Renovation and Pests – Advice From the Pros

By Chris Williams on November 4, 2011.


If you are planning structural repairs, renovations or major landscaping changes to your home, know that this could mean new pest problems. Repairs and renovations can flush pests out into new areas, destroy existing controls, or make the area more attractive to pests. Changes in foundation drainage can result in standing water and wet areas that can result in mosquitoes and other moisture-loving pests.


Home Remodeling.Opening up wall voids, roofs, and other hidden areas can disturb and displace pests such as carpenter ants, yellow jackets, and other stinging insects. It can also provide new entry points for crawling and flying insects. Anytime new services, such as cable TV/Internet, are added, openings where the new lines enter the house can provide entry points for pests and should be caulked or sealed.


Exterior Foundation Alterations.Examples include exterior waterproofing or reparging, adding rigid form board or other insulation, new penetrations for utility lines, and the addition of new structural elements such as planters, patios, porches, and window wells. The biggest risk here is disturbance and damage of any existing termiticide barrier in the soil which might then allow entry of termites.


Installation of Yard Irrigation Systems.New irrigation systems are often poorly aimed so that they spray the walls of the structure creating moisture problems that contribute to termites, carpenter ants and many moisture-loving pests. Work with your contactor to make sure that the sprinklers do not soak siding and that all areas drain effectively.


New Foundation Landscaping.Adding plants close to the house can damage termiticide barriers in the soil, increase the numbers of pests that do well in shady, damp areas (millipedes, springtails, etc.) and may provide access into the building for ants and rodents. The mulch that is often used around plants and up against the foundation is attractive to many pests and can provide protected entry into the building for termites.


If you have had a termite treatment around your home, or have termite bait stations in place, call us before you begin any outside renovations or repairs. We will temporarily remove termite bait stations and can advise you on how to proceed with your project with a minimum risk of pest problems.

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