There are a number of insects and rodents that can cause substantial damage to stand by generators units. In our area, these pests tend to vary by season.
Ants are a particularly persistent spring and summer problem in the state of Pennsylvania. They are attracted the generator’s control board, building their nest in or around the board. This can short out the electronics in the board, which is the control center of the generator. A control board replacement is a costly repair and when the damage is caused by insects or rodents, it’s not covered by the manufacturer or warranty. This is because it’s considered a pest problem not a manufacturer defect. Insect and rodent issues are something that manufacturer expects the homeowner themselves to be keeping a close eye on. While regular generator maintenance can help avoid the problem (since we clear our any nests we find during visits), ants move in quickly and it could happen between service visits.
You’ve probably already noticed that ants are more frequent visitors in your home during the springtime, which also means they’re more likely to build a nest in your standby generator during this time. But why are ants so much worse during the spring? The warm weather brings out all insects from their dormant state. And while it’s warm in the middle of the afternoon during the spring, it’s still a bit chilly at night; meaning ants are driven to find a place that’s warm during the night and has plenty of easily accessible food and water resources. Ants also seek shelter from the hot sun and spring rains by entering human homes or any other area that keeps them safe yet close to a reliable source.
Because the approach of spring assures that ants will be on their way, it’s important to be aware of their activity, both in your home and around your standby generator. Pest control services are a great way to ensure that both your home and standby generator are ant free. However, if a homeowner wishes to do their own insect treatments, they should be careful in choosing what treatments they use. As with all electronics or engines, liquids, traps and spray used in the wrong areas or ways, could cause damage to the generator unit. Our service trucks do keep pest control treatments in stock. If you are interested in adding a treatment to your maintenance services, please contact our office. The cost of this treatment is $15.99 and can be added to any Guerrera & Sons Electric service (maintenance or repairs). The treatment includes the use of baits and/or crystals that should have the ants under control within a day or two. Make sure to check it regularly and replace bait as necessary.
Another common spring/summer time pest to watch for are mud wasps (also known as Mud Daubers). These insects are a type of bee that like to make homes inside of generator enclosures. The mud like hives they create not only can cause a loss of air flow in the generator but they also damage the unit electronics. Unfortunately, treatments such as sprays can also cause damage to the unit electronics. The best method to keep these insects from damaging your generator is to regularly check and remove any signs of them. During a preventative maintenance visit, our technicians will remove any signs of nest/infestation but they it’s not uncommon for them to return between visits. Regular inspections are recommended.
Ants, wasps and other pests are definitely a nuisance, and they can also cause a lot of damage. Keep an eye on your home standby generator to make sure it’s not becoming a shelter for pest this spring/summer and give us a call if you have any questions about your generator.