Unlike how homeowners can easily spot the trends that show pest infestations, it's more difficult to spot when you're just looking at a house to buy. Those brief showings don't give you enough time to see the trends that say pest infestation. The good news is that if you know what you're looking for, you can spot some of the most common signs of pest trouble. Here's a look at what you need to know about pest control when you're shopping for a new home.
Look For Active Pests
When you're looking through the property, make a point to look in the places where pests are most likely to be active. For example, check closely in cabinets under the sinks as well as in the bathroom, under rocks, and along the foundation.
Other common places to look include the window ledges and the basement. If you see dead bugs or any other pest waste in those areas, it's cause for concern. If you see multiples of the same type of bug, there's a good chance there's an infestation.
One of the things that many people overlook is the specific odors that are associated with some pest infestations. For example, sweet, musty odors in bedroom spaces may be indicative of a bed bug infestation. If there are any mice in the house, you may notice musty odors or an ammonia scent. The smell of an oily or greasy odor could be the result of roach infestations.
Watch For Droppings
The presence of any kind of animal droppings inside the house should be cause for concern. Before you go look at any new homes, make sure you know what the common rodent droppings look like so that you can identify them when you see them. This will help you determine what you're dealing with so you can decide if it's worth going through with. Other common waste to look for include roach eggs and bed bug residue.
Be Attentive To Nesting Signs
Any time rodents settle in a home, they'll form a nest. That nest will be made from whatever is available, which means that you're likely to find nesting material throughout the areas where they frequent. Shredded paper, pillow filling, and even fabric shreds are all common indications of active pests nesting in those areas.
You can look in cabinets, corners, and even behind appliances for those types of signs. A flashlight is often beneficial for spotting things like this since they are often in darker areas. Another sign of pest nesting is the sound of scratching and similar noises behind the walls and near the attic. WIth mice in the house, you may even be able to faintly hear squeaking sounds.
Check For Extermination Supplies
If there are pest control products stored in the garage, under sinks, or anywhere similar in the house, that is a likely sign that the homeowner has been struggling with pest infestations. Consider the types of products to help you determine what the likely infestation type could be. Since most homeowners will buy commercial products specifically targeting the type of pest they're trying to eliminate, this can make the process easier.
Look For Visible Marks In The Structure
Many pests will instinctively follow the same paths as they move around a home. With pests like mice and rats, this will often leave dark grease-like marks along those paths. Look at the floors around the floorboards for things like this. In those same areas, you might even see pest marks, trails, and footprints in dust.
You may see small holes in the wood, gnaw marks in the floorboards or trim inside the house. Check the attic as well for any signs of chewed wiring or damaged insulation. While you are looking for those types of signs, check the areas around the garbage and along the exterior foundation of the house. You may see burrowing or other signs in those places.
If you do find any of these signs, you can work with a pest control specialist to treat the house once you've signed off at closing.
Check out a company like Albemarle Termite & Pest Control for more information.
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