Pest Red Flags During House Hunting

October 30, 2019

If you are in the market for a new home, you are probably excited about the possibility of a new place to call your own. Maybe it is your first home or your maybe your dream home. Either way, the process can be both exhilarating and nerve wracking. 

House hunting can be stressful enough worrying about the condition of the structure, roof, electrical systems, and plumbing without having to worry about pests that could be inhabiting the property. Unfortunately, it is something you should be on the lookout for as you attend open houses and showings. 

What To Ask

As you shop around at houses in the area where you are hoping to buy, ask questions about the region. For example, get a good fix on whether there is a lot of new construction that lead to displacement of rodents living in the area. Ask directly if there have been pest problems at the house before. Asking the realtor is a good idea but a home disclosure document can give you more specific details. 

Signs of a Pest Problem 

Obviously the first thing to look for is active pests in the home as you take your tour. For example, do you see ants in the kitchen, cockroaches in the bathroom, or live bed bugs in the bedrooms? 

In addition to searching for pests scurrying around look for dead pests. It is unlikely you will see a dead mouse as you walk around but you may see bugs on the windowsill and in the basement that could clue you in that there was once a pest problem. 

As house hunters, you will have access to all parts of the house as you take your tour. Don’t forget to check out attics, crawl spaces, and basements. These areas are prime pest areas. Signs that there once was or currently is a pest problem could include droppings. Look in dark corners or access points to see if any rodent droppings are around. 

The basement is also a key location to look for termite tubes or the wings of termites in piles on the floor. This could be the sign of a past or current termite infestation. You will want a specialist to inspect to make that determination. 

In our last blog, we discussed the smells that are associated with certain pests like rodents, bed bugs, stink bugs, and cockroaches. You will want to let your nose do some of the work in determining if pests have taken up residence in the home you are hoping to buy. 

Other signs that there may have been or is a pest problem are the products you see under the sink. Are there ant traps or other pest products that could clue you off to the issue? Be a detective as you conduct your house hunt. If you have questions about what could have been a problem in the home prior to your buying it, talk to one of our specialists who can complete a thorough inspection and help you out. 

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