With 90% of American homeowners planning to remodel their house, it’s clear that home renovation is a popular approach to increasing space and property value. However, many of us don’t realize the repercussions that construction work can have on the surrounding environment and wildlife. It can sometimes result in damage to both animals and their habitats. If you’re planning a home renovation, there are ways you can help preserve the monarch butterfly and other wildlife while doing so.
By Jennifer Dawson
When planning a renovation, it’s necessary to keep in mind that the location of your house can have a profound effect on how you do so. For example, if you live in an area that sees a lot of wildlife - specifically endangered species like monarchs - it’s important to take extra care. One way to do so is by surveying the area before you begin. By identifying and marking any trees or plants that wildlife rely on, you can ensure that they won’t get touched during the renovation process. For the monarch butterfly, this includes milkweed and flowering plants/trees.
Proper Disposal of Harmful Substances
When renovating your home, paint or other artificial substances will most likely be involved. It’s important to ensure that none of it gets spilled on the ground, as this can be harmful to any wildlife that crosses its path. For example, if an animal comes into contact with spilled paint, they can potentially ingest it, which can cause injury or death. In the case of the butterfly, their wings could become damaged or they could become stuck. So, store your leftover paint for next time or dispose of it at a recycling center.
Home renovations aren’t just about painting and remodeling, and many renovation projects begin because of the need to remove mold that is causing damage to structures like wood and drywall. Due to its ability to also cause respiratory issues in humans and animals, it’s necessary to take the proper measures to ensure that it’s disposed of the right way, and not in your backyard. Because of its toxic nature, having a professional remove mold infected materials and disposing of them safely is necessary to ensure a mold-free environment for both you and the local wildlife.
Mind the Milkweed
Home renovation and landscaping go hand in hand. If your flower beds or yard contain milkweed, you should make a plan to carefully replant it, as it’s necessary for monarchs to thrive. Integrating the planting of more milkweed that is native to your area can also help the species flourish, and making it part of a butterfly garden can add a nice touch to any landscape renovation.
Renovating your home can be a gratifying experience, but if you live near wildlife, preservation of habitats and species should be your top priority. By minding your location and removing harmful substances properly, you’ll be able to have a butterfly-friendly renovation.