rat eating on the floorFrom rodents to bugs, many pests are drawn in by a plumbing leak. After all, living creatures need water, and a pipe leak is a reliable source in a sheltered, and therefore safe, area. Learn how plumbing leaks make your home vulnerable to different pests, and how to remove them.


The rodents that are attracted to plumbing leaks include:

  • Rats, especially black and brown rats
  • Deer mice
  • Other mice include birch, jumping
  • Chipmunks
  • Squirrels

Rodents have a tendency to find plumbing leaks in crawlspaces and next to foundations. They’ll frequently return to the source of the leak and, if the leak is the result of a gap in plumbing, take advantage of that gap to enter your home.

If you have water damaged walls, the smallest, smartest rodents like mice and rats will take advantage of them. They’ll bite the walls, making space for a burrow, and take up residence in your home. Especially during the winter, your warm walls are an ideal home for rodents.

The solution is to have regular inspections from plumbers to find any leaks or gaps in your plumbing and walls before rodents notice them and take residence.


Many insects are attracted to plumbing leaks. They can be divided into a few categories.

Wood-damaging insects:

  • Carpenter ants
  • Termites

Insects that damage wood can strike in the walls, on the exterior of your home, or in your furniture. A pest removal service can eliminate the initial infestation. Then, to prevent them from coming back, it’s smart to take have your leaks fixed. It may also be wise to run a dehumidifier to make your home less appealing to these insects while the moisture from the leak clears.

Insects that will destroy fabrics and other items include:

  • Booklice
  • Moths
  • Cockroaches

These creatures are opportunists. They can set up in paper, clothing, or your kitchen pantry. Chances are, where you find these, there will be a source of water nearby that you’ll need to fix.

Other pests:

  • Spiders
  • Non-carpenter ants
  • Camel crickets

While these small pests may not damage your home, they aren’t a welcome sight. The smaller a creature, the less water it needs, so it’s quite possible you have an infestation of these bugs without a plumbing leak. But, to be sure, you should have someone check for plumbing leaks after you have the bugs removed.

Larger Animals

If you have a convenient plumbing leak for larger animals, they will attempt to take shelter nearby, whether it’s under your home’s foundation, in your crawlspace, or even in your walls.

Larger animals that are attracted to plumbing leaks can include:

  • Raccoons
  • Possums
  • Rabbits

While rabbits are likely to drink and leave, raccoon and possums can be much more destructive and try to make a home near your plumbing leak. It’s just one more reason to keep an eye out for leaks. After you have your leak repaired, pest removal professionals can get rid of the initial pest infestation.