Pests Can Already Be “Built-in” in Your New Home
By Chris Williams on January 21, 2011.
Q. We just moved into our newly-built dream house three weeks ago. This morning, I found a bunch of tiny insects that look like beetles in the bedroom closet. I never saw these in our other house so I don’t think we brought them. How could we possibly have insects in a brand new home?
A. While you would expect your brand-new home to be clean and fresh, and pest-free, it’s actually pretty common to find out certain pests have already arrived ahead of your move-in. These are usually insects that were either already in the building materials or that are attracted to the high moisture levels in a new home.
Many wood-boring insects infest dying or freshly felled trees or unseasoned wood that is waiting to be processed or milled. The beetle larvae can continue to develop in the wood after it has been used in the home. Most of these insects develop slowly so their presence may not be noticed for months or even years after construction. You might see the insects’ tunnels or exit holes in the wood, or sawdust beneath the wood. Fortunately, most of these beetles will not reinfest the wood in a home once they have emerged.
There’s a lot of moisture in new construction materials…green lumber, damp drywall or plaster, new wallpaper…that can attract other types of pests. Fungus beetles, foreign grain beetles, and booklice are just a few of the pests that feed on fungi (molds and mildew) that grow on surfaces. For example, in new homes, accumulations of sawdust behind walls can grow mildew, as can the paper backing on insulation. Often, you can’t even see the mold but you can detect a musty smell.
The good news is that once your home dries out and the relative humidity drops, moisture pests will disappear. The bad news is that this can take a long time. You can speed up the process by installing fans and dehumidifiers, turning on central heat or air conditioning, installing vents, and opening up infested voids or other spaces to let them dry. Give Colonial a call. We can determine which type of pests you’re dealing with, and we can advise you on moisture control measures that eliminate pests. Contact Colonial Pest Control today!