The majority of first-time home buyers take their time to carefully inspect the physical condition of the property they’re planning to acquire. They look for defects or malfunctions in the building’s foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical and heating/cooling systems while making sure of the sound state of walls, floors, windows, and doors. But before they go ahead and seal the deal, a question inevitably pops into their head: Is there something lurking below the surface that they might have missed?
Unfortunately, the answer is often: Yes. Particularly when the home is up for sale by owner, the goal is to accentuate the property’s best features and minimize its potential flaws. And while some sellers are trustworthy and willing to disclose the information about past and present pest infestations, others are either unaware of pests’ presence in the house or are doing everything they can to hide the damage. By spotting the signs of the following common household pests before you close the deal, you can make sure the seller covers the cost and treatment of the existing infestation before handing you the keys.
The word “termite” makes a lot of home buyers shudder, and for good reason. They are almost impossible to spot, make almost no noise, and have the potential to cause extensive damage even before the homeowner realizes the presence or extent of the invasion. To spot their presence in your future home, examine:
Aside from being universally hated and difficult to deal with, rodents inside the house can cause lasting damage to the property and significant expenses. They chew holes to gain access into the eaves and soffit, gnaw on electrical wires and cables, causing power outages and short circuits, and contaminate everything in their way with their bacteria-laden urine and feces. Telltale signs of infestation include:
Cockroaches are among the most hated and undesirable intruders in a household. A cockroach infestation is no laughing matter, and neither is the cost and difficulty of controlling them effectively. While they may not cause relevant damage to the house and yard, they do compensate by appalling and sickening its inhabitants. Having a cockroach fall from the ceiling and landing on your bed while sleeping can cause significant psychological and emotional stress in most people. Not to mention the many health disorders and allergies they expose humans and pets to. You can identify a cockroach infestation in your future home by looking for:
If the home you’re interested in shows any of these signs of infestation, this shouldn’t stop you from making an offer. Most insect and rodent infestations can be treated effectively with the help of an experienced pest control professional, who can determine the exact extent of the damage. Even more importantly, hiring a specialist to perform the pest inspection before you close the deal will save you the hassle and cost of treatment that would otherwise be supported by you and your family.
About the Author
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid garden