Security and Safety

Protect Your Home From Pest Damage

By Jennifer Chappell Smith 7.9.18

When the weather heats up, it’s important to fortify your property to keep out insects and critters that can wreak havoc on your home. It pays to be aware of what’s out there so you can avoid costly damage.

A few maintenance tricks will help protect your home from pests and other perils, such as wildfire or wind. “Make sure you’re taking all the precautions you can,” says Alan Davidson, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agency manager in West Texas’ Howard County. “A well-maintained property can help with all of that.”

Preventive Measures

  • Keep grass mowed near your home to deter rodents from nesting there.
  • Avoid stacks of lumber, which could attract termites.
  • Remove piles of scrap metal or rusted-out cars or tractors, which make lovely homes for rodents.
  • Stack firewood away from your home instead of along the porch wall so that insects don’t take up residence in the logs and then travel inside your walls. “Termites are looking for moisture and cellulose,” Davidson says.

Signs of Trouble

Keep an eye out for anything unusual that could signal you have a pest problem.

Davidson once spotted a pile of sawdust by the bedpost of his daughter’s brand-new, wood-frame bed. He cleaned up the mess, but a few days later, more sawdust appeared. He returned the bed to the store, and sure enough, tiny holes in the frame led to the discovery of the dreaded powderpost beetle, which can burrow into wood inside homes and furnishings.

Stay alert to the signs to prevent injury, damage, and possible claims, and check out this comprehensive field guide to Texas’ summer pests so you can be sure you’re prepared.

Pest Coverage

Pet insurance may be a thing, but pest insurance isn’t. It’s important to catch signs of pest damage quickly, because most property insurance policies don’t specifically name pests as a potential problem.

“They’re not covered,” Davidson says, explaining that a property insurance policy names specific perils such as vandalism, fire, and wind, but not powderpost beetles, carpenter ants, and the like. However, your policy may cover damage that some critters cause — for instance, if a house fire starts because a rat chews electrical cords in your attic, then the fire damage would be covered. But it’s best to know what you’re up against and how to prevent damage to your home — or even to your family.

If you’re concerned about pest damage, call your local Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to review your property insurance. They’ll be able to clear up any questions you have about your policy.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2018 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance