Changing homes is an exciting step for any family, but there are dozens of logistical barriers and other things to keep in mind. Is this a fair price? How are the schools? What are the neighbors like?
Another key question to ask is if there's anything you might be unwittingly inheriting, namely a serious pest problem. Anyone showing a house or apartment will do what they can to cover up an ant infestation or damage caused by rodents, but if you don't catch these issues during a staging, you could end up spending your first weeks in a new home fighting off unwanted animals. Keep in mind that although a seller will need to disclose any pest problems, you could still be in for a surprise.
To avoid this frustrating possibility, use these tips to spot pest damage while touring a potential new property:
Anyone showing a home likely spent a few hours tidying up and making sure things are in tip-top shape. This will make it much harder to spot noticeable signs of pest problems. That being said, if you know what to look for, you can uncover clues that may hint at possible issues.
For example, bed bugs leave behind characteristic red or brown markings that can stain bedding, carpeting and even walls. Spots in bedrooms could be a sign that the home has been or still is infested with these unwanted insects.
Other creatures can also cause unmistakable damage. Mice and rats ruin woodwork with incessant gnawing, and their feces stain cabinets and floorboards as well. Cracks or small holes could hint at the presence of carpenter ants or other insects. The Garden Helper found that browning house plants could also be a sign of a pest problem.
As you walk through a potential new abode, you should gather as much information as possible. Besides directly asking about past issues caused by pests, inquire about water damage, external repairs and other problems that could attract animals.
Along with asking the right questions, you need to do more than give a property a once-over, especially if you're seriously considering making a purchase. U.S. News & World Report suggested using a flashlight to look in places that are otherwise difficult to examine. You might spot a hidden mouse trap under a refrigerator or dead insects on top of a cupboard.
If the home or apartment is part of a larger complex, ask directly about pest control preparedness and if there has been any history of problems.
Remain vigilant as you examine the lawn and outdoor area of a property. Holes in the grass or the trunk of trees could signal issues caused by squirrels, groundhogs, birds or any number of insects. Likewise, consider the layout of the yard, as pooling water can attract mosquitoes and lots of brush bodes well for ticks, fleas and other parasitic bugs.
Take into consideration what's near the home in question as well. It might be nice to have a restaurant right around the corner, but that could mean a higher risk of rat problems. Even future construction projects in the neighborhood could lead to otherwise unforeseen issues.
As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, rodent droppings and urine can contain hantaviruses and other harmful pathogens. More to the point, animal waste also leaves behind a stale smell that can linger in cabinets or attics. Soft scampering in the walls may also be a telltale sign that a property is housing more than just human inhabitants.
If you're concerned about a potential new home, reach out to a pest control specialist to learn more about specific risks and hazards.
As the weather cools, you'll probably see fewer pests than you did during the warmer months, but that doesn't mean they're all gone just yet. Some insects can actually come out in full force during the autumn, while others might seek refuge in your warm home. Here are some key tips to keep in mind as fall gets underway:
As the middle of summer approaches, you need to be vigilant about keeping your garden free of pests. Many insects breed during the summertime, which means they're on the lookout for great places to lay their eggs. For many bugs, that means near a source of food. In fact, some species of insects will lay their eggs inside budding vegetables and fruit so their larvae have something to eat as soon as they hatch. That's why you have to keep harmful bugs out without damaging the bugs that could help you, such as bumble bees.
You might have noticed that, with the exception of the kitchen, you find more pests in your bathroom than in the rest of your home. This is because insects and rodents see the bathroom as a convenient watering hole. Pests love leaky pipes and standing water because these offer them a hydrating oasis in the otherwise dry biome that is your house or apartment. And if your bathroom develops mold, all the better for pests, who may eat fungus or use it to lay their eggs.
The kitchen is largest gathering place for pests in a residential home. The reason is simple: pests can grab a bite to eat and take a sip of water while they're here. And when they find such a bountiful place, they will return home to their nests and report the finding - before you know it, your whole pantry is a buffet for ants! The problem could get even worse if a piece of food falls somewhere and begins to rot. Similarly, fruit and vegetables you bring into your home may be harboring unseen pests waiting to hatch.
It's finally here - sweet, sweet summertime at last! But has your time outside already been rudely interrupted by swarms of pesky bugs trying to take a stab at you? This season, let's say no more to swatting, slapping or clapping at these insects who seem to be tormenting innocent outdoors enthusiasts every year. Fortunately, the solution isn't as chemical ridden as you might think. As it turns out, some of your favorite scents are insects least favorite.
Not every creature that visits your property is a dangerous nuisance. Many animals actually offer a number of benefits that keep your yard healthy. Predatory animals, in particular, actually offer natural pest control. Here are five common suburban creatures that can help keep more difficult or annoying animals at bay:
Discovering a mouse is loose in your home can be a real headache, and for restaurant owners, such an infestation can be an even bigger problem. Mice may be cute, but they simply do not belong in the kitchen, attic or anywhere else. If you've noticed any of these signs around your house or business, it may be time to call in a professional rodent exterminator:
The customer is always right, and this is especially true if he or she is complaining about seeing a mouse or cockroach. Pests have no place in your organization, as bugs and rodents will turn away potential business or even lead to a possible lawsuit. Keeping your company protected requires a proactive approach. Work with a pest removal specialist to identify the best ways to stop creatures from infesting your business. Here are just a few ideas for successfully mitigating and preventing any issues: