Pests and insects not only endanger your health, but can also damage your home. Unfortunately, pests like nice homes for the same reasons humans do. They are looking for water, food, and shelter. If these conditions are available in your home, common household pests can easily move in. Common bugs that affect regular households include ants, firebrats, flies, spiders, and cockroaches. Pet owners also deal with ticks and fleas.
If left unchecked, pest damage can surpass $70 billion per year. This is why homeowners should consult a pest control company when renovating or redesigning their homes. If done properly, pest-proofing significantly reduces long-term pest management costs. Most homeowners rely on pesticide treatment, which can’t resolve the problem with a single application. Regular trips by pest management professionals can unexpectedly add up. Homeowners can control pests through the following tips.
1. Building Design
From flooring design to lighting, drainage, and airflow, homeowners should be cautious of various design aspects that attract pests into their homes. Pests can professionally find entryways and hidden places in your home. You should consider your home’s interior and exterior designs during construction and renovation. Below are a few building design tips that can mitigate pest infestation:
- Prepare the construction site – If you are planning to conduct a major renovation, start by extensively inspecting the site. Preparing the construction site involves demolishing and sealing old sewer and drainage systems, cleaning the site to remove all the waste, and more.
- Install door and window screens – While opening your doors and windows for better ventilation, especially during summer days, is practical, they are perfect entryways for pests into your home. Fortunately, you can enjoy unlimited ventilation from these openings without the threat of pests by installing door and window screens. For instance, the retractable fly screen protects your home from pests and adds an aesthetic element.
- Cover attic vents and crawl space with mesh – Some pests, especially mice, rats, raccoons, and squirrels, like using the attic and crawl space. Unfortunately, you can’t stop them from entering if you don’t have protective barriers in these spaces. Installing a mesh prevents their entry. Note that these pests also bring along mites, fleas, and lice, which can result in a full-blown infestation.
- Seal all gaps and crevices – Gaps and crevices, especially from the outside, provide perfect entry points for pests. Rodents and other pests can chew most materials, while mice fit even the tiniest crevice. Your renovation should focus on sealing all these gaps. Start from the foundation by installing at least 6mm thick reinforced concrete.
- Positive airflow – You should focus on creating positive airflow to prevent pests from being sucked into your home. Use air curtains on exterior-facing doors and windows where possible to prevent pests from being blown inside.
- Choose building materials carefully – Avoid building materials, such as stucco, which attract pests. Flat roofs also perfectly harbor flies.
- Avoid textured exterior materials – Opt for smooth and glossier walls and siding over textured surfaces. Rough, textured materials provide hiding spaces for pests.
2. Removing Pest Attractions
Food, water, and shelter are pest magnets. While removing these conditions is impossible, you should adopt various design aspects that prevent pests from coming inside. An easier way of diverting pests from your home is installing reflected light instead of floodlights in your backyard. These lights should also be 30 meters away from your home.
Properly positioned reflected lights give your guests excellent visibility and draw pests away. The lights should have light traps, which make it easy for pest control professionals to identify common pests in your backyard.
Apart from lights, you should also work on your drainage system. The sewer system should be redesigned to channel water away from your home’s foundation to avoid stagnant water, which attracts flies, mosquitoes, and other pests.
Flooring and the doorway also play a crucial role in pest management. Use hard materials, such as wood, tile, and vinyl, that are easy to clean and not pest-friendly. Similarly, avoid planting flowers and other plants close to your house. They perfectly harbor and provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests.
3. Observing Sustainable Pest Management Practices
You should also observe effective integrated pest management programs during renovations to keep your home pest-free. These programs provide handy guides on the best designs and materials least attractive to pests. These practices help homeowners redesign and build homes that are LEED certified.
Since integrated pest management programs encourage the use of least-toxic pest prevention and control methods, they significantly reduce the amount of chemicals around your home and the effect of pest control on the environment.
Pest control before, during, and after renovation is important to ensure that pest problems don’t arise after the completion of the project. Though often overlooked by most homeowners, ensuring that pest problems are handled timely and effectively during renovation is the best way to avoid long-term property damage and future pest problems. Consider hiring a pest control specialist to inspect your home before and after renovation.