Plumbing leaks are a common nuisance that wastes water, makes a mess, can drive up your monthly water bill, and is just an all around annoyance. Unfortunately, there’s yet another problem plumbing leaks can that may not immediately come to mind: household pests.

Just like humans, insects and rodents need water to survive. Just a little bit of water is enough to sustain something as small as an insect. For example, just a couple of water droplets left behind the bathtub can be enough to attract an insect. When there’s a plumbing leak, there won’t just be a couple of droplets; the problem is likely to be producing a steady supply of water, often where you can’t see it. This, especially in South Florida, can create an ideal habitat for all of the household pests we South Floridians are used to facing year-round.

How to combat plumbing leaks

Seeing a few pests in your house doesn’t necessarily mean you have a plumbing leak, but it definitely calls for some investigation. Take note of where you’re seeing bugs or rodents and inspect any nearby sources of running water. While there’s always a chance there’s a hard-to-reach leak somewhere within your walls, most leaks occur in places that are relatively noticeable and accessible, like under the sink. When checking for leaks around your sink, open the cabinets and look for moisture under your garbage disposal or sink traps (the U-shaped bend in the pipe under the sink).

Don’t forget to check underneath your fridge for pooling water, as this is an idea hangout place for cockroaches. If you have an automatic ice maker,  be sure to inspect the water line leading to your freezer. These lines are usually made out of plastic, and even the leak the size of a pinhole can produce enough water to attract an entire colony of insect intruders. In addition to inspecting this water line, make sure to check the water lines leading to your dishwasher, washing machine, and other other appliances connected to your plumbing as well.

If you locate a leak, you should repair it immediately or call in a professional for assistance. Even if you set up traps or put our poison to take care of the current infestation, if you don’t deal with the plumbing problem itself, it will continue to attract pests.

Make sure everything is sealed up tight

Another plumbing related way pests can get into your home is through the seals that surround the pipes coming through your walls. No matter how small, if there are any gaps between the walls and your pipes, pests will be able to get into your home. Ideally, any place your pipes enter your walls should be sealed with metal plates, rubber gaskets, foam insulation, or some other barrier. To help close any gaps, fix leaks or perform any other plumbing-related repairs or maintenance around your home, call a local plumber today.