A Healthy Home Part 5 — Pest Free


Each home can have many items that could be classified as pests. Some people think spiders are pests. Others let them live. I think ragweed pollen is no fun in the late summer, in my mind that qualifies as a pest.  This post will concentrate on those pests of the insect type, and perhaps a few that are a little larger, but not plants.

squirrelLarger then an insect?  Yes,  I’ve seen them.  Rodents a similar size animals can create problems.  If designers, builders, remodelers or homeowners address the concepts of pest free with insects, the potential for rodent size problems are reduced and perhaps eliminated.

Yes, that is a dead squirrel in an attic. Nice size rodent.  Somewhat of a pest. The homeowner in this case knew where the squirrels were getting in.  He had fixed their way in the previous fall, now he got to fix it again.

sump-pump-dome-lidUnder the posts about ‘A Dry House’  we looked at using a sealed cover on the sump to control the humidity.  Another reason for the sealed cover is to keep out insect sized pests.  Sumps are connected to to outside with perforated pipe to collect the water before it enters the basement wall.  This pipe is buried next to the foundation in sand and gravel.  It is probably not a large entry place on a newer home, but with age, it is nice to know the sealed cover keeps them out.

soffit ventsturtle ventMost residential attics in this area are ventilated. The use of lower vents (left) in the soffits and higher vents near the top of the peak (right)  allow a natural air flow. These vents should be screened to keep pests out. Most vents are supplied with screen. It should be installed and maintained. If it gets holes, replacement is fairly easy. When your roof is replaced these peak vents should be replaced. That will maintain the screen intact.  If you choose to use Ridge Vent, it should be screened also.  Keeping pests out of the attic will keep them out of the home.

1 Inch drillIf pests get into the attic there are always a few holes for them to squeeze through into the house. Electrical or plumbing penetrations are common. The other place in most homes are the top plate joints that are not sealed. This was covered in Part  2  a Clean Home.

Attic DuctOther vents to check would be the dryer vent and any exhaust fan vents. Make sure your exhaust vents run to the outside of your home. Many times they are just left open to the attic. In that case, you have several 4 inch openings right into your home.  Not only can pests enter, you will also find the seasonally heated or cooled air will also be coming in. The image on the right is a typical exhaust duct that does not go to the outside.

This post is Part 5 in A Healthy Home Series



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