Getting a Pest Inspection for a New Home
Before closing on a home, mortgage lenders require buyers to get several inspections performed by a professional. The first inspection is a home appraisal, which is completed to establish the true value of the property in question. The next is a home inspection, which analyzes the condition of the property in regard to its plumbing, roofing, electrical work, foundation, and other structural components. Both of these are beneficial in protecting the new home buyer from unexpected damages, but neither provide a thorough inspection for existing pest infestations and the damage previously caused to the property by these bugs.
The Importance of Pest Control Before Moving In
Before moving into a new home, it’s essential to have a full pest inspection completed by a professional pest inspector. Mortgage lenders rarely require this type of inspection for home sales, but it can prevent homeowners from facing costs associated with pest-related issues later on.
Termites and rodents can cause major structural damage to a home, and often, this damage goes unnoticed until it’s too late. Termites are known to live within walls and feed on the wooden beams that hold up a home’s structure. The damage from this is rarely immediate; instead, it can take months or even years of these bugs eating the wood before cracks in the walls and ceilings appear. Rodents can also cause a major headache for homeowners, as these pests can chew through nearly any substance and will often target electrical wires and layers of sheetrock.
The presence of mice and other pantry bugs, most notably cockroaches, indian meal moths, and ants, can pose health risks to your family, too. Many of these pests carry bacteria and harmful diseases on their skin and shells and can transfer these diseases by contaminating food. A large infestation will also leave a large amount of droppings throughout your home, which poses a health risk for your entire family.
A typical pest inspection provides a thorough search for evidence of termites and ants, and any structural damage caused by these bugs. It will also report if the home has any signs of a current or previous mouse, spider, bed bug, or cockroach infestation. These inspections can go even further, however. We recommend asking the inspector to look for signs of earwigs, beetles, fleas, and silverfish. These pests are small, but an infestation can cause a major nuisance for new homeowners.
Preparing for Move-In Day
If you do receive a pest inspection and the inspector determines your new home is free of major damages, it’s time to evaluate the state of your current property. It’s important to make sure your family isn’t bringing any pests in with you that may have been hiding in your current house. Consider calling an expert to inspect your belongings, like bedding, clothes, and upholstered furniture, for fleas, bed bugs, and mice. If you find red or brown droppings and small holes in the fabric, it’s likely your belongings have fallen victim to these pests.
As you prepare your items for the moving truck, be wary of packing old moving boxes that have been kept in storage areas like the attic, garage, or basement. Mice, in particular, love feeding on packing materials, and these objects often serve as the perfect hideout for spiders and cockroaches to build their nests. Once you check the contents of these boxes for pests, we recommend transferring the items to plastic, airtight containers. A pest inspection is a wasted investment if you bring in harmful insects from your old home.
Pest Control Checklist for Maintaining a Pest-Free Home
Following a pest control checklist for the kitchen and other rooms of the house can help keep your new home pest-free. We recommend revisiting this list every month or two to help deter pests from making a home indoors.
For the kitchen:
- Store all food in airtight containers made from thick plastic or glass
- Routinely clean up crumbs and spills from your counters, floors, and cabinets
- Keep kitchen appliances clean
- Check your grains and produce for signs of pests
For other areas:
- Check out at-risk areas, like the basement and attic, for bug nests
- Keep clutter contained to a minimum
- Fills cracks and holes in your walls with caulk
- Trim overgrown bushes and trees to deter pests from hiding in the foliage
Pest infestations may not always be at the forefront of your mind while you’re planning for a stressful move, but the harm these pests can do make receiving a pest inspection an essential part of the moving process. While the presence of some pests shouldn’t be a deal breaker for moving into your new home, knowing if the property has been damaged by these bugs can potentially help you negotiate a better price and protect your family from paying for damages later on.
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