Friday, December 7, 2012

How to Protect Your Home Improvement Efforts from Unwanted Pests

Home improvement projects can open up your house to a variety of unwanted pests. Disturbances to nests, uprooting trees, and leaving doors open for long periods of time all invite creatures into your cozy indoor environment. But construction doesn’t have to be risky. Follow these five suggestions for keeping pests at bay, and you will be free to enjoy your newly renovated home – minus any unwanted house guests.

1. Keep doors closed

If contractors, builders, and workmen are coming in and out of your house all day long, they often leave a door open so they can enter more easily when carrying heavy materials. While this adds a level of convenience for them, it makes you susceptible to inviting rodents and other creatures indoors. Keep an eye on the door. Whenever it’s left open for more than a minute or two, shut it. You can also ask the team to be aware of this issue and only allow the door to stay propped open when it’s absolutely urgent.

2. Seal off old pipes and leftover building materials

For the most part, any debris or leftover equipment should be removed once construction is complete. From time to time however, there will be redundant plumbing pipes or sewer lines that provide the perfect hiding spot for pests, and no longer serve a purpose in your renovated home. Ask the construction crew to seal off any surplus materials to prevent pests from nesting.

3. Inspect the inside of your home regularly for new cracks or gaps that could have occurred during the renovation

While the point of a renovation is to improve the condition of your home, there is generally disarray during the process. During this time, exposure to the elements can create new openings in unexpected places. Check windows and walls frequently to ensure that nothing is amiss. If you do spot a new hole, seal it immediately.

4. Pre-treat vulnerable areas to prevent pests from entering

Digging, planting, and uprooting trees and bushes can displace hundreds of rodents and insects who will look to your home as the closest replacement. Treat doorways, windows, and basement areas with the necessary pest control measures prior to the start of construction to avoid an infestation mid-way through the project.

5. Block off vents and airways with thick cloth

Air vents, chimneys, and other ducts should be temporarily blocked off with thick fabric to prevent insects and vermin from crawling or nibbling their way through. Experts recommend ¼ inch thick hardware cloth to deter the creatures from entering your home during a renovation. This solution should work well short term, and is typically removed once the construction is complete and the environment returns to normal.

If they go undetected, pests that make an appearance during home repairs can lead to infestations and even cause expensive structural damage down the road.

Prevent pests from making themselves at home during the remodeling process by following the above tips. It’s advisable to consult with the main architect or contractor leading the project to discuss any concerns you might have. Professionals can establish an integrated pest management program that limits access to food, water, and shelter that can attract pests and create a problem.

This article was written by Kate Hassel.  Kate works with Moxie Pest Control, a Pest Control Company.