Having trees in your yard can be great. They provide much-needed shade in the summer and breathtaking beauty year-round. However, what we often overlook is how that lovely foliage can also harbor many pests.
Both insects and animals live in trees. Some of these creatures can even get into your home and become nuisances. Some examples include:
- Roof rats
- Carpenter ants
Read on to learn more about these pests and how they can become a nuisance for homeowners.
Animals That Live In Trees
Squirrels. Bumping sounds in the night might well indicate that squirrels have moved from the trees in your yard and are nesting in your attic. Squirrels often find living in attics convenient, and, with their strong teeth, they’re very good at gnawing their way in. One big problem posed by squirrels is that they are rodents with continuously growing incisor teeth, which means they are frequently gnawing. They may gnaw on your electrical wires (which can be a fire hazard), support beams and other structural components in your attic.
To help keep squirrels out of your attic, seal all potential entry points. Trim tree branches six to eight feet away from your house so squirrels can’t use them to reach your roof.
Roof rats, which are generally found along the coasts and in some port cities, can be found traveling through trees around your yard. Unlike many rodents, roof rats prefer to nest above ground, so they instinctively gravitate to high places. They’re skilled at climbing and can leap both horizontally and vertically. Unfortunately, their search for food, water and warmth often draws them into the upper floors and attics of buildings and homes.
Like other rats, roof rats can carry pathogens that may cause disease. These rats, who are constantly chewing, can also chew through electrical wires, potentially causing a fire in your home.
To help prevent roof rats from moving into your home:
- Trim tree branches so they’re not in contact with fences, wires and roof tops.
- Remove materials from your yard that can attract rats, including human and pet food. Place compost heaps in containers with tight lids and, if you have fruit trees, don’t let fallen fruit remain on the ground.
- Contact a professional about removal and exclusion services.
Insects That Live in Trees
The number of insects that can be found in trees is virtually infinite, but here are several of the more common tree pests.
Carpenter Ants. Carpenter ants like to nest in moist and damaged wood. Because of that, it's common to find carpenter ant infestations in trees. And if tree branches aren't properly maintained, then they can create a bridge from the tree to your home where these ants may establish satellite colonies. Ants may move into your home in search of food and establish nests in damaged wood inside your home, potentially causing structural damage as they begin tunneling. To help prevent carpenter ants from nesting inside your home:
- Keep firewood stored away from your home.
- Remove dead wood from around your home's foundation.
- Keep tree branches trimmed away from your home.
- Make sure all plumbing leaks in and around your home are properly repaired.
While carpenter ants are an example of pest insects that can live in trees and find their way inside your home, there are other insects, like beetles, that can be a nuisance to the tree itself. Beetles of concern include:
- Emerald ash borer
- Asian long-horned beetle
- Southern pine beetle
Should animals and insects that make their home in your trees end up finding their way into your home, give Terminix® a call. Our trained professionals are ready to step in and assist you with your pest problems.