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Planning to Build a New Home?

By Chris Williams on January 4, 2012.

If you or someone you know, is building, or is planning to build a home—read on to learn how to reduce post-construction pests. People are often dismayed, when they move in, to discover that their brand-new home already has pests. Pests get into new construction in several ways. Some are accidentally “built-in” as the structure is gradually closed in. Certain wood-boring insects may already be inside the lumber before it is used. Spiders, centipedes, and other yard pests may take refuge inside stored or stacked building materials and be introduced that way. Many insects in new homes are there because of the high moisture levels from green lumber, damp drywall or plaster, or new wallpaper.

Taking the steps below will make building materials, and that new home, less attractive to pests:

·        Timely delivery of building materials –The builder should work with other suppliers and contractors to reduce the amount of time that wood and other materials are sitting on site where they can be infested. Materials should be delivered only when the contractor is ready for them.

·        Sheltered storage for building materials –Materials should be protected from the elements, and from pest infestation, as much as possible. Having storage trailers on site is a good solution. Some builders will complete the garage first and will then move doors, drywall and other materials into the garage. Stacked materials can be protected with plastic sheeting, but they should be checked frequently since moisture can build up under the plastic.

·        Use of pretreated materials –In certain situations, the builder may be able to use wood or insulation that has been pretreated to repel insects. There is also treated hardwood mulch that can be used around the foundation.

new-houseWith the cooperation of the builder, you can have a pest control company do a preventive treatment of the property while construction progresses. Buildings that are in the framing stage of construction can be treated, before insulation is added, with a residual insecticide to keep insects from entering voids before they are enclosed. An exterior perimeter treatment can intercept foundation pests that are attracted to the higher moisture levels in the new building.

Moisture-loving pests will disappear once the new home dries out, but that can take a year or more. To speed up the process, have vapor barriers installed in crawlspaces. Strategic placement of dehumidifiers and fans, and the installation of vents will also help reduce the moisture in new construction.

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