How to Manage Pests During Renovations in the Home

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When a home renovation is underway, you’ll have a lot on your mind. You have a budget to manage, contractors to work with, and a vision to execute. But there’s one thing that many home remodelers often overlook: once your renovations are complete, your beautiful home may be hosting some uninvited guests—we’re talking about mice, cockroaches, and termites. 

During a renovation, your home is more vulnerable to pest infestations. Why? There are several reasons:

  • You’re bringing raw materials into the home, such as lumber, which can contain pests inside them.
  • The door is often left ajar as workers come in and out of the home.
  • The structure of your home might be exposed, which gives access for pests to enter.
  • New renovations can create new hiding spots for critters.

Now that you understand why your home needs pest management during a remodel, let’s talk about how to do it:

Don’t Leave Food Out

Pests infiltrate your home for several reasons: they’re looking for shelter, warmth, and food. Your house is the solution to all their needs. There’s not much you can do about those first few things, but you can make sure all your food sources are sealed and contained. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink (easier said than done, we know), and keep any bags of nuts, chips, or cookies sealed tightly in containers.

Inspect Building Materials

Termites are one of the most costly pest infestations; their wood-based diet makes them a danger to the structure of your home. It would be a disaster if the new hardwoods for your living room floor were infested with these inconvenient insects. Unfortunately, this happens to unlucky homeowners who buy materials from the wrong supplier. Ask the contractors to inspect the wood for any termites—if you want to be extra sure, have it looked at by a pest management professional.

Plug Entry Points

Before a renovation begins, it’s a good idea to do a pest inspection. An infestation that goes undetected can get much worse once a remodel begins. Bugs find all sorts of places to hide. Common areas of entry are doors, windows, and external pipes. But you’ll have to grab your magnifying glass to locate their trickiest spots; these include inside walls, in the basement, and near the boiler. If you spot any openings, find a material to plug it up. For doors and windows, weather stripping makes a great sealant. Make sure that any open window has a protective screen for flying insects. Steel wool is good for holes around the foundation—you can also use caulking near pipes.

Place Traps

Pest control in older homes is especially important. These structures often have holes in the foundation where critters enter from. Once they’re in, it’s hard to get them out. They hide inside walls or under floorboards. Older homes are more likely to have these vulnerabilities than newer ones, so it’s important to keep an eye out for them.

Rodent and insect traps are a tried and true way of catching pests once they make their way inside. If you have any cats or dogs, make sure not to use the poison traps—they can be toxic to your furry friends. Baited glue traps will do the trick. Traps are a good proactive measure for preventing infestations.

If you find a mouse nest, you need to be cautious when cleaning it up. Rodents carry infectious diseases like hantaviruses that can be transmitted through their urine and feces. By sweeping or vacuuming the waste material, the virus can become airborne, causing you to become sick when you breathe it in. When cleaning up a mouse den, follow this procedure:

  • Wear gloves and a mask.
  • Spray the droppings with a disinfectant (or bleach and water). Let it soak for several minutes.
  • Wipe it with a paper towel.
  • Dispose of the cleaning materials immediately and cleanse your hands thoroughly.

To strengthen your efforts, you can purchase a few more devices that will deter pests. One is a sodium vapor light; insects are less attracted to it than they are to regular light bulbs, so they won’t be tempted to sneak inside your home. You can also try citronella candles to repel mosquitos.

Call A Professional

Finally, call a pest inspector to check your property before, during, and after renovations. Catching issues early gives you the best chance of controlling them before they take over your household. A professional will be able to give you specific advice about protecting your home during construction. If a problem arises, an exterminator will have the right tools and knowledge to eradicate any rodents or insects from your residence.


The last thing you want to see when you finish a renovation is a cluster of roaches on your new granite countertops. Pest management is essential during a remodel; without it, you won’t be happy with the finished product. Keep the above tips in mind during your next home renovation.

About The Author: Kiara is a writer based in Canada. She writes articles with a focus on marketing and home improvement for a variety of businesses. Some of her favorite pieces can be found on the Pinnacle Painting’s website.
Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash


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