Pest-proofing a home is a must in a home’s planning, designing, and construction stages. A home’s construction techniques, materials, and attention to detail determine its future pest prevention. That means including features that minimize pest infestation and enhance proper sanitation.
Pest control problems usually occur in openings like doors, windows, and chimneys. They also happen through heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. And crevices like plumbing openings, utility wiring and cable entry points, and fire sprinklers can be openings into which pests can enter.
To achieve a pest-proof house, here are some things you’ll have to consider and implement:
#1 Understanding The Prevalent Pests In Your Area
Knowing the pests in your area is essential to effective pest management. When designing your pest-proof house, builders, architects, and engineers should work with local pest professionals like TMO Pest and Weed or others close to your area. These pest extermination experts can help identify the prevalent pests in your area, their behaviors, life cycles, and appropriate pest-proof designs to adopt for homes.
For instance, builders need to design a foundation with material that rodents can’t dig through and gain entry into a home in areas with a considerable rodent population. On the other hand, termite pressure will also have an impact on material and design choices. Knowing which pests to expect every season will make controlling them easier and more effective.
#2 Analyzing The Physical Context For Each Building Situation
The surrounding buildings, utilities, climate, and vegetation can directly affect your home’s design when pest-proofing. An area with underground utilities, sewers, and tunnels can face a high rodent infestation.
Architects must pay close attention to possible entry points and seal them off. Rural areas with dense vegetation are likely to harbor mice, chipmunks, raccoons, and squirrels. Designers should also give special attention to gaps from the roof vents to the foundation in these instances.
#3 Designing For Easy Inspection
Unreachable utility boxes or hidden drains can defeat pest control efforts in your home. Coved baseboards are perfect hiding places for bedbugs, small flies, and ants. Inaccessible decks and foundations can harbor termite infestations. Built-in access to ceilings and foundations enables early pest detection, saves material replacement costs, and protects your loved ones’ health.
Easy access to hidden places also enables you to deal with moisture issues in the structure which promote decay. Furthermore, moisture issues attract insect pests like wood-boring beetles, cockroaches, carpenter ants, and millipedes.
#4 Using Durable, Pest-Resistant Materials
Building materials that resist and keep pests out of your home are critical when designing a pest-proof home. Selecting specific materials to resist particular pests is the key.
For instance, termites avoid certain woods like Alaska cedar, redwood, western red cedar, and incense cedar. Using these woods will make infestation less likely. Pressure-treated woods are also popular in places where there’s soil-to-wood contact or moisture exposure. The downside of wood, however, is that it erodes with time.
Non-wood alternatives that prevent insect and rodent invasion include aluminum, steel, and fiber cement. You can also use these choices for your home’s siding. High-density plastic can also frustrate gnawing attempts by rodents and are also impenetrable by insects.
#5 Eliminating Potential Hiding Spot
Pests prefer hidden spaces like false ceilings and false bottoms under cabinets. To avoid creating these spaces, you should design your home to minimize these spots.
Suspended ceilings should be made of cleanable panels. Solid ceilings should be adequately insulated to prevent mold growth, which is food to bacteria and other insects. You should also build non-absorbent walls and floors without crevices that you can also clean quickly.
Furthermore, you must leave cleaning spaces between shelves and the wall and install lights in areas where items are stored for easy inspection. Sloped window ledges should be part of your home’s design to deter birds and other pests from roosting and perching.
#6 Sealing Off Openings
Pests can squeeze and penetrate your home through the tiniest spaces. That’s why you need to seal off all exterior openings and spaces. Ensure you also screen attics, soffit vents, and crawlspaces to keep away rodents and other critters. Sealing off openings in your home’s exterior and all openings between rooms will improve pest control management.
Install close-fitting doors, windows, and glass because they can become entry points for insects such as mosquitoes and flies. Additionally, you must seal utility entry points where pipes and cables enter through the building’s exterior and small cracks in the walls using an elastomeric sealant. You can stuff larger openings with steel wool before sealing.
#7 Engineering Slabs And Foundations To Minimize Pest Entry
The way builders design foundations and slabs can affect pest control management, especially for rodents and small insects. Foundations and slabs with improper expansion joints provide easy access to pests like termites. Separating soil and wooden structures and minimizing concrete cracks during construction will inhibit termite incursions.
Appropriate concrete mixtures, minimization of expansion joints, termite mesh over joints, and termite-resistant barriers below the slab are some ways that can be employed to deter pest entry. Additionally, curtain walls under the foundation will be helpful in an area with a high rodent population.
Apart from health and safety concerns that pests bring, they can also degrade a building and interfere with its aesthetic. Rodent and termite infestations can quickly get out of hand and are sometimes discovered when they’ve caused significant damage. Moles can burrow through your foundation and gain access to your house if the foundation is compromised. Their rate of reproduction is something else you must contend.
If you’re planning to put up a pest-proof house or retrofit an existing one, ensure your builders and your local pest professionals work together to achieve your goal.