From Wilmington to Asheville, North Carolina homeowners face a wide variety of pest problems. In addition to the scream factor of discovering a mouse or a spider, pests can be dangerous, carry disease, and damage your property.
Below, we’ll break down the worst pest problems in North Carolina and explain what you can do about them.
Which Pests are Most Common in North Carolina?
It’s not always easy to learn the full scope of a regional pest problem. Homeowners can manage pests in very different ways, and exterminators only know about the pest problems of the homeowners who call.
However, data on Google searches can provide key insight into the animal and insect invaders that are on people’s minds. Using Google Trends, we identified the top 10 pests being researched in North Carolina. The results reveal that snakes and spiders are a top concern.
10 Worst Home Pests in North Carolina
|Rank||Pest||Google Search Volume As a Percentage of the Top 10|
North Carolina Pest Problems
Because pest invaders can cause fear, the critters that people are most concerned about are not necessarily the ones that are the biggest threat.
Not all snakes are venomous, and some are beneficial to the ecosystem. However, concern about them is high in North Carolina. The fear of snakes in the home and yard exists across the country, and in a national survey asking people about the worst pest to have in the home, more than a quarter of respondents said snakes.
The data about pest concerns also includes both urban and rural threats, and pest problems in your home could be influenced by where you live. For example, residents in the city of Raleigh could face urban pests like pigeons or rats, and those in the rural parts of the state could have more spiders.
The wide variety of geography in North Carolina also affects pest populations. For example, fire ants are more prevalent in the eastern part of the state, while the emerging cicada brood is more likely to be a problem in the western part of the state.
When we looked at which animals cause the most damage to your home, it’s clear that both rodents and deer can cause property destruction if they get inside. However, the likelihood of damage varies. It’s much more likely that you’ll have rodent problems in your home than a deer will get into your garage, basement, or crawl space.
However, some people have joked about the state’s deer problem. When hunting in the rural parts of the state, it can be hard to find a deer, but there could be 15 deer in the backyards of Chapel Hill homes, causing havoc to yards.
What About Termites in North Carolina?
Notably, termites did not make the top 10 list of pests that North Carolina residents are concerned about. However, the state does rank as one of the worst U.S. states for termite risk, with termite mapping showing how populations are spreading, and homes in the southern part of the state now have a high risk of termite damage.
Termites can only live for a few days without water. That means homes with water problems are more likely to have termite problems. With moisture, humidity, and flooding being common, some say that waterlogged homes face the reality that it’s not if but when they’ll start to have a termite problem.
With termites causing $1 billion to $7 billion per year in damages, concern is warranted. Within North Carolina, Winston-Salem ranks as the top city where people are concerned about termites, followed by New Bern. Coincidentally, both cities also are named on the top cities in North Carolina for flooding.
What Structural Solutions Can Help You Reduce Pests?
In your home, pest control and extermination are key to managing pest problems. However, if you don’t resolve the entryways for how pests are entering your home, you’ll never get your pest problem under control. Here are three ways your structure plays a key role in pest control.
1. Seal the gaps and cracks where pests can enter. This is especially important along the foundation line where burrowing pests can use foundation cracks as an easy entryway to your home.
2. Make your property less inviting to critters. Damp soil, drainage problems, and wet mulch can all create ideal conditions for pests, attracting them to your yard. The same goes for the lower level of your home where a damp basement or crawl space create the perfect conditions for pests. By improving your basement waterproofing with interior drainage and sump pumps, you’re making it more enjoyable for you and less attractive to creepy critters. If you have a crawl space, encapsulating it with a thick and durable vapor barrier also makes it more difficult for pests to get inside.
3. Use materials designed for termite prevention. North Carolina building code requires that termite prevention practices be used for new homes, and homeowners making repairs can also get the same benefit. For example, homeowners who add our insulation panels to their basement or crawl space walls get the benefits of a clean, dry area while also protecting against termites. That is because our panels are treated to resist termites. When they are manufactured, a termiticide is added to the material.
What steps can you take to manage water problems and make your home less attractive to pests? Get a free inspection from Tar Heel Basement Systems.