Moving to a new home, for the most part, is thought to be an enjoyable experience. Sure, the unpacking, moving and general moving process might come with a few stresses, but overall it’s quite exciting.
However, stepping into your new home, or a property that you’re looking to buy or rent and noticing that there are signs of pests will make you want to turn around and leave. The first question you might be asking is ‘why didn’t they fix the pest problem?’ And while that’s a legitimate question, some pest problems are very discrete and can only be noticed by those who know what signs to look out for. But a thorough pest inspection is now necessary.
Spotting pests can be tough, especially bed bugs, ants and small rodents. These pests know how to remain undetected, at least to the untrained eye. Below are the 5 common signs there is a pest problem in the property you’re looking to purchase.
Inspect the Flooring
One of the most telling signs the property is suffering from a pest infestation is the state of the floor, specifically the carpet. Bed bugs, despite their name, will set-up camp anywhere that’s warm, dark and discrete.
Check the corners of the carpet and inspect furniture, curtains, sofas. These are all hotspots
. Even if the furniture won’t be there when you move in, bed bugs are likely to find a way to remain. Pests will however, have a tough time finding a way into or under concrete flooring. So, if you are contemplating moving into the property, be sure to have the carpets cleaned professionally or at least inspected by a professional pest control company.
Search for Smears and Marks
While it’s important to check for leaks, be sure to also check for any areas where there are marks or smears, as this may be a sign of cockroaches and/or rodent infestations. These spots are commonly found inside cupboards, floorboards and at the back of cabinets. While it may seem strange looking for these signs, identifying them and addressing it to your potential landlord or real estate agent could save you time and money. It also means you won’t have to solve the problem yourself.
The bedroom is another place you will want to look for smear marks, as if there’s and abundance of them, it’s highly likely there’s a bed bug infestation. Again, if this is the case, you must ensure that you have the problem inspected by a professional pest control expert. Bed bugs won’t necessarily cause you too much harm, but they are unsightly and can make your nights restless and grim.
Floorboards – Check Them!
Mice and rats are adept at hiding, even more so than insects. Ever hear scuttling late at night? It’s likely that a mouse or rat is under your floorboards, in your roof or even in your walls. Rats especially are masters of squeezing their way into tight areas to build nests.
Lookout for bite marks, chewed areas on wood and scratches on furniture and walls.
Look for Cracks and Fissures on the Exterior of the Property
Spotting cracks and fissures on the outside walls of the property is incredibly important. These gaps make for perfect entrance areas for pests such as wasps, ants, spiders and other unwanted insects. One of the worst-case scenarios is if wasps have already infiltrated the walls, as it’s likely that they have done this to make a nest.
While the usual fix for cracks and fissures is sealing with concrete, filler or other sealants, doing this with the wasps inside may make matters worse. Wasps are able to eat through dry wall, so before you seal the wall, spray soap solution into the crack (only if it’s safe to do so) as they will suffocate. After this has been done, seal the wall with sealant.
Of course, you can always wait until the colder months arrive, as they won’t be able to survive the drop in temperature. Following this, inform your landlord and/or the real estate agent and they will contact a pest control expert to fix the problem.
Pest Inspections in the Garden
If you’re moving, or viewing properties in the summer, be sure to check for any wasp, ant or insect nests that may be hiding in the garden. It might be that the garden has been vacant for some time and wasps have set-up a colony there. Unless you’re experienced in removing wasp and bee nests, contact your real estate agent and they will seek an appropriate pest control expert.
Additionally, you might find that the exterior has been affected by nesting birds, specifically the excrement they leave behind. Bird control is something that is commonly forgotten about because of other more prominent pest problems (rodent and insect infestations) but is still something that needs to be acknowledged.
These are 5 of the most important pest inspections you need to get into the habit of doing when you’re viewing a a new house with your real estate agent in Minnesota or all across the country.