Most people give very little thought about "pre-treating" a home during construction. This article will outline these treatments after we discuss several misunderstandings the general public has about building materials and construction methods. Although fungus is not an insect, it is also mentioned since it very often is a pre-cursor to wood damage both directly and indirectly. |
Virtually all pests find their way into our homes through cracks, crevices and hundreds of routes of entry, which are available in every house. There are too many to list, and the point of this discussion is to make you aware that most pests will use these points of entry to gain a foothold into your home. Once established, they will breed and grow in number. Many people think there is something magical that can be done before, during or right after a home is built which will make it insect proof. This is simply not the case. There is no one thing that will make your home free of insects forever, and the pesticides available to both homeowners and professional pest control operators are designed to breakdown very quickly as mandated by the E.P.A. Since most infestations occur after the home is built, ongoing preventive maintenance outside the home is fundamental to keep invading pests to a minimum, however pre-treating is the key to getting started on the right track to keeping your home free of pests for years to come.
What about certain types of wood (pressure treated, cedar, etc.) or construction methods that make claims to be insect proof? Though termites and other wood destroying organisms will "typically" choose another wood source over pressure treated lumber, please keep in mind that pressure treated wood is used on less than 1% of the entire structure (typically only on the sill-plate, and perhaps a few other areas). Another common misconception is that cedar is insect proof. People have stated that they choose their house to be made with cedar because the "builder said" termites and other pests will never touch it… Don't choose cedar for the siding on your home because you have been led to believe it will be "pest proof" - choose it because you like the look!
It's not going to happen… However, it is worth the effort. But again, this is not pest control or pre-treating. This is mechanical control. In other words, by minimizing gaps and seams through which insects can enter you can reduce the amount of pests. But remember, insect infestations generally don't occur because of continuous migration inside. Most happen because one got inside and produced young. Remember, it only takes one to start a problem, therefore, if you want to stop an infestation from happening in the home, you will need to:
* Minimize routes of entry by doing a good sealing job. Keep in mind that this will require your attention during multiple stages of construction, starting just after the foundation is poured, or beforehand if you wish to pre-treat against subterranean termites as well. * Pre-treat the exposed wall voids during the course of construction. In order to achieve maximum protection from all un-wanted pests, this must be accomplished before the insulation is installed in the wall voids. Please call us for further details and pricing. * Minimize the amount of pests living immediately adjacent to your home with ongoing preventive maintenance outside. This combination will prove to be most effective.
Although kiln drying will help to kill off many wood-destroying pests, lumber can get re-infested simply by being stored. Chances are some of the wood used for your home will have pests in it, as such; this wood presents a real and clear danger of spreading this activity.
Although less likely to develop a pest problem, homes with un-finished basements are easier to inspect and treat. However, once the basement is finished, all this changes. Furthermore, attempting to locate the source of a pest problem in a finished basement can be time consuming and costly (compared to a home with a crawl area that still allows for inspection and treatment of the readily accessible areas).
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