Renovating With Pests in Mind: What You Should Know

Planning a home renovation isn’t a simple task. Home remodeling, whether minor or major, has many moving parts. Generally, renovation requires extensive preparation, designing, and budgeting. Due to all these activities, most homeowners forget or overlook the fact that remodeling can attract unwanted guests, such as mice, termites, cockroaches, and other pests.

Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t know the signs of pest infestation in their homes. For instance, many people don’t know how to check for bed bugs. If you are planning a roof, kitchen, bathroom, or garage remodel, below are a few things you should know about pest infestation during renovation.

Why Pests Are a Risk During Home Remodel

There’s more risk for pest infestation during the renovation because of the following reasons:

  • Decreased traffic – Pests, specifically rodents, prefer areas with minimal human traffic. Less monitored areas are ample grounds for pests to roam freely. For instance, cockroaches can hide perfectly when the lights are switched on.

  •  Open entryways – Contractors, designers, and other workers often leave entrances open to ease movements. These entryways shouldn’t be as obvious as open doors. Rodents can squeeze through holes, unsealed windows, and other gaps. Depending on the nature of the ongoing renovation, your windows, walls, and roofs might also be left open. Excavating your backyard disrupts rodents that normally live without disturbance. As such, they’ll have to find a new home, and your open doors make a perfect entrance.

  • Excess waste – From leftover construction materials to construction crews’ food remnants, waste can easily accumulate during renovation. This attracts rodents, flies, and cockroaches to your renovation site.

Which Pests Should You Be Wary of During Home Remodel?

The renovation provides an ample breeding ground for several types of pests. However, you should be wary of the following types:

  • Termites – It is normal for the construction crew to leave the wood and other wooden products lying around during renovation. Termites and bugs looking for food will camp in these piles. Unfortunately, you can’t tell if termites or bugs have swarmed your construction materials until the next hatching season. Little termites that chew into woods are difficult to spot unless you are specifically searching for them.

  • Spiders – Like termites, spider infestations are caused by piles of lying construction materials. Spiders prefer dark spaces, so this becomes a serious problem if they move into walls that are still being renovated.

  •  Ants and roaches – The openings created by the construction crew in your walls and other parts of your home are a haven for roaches. They can quickly move in and build a net, making your home vulnerable to infestation after renovation. Ants can also invade your home if the remodeling process disturbs their nest.

What You Should Know About Pest Infestation When Remodeling

Pest can cause serious damage to your home. This becomes costly if an infestation occurs during renovation. Below are a few things to know about pest infestation during remodeling.

  • Pest control before the renovation is important – You should schedule pest control before renovating your home. Depending on the nature of the remodels, your home might end up with pests. However, ignoring an active problem can worsen the situation. Schedule for pest inspection and subsequent treatment if pests have already camped in your home. You should create a clean canvas for renovation.

  • Home addition affects termite warranty – If your renovation involves adding a new room or converting the garage, you should consider your termite warranty. Disrupting a termite barrier potentially voids the warranty. As such, you should consult a pest control professional before making renovations.

  • Expanding foam isn’t always the solution – Most people prefer using expanding form during renovations to seal holes and cracks in the walls. While this can work as a temporary fix, it isn’t a permanent solution. You should substitute expanding form with caulking to avoid future issues. Rodents can easily chew through expanding foam.

  •  Consider using non-cellulose materials – Most pests, especially termites and cockroaches, love cellulose materials. Renovating your home with cellulose materials is inviting pests into your home. This specifically happens more in humid areas, where cellulose retains moisture. While non-cellulose materials are costly, they are less appealing/attractive to pests.

  • New furniture and materials should be thoroughly checked – You should check construction materials and furnishings before bringing them into your newly renovated home. Bed bugs, cockroaches, and termites can hide in most furniture, especially if you buy second-hand materials.

How to Avoid Pest Infestation During Renovation

You should consider the following activities to avoid pest infestation when remodeling.

Before Renovating

  • Contact your local pest control professional – Work with an expert for a pest-free renovation.

  • Proactively control pests – Your home is very vulnerable to pests during the renovation period. However, a pest control expert can help you create preventive options, such as baits and treatments.

  • Consider the weather – Pests naturally like moist environments. They will swarm your home if you leave construction materials out in the rain. You can avoid this by scheduling renovation for dry months.

  • Choose materials carefully – Use materials that pests find less attractive, such as pre-treated wood, LED lights, and non-cellulose materials.

During the Renovation

  • Take action immediately – Address any weakness or problems impairing your home’s pest defense. Identify and seal cracks, gaps, and other potential entryways immediately.

  •  Keep the renovation site clean – Discard food items and waste materials that can attract rodents and other pests accordingly.

  • Check for water issues – Pests are attracted to water or humid conditions. Clear any standing water, and avoid leaks and wet building materials.

After the Renovation

  • Schedule a final pest inspection – You should schedule another professional inspection after renovation. This is to ensure nothing has infested your home during the remodel.

  • Conduct regular checks – Pest control should be an ongoing process.


Renovations are a perfect chance for homeowners to implement pest control measures. Renovating your home with pests in mind can save you from future pest problems. You should deal with pests during the renovation to avoid spending more later. Pest problems are costly because repairs and extermination services are paid out of pocket. Most insurance policies don’t cover these costs.