Design Considerations for Pest Control

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Whenever doing a home remodeling project, it can be helpful to plan ahead to minimize the impact of pests on your residence. Natural pest control consists of removing entry points, and eliminating food sources and spaces that promote infestations.

Here are some examples of things that can be taken into consideration to make your next home remodel as unfriendly to pests as possible.

Baseboard: In the design process, use straight baseboard rather than cove baseboard materials. Cove is characterized by a outward flare at the bottom of the board near the floor. The problem with cove is the outward flare provides a space for pests to live. Also, the adhesives used to install cove base may provide nourishment for cockroaches. Use baseboard that does not have gaps and install them using nails or screws.

Carpet: Wet, damp, or moist carpet can provide a happy home to a variaty of pests, including cockroaches and fleas. The mold that commonly grows on wet carpet is a food source for these pests. Thus, avoid installing carpet in damp basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and entryways.

Doors: Human entraces to our homes are also one of the preferred entrances for pests. Here are some tips for doors and doorways for natural pest control. First use solid core doors if possible as they do not have hollow areas inside where pests could live. Also, make sure all doors close and seal properly. When possible, use automatic door sweeps, which automatically seal against the floor. If automatic door sweeps are not practical for the situation, bristle sweeps are better than rubber or plastic. And remember, all exterior doors should have self-closing mechanisms to ensure they close and close tightly. Additionally, weather stripping exterior doors can add yet another layer of protection to your home.

Built-In Furniture: Many houses have a variety of permanently built-in furniture, like desks, entertainment centers, book cases, cabinets, seating, and even bed frames. All of these can provide homes for bedbugs, and it’s often difficult or impossible to inspect them. If at all possible, from a pest control perspective, avoid all built-in furniture in your design. Or at the very least, provide access so they can be properly inspected.

Countertops: Bathroom and kitchen countertops are a common hiding place for many pests. The best option is to have a one-piece countertop with an attached backsplash. In all cases, countertops should be sealed along their edges with an elastomeric sealant.

Tub and Shower Enclosures: Bathroom moisture can cause many pest problems, and bathrooms with multiple piece tub and shower enclosures are prone to more problems. Moisture can seep between the various panels. It is highly preferrable to use one-piece tub and show enclosures when possible. All bathrooms should have a fan, and ideally, the fan should automatically turn on if moisture reaches certain levels.

Building Materials: The building materials you choose for your home remodeling project can go a long way toward providing natural pest control. For example, brick, concrete, stone, metal and hard plastic are all termite-resistant. Similarly, brick, stone, and metal can be resistant to rodents, depending on the thickness of the materials used.

Ease of Inspection: The simple fact is, pests will find a way to enter your home and cause problems. Creating a design that makes inspection easier is therefore a critical design consideration. Avoid creating spaces that are inaccessible for an inspector. This can be accomplished by making sure false ceilings and crawl spaces are large enough for a human to enter. When it is impossible to provide such space, still create access points that allow remote inspection.

If you take these factors into consideration during you design process, you dramatically enhance your home from a pest control perspective. Take the time up front to avoid problems later.

This is a guest article from Crazylegs Pest Control, a San Francisco-based exterminator that has a nation-wide presence. Check out their website here http://crazylegspestcontrol.com and see if they have a branch office near you (Crazylegs Pest Control Services by State).