What you need to know about pests when remodeling a home

By guest blogger, Angela Thomas

Planning on remodeling your home? If there are pests present in your home, it may not be just your home life that’s going to be interrupted during a remodel but theirs too.

Probably one of the worst times for you to be dealing with a pest infestation is during a home renovation. If you had minor pest problems before, it might get worse during a remodel either because of the presence of new materials or the agitation of existing infrastructure.

When renovating, things around the house will be crazy because the contractors would most likely turn the place inside out. And people are likely to forget about the risk of a pest infestation. Hence, pest proofing your house during a remodel will save your home from any future outbreaks.

Some of the troublesome pests that could occupy your home during a remodel are rats, mice, cockroaches, ants, termites, and wasps.

If you don’t want them to be sharing your home, here are some general preventive measures that you can follow. If the infestation is severe, it’s best to get help from professionals or pest control companies.

So prepare yourself for the project that lies ahead and avoid pest problems by following some of these tips.


Plastic Barriers

Your house needs proper ventilation during renewal because tiny particles of wood, sand, and paint are released in the air. These particles are so small that they can enter through your nose and affect your lungs. Toxic chemicals may also be used in the process. But leaving the doors and windows open is not an option, as pests might think it’s a welcome sign for them to enter your home. So hang thick plastic barriers like a screen around all the openings.

Also, to purify the air most of the renovation companies will use an air scrubber. If they don’t use it, you can always rent one. Make sure you regularly change the filters.

Sealing Openings and Pipes


Remodeling may require old pipes and electrical lines to be replaced with new ones. Once you’ve changed them, you have to seal those areas properly. If you forget to seal them, it will give way for pests like rodents to take up residence at your place. All crawl spaces and pipes must be properly sealed by using filler materials which are designed for homes.

Many of the crawlspaces will have standing water after a heavy rainfall. Stagnated water may attract termites, and is the breeding ground for mosquitoes. Install a sump pump to drain the water from these areas.

For Longer Projects

Some of the renovation processes would require more time to complete. This will leave your home even more vulnerable to pest attacks. So during such situations, you have to talk to your contractor so that you could explore on precautionary pest control options.

You could also contact a local pest control company. Such companies will come up with proactive plans that would be helpful in preventing any major pest infestations. They will inspect the site and find the list of pests that could attack the home and use chemicals accordingly.

For Outdoor Alterations

Outdoor remodeling work
Outdoor remodeling work

Sometimes renovation projects may require outdoor work. Repairs may be carried out near the foundation of the house which will require some digging. When you dig the soil, the ant colonies in those areas will be disrupted and they will search for a new place to settle. If there is an increased activity of ants, then take care of the problem once and for all. But you need professional help for this, without their help, you won’t be able to destroy large ant colonies.

Plants and Trees

Protecting trees

If you have planted new trees before the renovation, make sure you take care of them. If a tree or plant is injured, it will be susceptible to disease which in turn will attract pests. You must know that they can be harmed in many ways, but you can avoid them if you plan properly.

In case you have to dig near the trees, their roots might get affected. Measure the length of the tree branch and place fences around. If the branches come in contact with the house, cut them as it will interfere with the construction work. If you find it difficult to protect your trees during a renovation, get help from a landscape architect.

Protect The Corners

There will be lots of building materials and tools around the house. Once you’ve fixed the walls, protect the corners by keeping cardboard strips. If some of the tools fall on the edge, it might leave small holes and cracks which are good enough for small pests like bed bugs to stay.

You can buy cardboards that are made to protect corners or use old boxes you have lying around. The cardboard must extend up to 4 feet and while placing it, use painter’s tape. This way it won’t ruin the paint when you remove it.


Renovations are meant to make your place better. But, the process may open the doors for pest infestation. So take time and protect your property from pests to save yourself from expensive repairs in the future.


Angela Thomas is from NYCity Pest Control. She writes, curates, and gets in touch with people who are active in the pest control arena. NYCity Pest Control is always at the forefront of finding new and innovative methods to control insect and rodent infestations without excessive collateral damage.




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