a good idea to regularly inspect. A few drops now can create the perfect environment for pests soon as water damage begins.
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