~ PRE-TREATING your “NEW HOME” for PEST CONTROL ~
This article is for anyone that is remodeling his or her home, planning to build, or in the process of building a new home. It will address pest control issues and concerns that will help you construct a home which will be best protected from wood destroying pests such as; Subterranean Termites, Wood Boring Beetles and especially here in the Lake Tahoe area - Carpenter Ants!
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.
~ Insect control is basic maintenance, and part of home ownership ~
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!
“Every crack & crevice leading into our home will be caulked and sealed so pests will never be able to enter.”
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:
“All the lumber being used for our home has been kiln dried so there is no risk of pests coming in with it.”
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.
“Homes with basements don’t develop termite or pest problems.”
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).
WHAT ARE THE REAL PROBLEM AREAS AND HOW DO YOU TREAT THEM?
The recurring theme of all pest control is that it is so much cheaper to do some simple preventive maintenance as opposed to trying to control a local infestation. In other words, simply treating the outside of the home regularly will help to minimize insects so that few if any are left to invade the house. This practice is both easy and inexpensive. Yet most homeowners are willing to wait until they have an active infestation to start treating. By this time they may have incurred a large expense to repair damaged wood as well as the need to employ more products to control the infestation at hand.
The problem is similar to the concept of changing the motor oil in your car. Most people do this on a regular basis if they own a car. The reason is simple. By changing the oil you will avoid major motor damage, which in turn will avoid costly repairs. The same logic can be applied to pest control. It is so much cheaper to treat around the outside of the home on a regular basis to prevent infestations from ever happening (ideally in conjunction with a pre-treatment). These treatments can be done monthly or every few months, depending on the level of “pest free living” you desire.
If you are building a home and want to do so using products and design methods which help to reduce pests and pest activity, it can be done without major sacrifice. We hope to have dispelled some misunderstandings about certain building materials and at the same time educated you about some of the real problems that exist.
To schedule a pre-treatment, or If you have any additional questions that are not addressed within the text of our material;
Please contact us directly @ 1-800-528-4373
Lakeside Pest Control has been serving the Tahoe Basin since 1973
We are your Carpenter Ant experts !
Call us Toll Free @ 1-800-528-4373
We look forward to being of service to you !