Let’s face it; one of the benefits of living in North Carolina is being able to observe our abundant wildlife. From birds to bunnies, there is no shortage of wildlife to see here in the Charlotte, and especially South Charlotte area. What Charlottean doesn’t enjoy the sight of a Mother deer with spotted fawns by her side making an appearance in their backyard each spring? Bear in mind, (minus the bears) those same cuddly critters we often see making appearances in our yards are often the culprit for causing major damage to our homes.
Along with the capability of extensive damage to our home’s exterior, wild animals are often a dangerous health hazard when they get too close for comfort! Being in the business of exterior siding, window and roofing replacement for over 25 years, we have seen and repaired damage to many homes ravaged by insects, bats and other animals. In this article, our goal is to help shed light on some of the common exterior damages, and dangers, animals native to this region can cause to your home, happiness and family.
Insects; they’re what is bugging you, and your home – We never want to undermine the benefits of having certain insects around, such as the honeybee and other beneficial pollinators. These insects help make the “circle of life” function properly for all of us. When someone thinks of damage to a home caused by insects the first thing that usually comes to mind is the termite. True, Subterranean termites cause more than $1 billion in damage to homes in the United States each year, but there are many other insects just as destructive. Carpenter bees for example, drill round entry holes into wood found on eaves, decks and siding, then create tunnels for their colonies once inside. Carpenter ants look for damp and decayed wood to drill tunnels, and can cause significant structural damage to your home too.
- Bats; more than just creepy – Bats often gain access to our homes through a degrading roof or missing vent in the soffit of your home. Bats only need minimal space to access your home and can enter through gaps as small as .38 inches (.95 cm). Once inside your attic or chimney bats can become a dangerous issue. Not only are they known carriers of rabies, their excrement (known as guano), carries a fungus known to cause Histoplasmosis. This illness is spread through direct contact with the feces and breathing in the feces. Ideally, you should wear a HEPA filter mask and spray the fecal material down with 10% bleach solution when cleaning areas that have been inhabited by bats.
Raccoons; the masked bandits of exterior home damage – These animals have quite the reputation for mischievous behavior. Along with dumping over trash cans, disturbing your landscape and stealing those Koi from your water pond as a light snack they can also injure cats and small dogs. Raccoons are also a nuisance to homeowners by gaining entrance to their attics and chimneys and causing extensive exterior damage in the process. If a raccoon is able to penetrate your home’s exterior and gain access into your attic or chimney they then become a health hazard to you and your family as well.
As you may already know, Raccoons are one of the primary carriers of the rabies virus in the United States, and are classified as one of four rabies vector species. The other three rabies vector species are foxes, skunks, and bats. Raccoon rabies occurs primarily in the eastern United States. Another serious public health concern associated with raccoons is a roundworm parasite. Humans can become infected if they accidentally ingest or inhale roundworm eggs that are passed through raccoon feces. Care should be taken and protective masks and clothing should be worn when cleaning areas that were inhabited by raccoons. Raccoons are also known hosts for Giardiasis.
- Squirrels; not so nuts about their nesting habits – Squirrels love climbing on houses and can cause damage to the outside of your home by chewing on everything from lead roof flanges and attic vents to wood shutters and siding. If they manage to get inside your walls or attic, squirrels are quite industrious and can cause extensive damage to your home, including chewing into wiring and tearing up insulation for nests. This is of particular concern now, as we move forward into the autumn with cold weather ahead.
Here at Belk Builders we are no stranger to exterior home damage inflicted by our furry friends and nuisance insects. We specialize in providing the highest quality vinyl siding and trim, premium roofing replacement and window replacement to our customers to help minimize possible damage inflicted to your home’s exterior. In addition we are the Charlotte area’s premier Hardie® Plank siding installer. Hardie® Fiber Cement Siding withstands termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and woodpeckers ensuring your home’s exterior remains damage free.
Contact Belk Builders for a free consultation and learn more about making your home “critter-proof” through the use of our quality line of exterior siding, window and roofing materials and expert installation. Call us at (704) 400-4710 or visit our website today!
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