Purchasing a home can be a stressful process, not to mention one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. It’s definitely not a decision that you want to take lightly. When you find something beautiful and affordable your first instinct might be to make an offer right? We say, know what you’re buying! Proper inspection and pest control prior to purchase is something that many first timers overlook. Keeping an eye out for pest warning signs will save you headaches and unnecessary expenses. So before you dive into it, make sure your potential new home doesn’t include any unwanted guests.
While some pest issues can be easily resolved by taking immediate action and implementing safe practices from the beginning, others are definite deal breakers and not worth your time or your money.
- Existing pest issues and obvious signs you can’t miss: Whether you’re attending a private viewing or an open house, there are some pest red flags you won’t be able to miss. These are obvious kinds of problems which you should consider before making an offer. Are there any wondering cockroaches, silverfish or mice? Are there any off, odd or simply unpleasant odours?
- Other visible signs that might not be as obvious: These pest indicators might not be as obvious, but are nonetheless extremely important and might influence your opinion about the property. Watchout for any rust-coloured stains on mattresses or couches these might mean bedbugs! Take a close look at countertops and baseboards, see any small black spots? Those are cockroach droppings. Are there any grease marks on or near those areas? That’s a sign of a potential rodent infestation. Shredded newspaper or fabrics in dark places like the attic? These could be rodent nesting materials.
- The Roof: It’s important to know the condition of the roof, will you need to replace it soon? How much will that cost you? A worn-down roof increases the odds of poor ventilation and leakage. Poor ventilation can lead to wood boring types of insects. Any construction flaws, gaps and existing chewing damage are easy access points for rodents and raccoons. Water leakage and potential water-damaged wood is susceptible to wood boring insects such as termites, and carpenter ants. Gutters must be in prime working order, be thorough. A roof in poor condition could be a deal breaker.
- Poor plumbing/drainage: An important aspect to look out for in particular with older houses and building complexes. Leakage or poor drainage can affect wooden structures, causing decay, and allow for termite and carpenter ant infestations. While not necessarily a deal breaker, poor plumbing and drainage is something to consider prior to making an offer.
- Detached garage: While it might not seem as important as the house itself, a detached garage is a very attractive space for pests. Look for both obvious and suggestive signs for pests. While not a deal breaker you’ll want to ensure you make your garage pest-proof and have it thoroughly cleaned.
- Property and neighbourhood pest risk assessment and preventative measures: What goes on in the surrounding areas of your home is just as important as what goes on inside. Take a look at the yard, is there overgrown gardens or trees touching the house? Be sure to assess the entire property and the neighborhood so you can take preventative action for any potential pest issues.