Written by: Stuart Steele
Renovations are stressful, and when pests get in the middle of it, it compounds the tension and could make your project feel like it’s all toppling over. If you are about to embark on a home or commercial renovation here are a few things to consider to keep the pest issue at bay.
We share our spaces with other creatures
Whether we like to admit it or not, our homes and workspaces exist in the natural world where we co-exist with other creatures. When you take on a renovation that reorganises or disrupts the current organisation of said space, it may cause critters to come out of the proverbial or literal woodwork.
For instance, when you dig a new foundation for that garage extension you may uncover a termite nest that will now look for a new safe place to nest. It is likely that the more dormant pest problems you may have had will simply become more obvious when you start looking in places that were previously not accessible/visible.
Check the raw materials
When you are in the process of renovating, you will see bakkie loads of ‘ingredients’ arriving on your property. Since some of those ingredients such as roof beams may have been outside and exposed to the elements it is plausible that they can carry a whole array of insects inside them. Make sure to check each load for pest activity, and in particular the roof beams/ trusses- have them inspected to be free of wood-destroying insects such a wood borer beetle, as these have the potential to have large financial implications if fumigation is required once these beetles are in the house.
New foundations offer termite pre-treatment opportunities
If your renovation includes requires a new piece of foundation it is a great opportunity to have this foundation pre-treated for termites to prevent very expensive treatment for a few years to come, as the application is guaranteed for a five year period. It is also possible at this point to also review the rest of the property for potential termite infestations and dealing with them in the same go.
Check that your windows and doors are airtight
If your renovation includes any new windows or doors, check that they close properly and give you as close as an airtight seal. This will help you keep critters out for many years to come. Many newer doors also include a brush or rubberised finish on the floor level which can help to keep pests out if the doors are closed. Although this is not a foolproof way of keeping bugs out, it certainly helps in the long run.
Pest Control costs are only a fraction of a renovation
If you maintain your newly renovated home or commercial space in terms of pest control it may prevent very expensive renovations or repairs down the line. For instance, if termites or rats get into your structures, they can do incredible damage that may lead to structures becoming unsafe. Maintenance from the word go can prevent a lot of this at a fraction of the cost.
Consider a pre-occupation pest treatment
Before you move back into a newly built or altered space, it may be the opportune moment to have a pre-occupation pest treatment done. This may buy you some peace of mind at a minimal cost that at least for the first few months of occupation should keep pests at bay.