There’s nothing like spring cleaning to point out the spots in your house that could use some work. Now that the weather is nice enough to allow for repairs, you might have a list that includes everything from minor updates—like cleaning the gutters—to major renovations—like installing a new deck.
Renovating your home is exciting and challenging, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in how it’s going to look, how much it’s going to cost, and how long it’s taking to finish. But there’s one often-overlooked aspect of home renovations that you shouldn’t forget: whether or not your renovations are inviting pests into your home.
Home repairs can act as a flashing neon sign attracting pests to your home: after all, when else are the doors and windows of your house thrown open, with building materials scattered everywhere and dust and dirt tracked inside? However, with some careful planning, you can prevent future pest problems.
Here’s what you should do before, during, and after renovation to help avoid an infestation.
Before Your Renovation
Contact a local pest control expert. Knowing what pests your home already has or is at risk of having will help you develop a pest-free renovation plan.
Do proactive pest control. If your home will be undergoing renovations for months, it will be particularly vulnerable to invading pests. Talk to a pest control expert about preventative options (like treatments, baits, etc.).
Consider the weather. Many pests are attracted to moisture, so they love building materials that have been left out in the rain. Try to plan your construction to take place when it’s going to be dry.
Choose materials with care. Certain materials, like pre-treated wood, non-cellulose building materials, and LED lights, are less attractive to pests. Avoid thick mulch, especially near the foundation of your home, as mulch is attractive to termites and carpenter ants. Also research the greenery that you will be planting to find out whether pests like it.
During Your Renovation
Take action whenever a problem arises. Renovations are a prime time to address any weaknesses in your home’s pest defenses. During construction, look for cracks in the walls, gaps in windows and doors, and other points of entryway for pests, and seal them as soon as possible. Do this more than once: even the most careful of construction crews can cause minor damage through which pests can enter your home.
Cover windows and doors. Ventilation is important in construction, but you don’t want pests to walk or fly right into your home. Use plastic sheeting and screens as much as possible instead of propping open windows and doors.
Keep the site as clean as possible. Food and other waste will attract rodents, cockroaches, and other pests. Try to keep the area under construction as clean as you can. Make sure that your garbage cans have secure lids and are emptied daily.
Store materials in a dry location. Make sure that materials are going to be delivered right before they are used. If that’s not possible, store all materials in a dry, enclosed place (like a garage) under plastic sheeting so they are protected from moisture and pests.
Check for water issues. Water attracts pests. It can be in the form of standing water, leaks, or wet building materials. Make sure that water is draining properly, that any leaks are fixed, and that materials, such as insulation and drywall, are dry. (You can use a dehumidifier to help speed along the process.)
After Your Renovation
Schedule a final inspection. Ask a pest control expert to do a final inspection of your newly renovated home to ensure that nothing has gotten in during the remodel.
Perform regular checks. Pests are an ongoing problem, so it’s not enough to check for them once. You can learn the signs of a different pest infestations on our blog and in our pest library. Keep this in mind going forward so that your home stays beautiful and pest-free!
Concerned you might have an infestation on your hands? Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.