Designing Pest-proof Homes
Pests come in all shapes and sizes, from the easy to spot mouse or rat, to the much smaller, but still dangerous, centipede. Whether you’re looking to design a new home or simply want to enjoy the one you’re in, you need to be aware of what pests are in your area and how to keep them out of your home.
It’s easier to add the following features into a home as you build it, including them in the design means you can make a pest-proof home. But, if you’ve already built your home, you’ll be able to retrofit many of these options or find alternative solutions.
Before you build you should examine the site thoroughly. You’ll want to make sure any old drainage or sewer systems are properly capped off or destroyed. In fact, the sewerage system you’ll be using must also be properly sealed.
It’s also a good idea to make sure there are no other types of waste that will be left in the foundations of your home, this will simply attract pests.
A rodent can chew through almost anything and mice can get through a hole as small as 6-7mm. However, these rodents find it hard to gnaw on smooth materials. When designing your building you should allow for a foundation with reinforced concrete at least 6mm thick. If this isn’t an option sheet metal, at least 0.54mm thick is easy to lay below your floor and will keep rodents out of your home.
Very small wire mesh can also be effective at keeping rodents out, but it won’t stop insects.
It’s also important to monitor the actual building of your dream home. A small gap can provide an entry point for a variety of pests, you need to make sure they are all sealed with caulk or expanding foam. The more difficult it is for a pest to get into your home the more likely they are to go somewhere else.
Another common issue in houses is the electrical wiring which can be chewed through by rodents and other pests. To prevent this from being an issue you should enclose the wiring in conduit, preferably wrapped in steel mesh.
It’s also essential to consider your waste handling facilities. These need to be sealed to prevent attracting pests, the less odor that is produced the less likely you’ll attract pests.
Many houses have false ceilings and walls, this creates voids that can make perfect homes for pests. Wherever possible avoid creating unnecessary voids when designing your home. This will help to reduce the likelihood of pests arriving and getting comfortable.
Getting your landscaping right means keeping plants from being too close to your house walls and, ideally, creating a concrete area around your home. This makes it more difficult for termites and other pests to get to your home safely.
Don’t forget, if you think you have a pest problem, the earlier you call your local exterminator, the better.