Practice proper pest prevention before closing the deal
So you are ready to buy your new home. The house is perfect, the price is better than you imagined and the neighbors are a decent lot. What more do you want? With all the major boxes ticked, it’s time to take a closer look at the details that make this home a haven or a living hell.
Termites and carpenter ants are serious problems that can send your home’s equity on a downward spiral. For this reason, a professional pest inspection is essential to the home buying process.
4 benefits of conducting a pest inspection
1. Helps you to anticipate the pest problems
If you can identify the pest problem before purchasing the home, you will know what type of work the home will require before it is suitable for human habitation. In addition, a professional inspection will reveal the extent of the problem. You will also get a professional opinion on whether the pests can be eradicated and how much it will cost.
2. You can avoid future regrets
Imagine signing the check and putting thousands of dollars on the house, only to find the woodwork has been infested with termites and the entire building will collapse in a few months. The consequences can adversely affect your family and financial planning. A pre-purchase pest inspection gives you peace of mind when buying a home. You will not meet an unexpected squatter who will have to be evicted at great expense.
3. Gives you the upper hand in negotiations
Pest control before pest control will also give you a clear idea of the true value of the home you are interested in. For example, if you’re being sold a termite-infested home, that factor should be reflected in a reduced asking price. The pre-pest control service can let you know if the price you are getting reflects the true value of your home.
If you find pests, you have a powerful bargaining chip to bring weight to your side in the negotiations. The price might be reduced to meet pest control needs, or the seller might be willing to offer other concessions to offset the cost of pest infestation. Better yet, you can request that the seller perform pest control before you buy the home. This way you can be sure that the property you receive is pest free when you arrive.
A professional pest inspection gives you bargaining power to get a fair price for the home.
4. Helps reveal hidden problems
You can expect a pest inspection professional to provide a thorough report of all their findings. Many apartment details will not be immediately visible during the preliminary apartment inspection. A pest expert can uncover other problems. For example, there was an insect infestation in the past and the damage was not fully repaired.
Common symptoms of pest infestations in the home
Termites – dubbed the “silent destroyers,” a well-established termite colony can chew through your home’s equity faster than a child consumes a Mars bar. Each year, termites eat more than $5 billion in property damage, and that equity is rarely recovered.
Before signing your name on the dotted line, homebuyers should request a thorough termite inspection to be performed by a licensed one pest control and extermination professional.
Standard home inspections will note the structural integrity of the home, roof conditions, foundation stability, etc. For example, a termite inspection focuses on the telltale signs that termites are or have been at work through the home’s woodwork. After the inspection, the pest controller will provide a report of their findings along with a recommended course of action.
Here are some of the top signs of termite damage to look out for when viewing a new home you may be considering buying.
- Mud hoses on the outside of the house
- Darkening and/or blistering of the wood
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Small piles of termite droppings
- Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills
These signs indicate an active termite presence. But homeowners should also be aware of certain situations that can make a home more susceptible to a termite infestation. Here are a few additional things to consider and how to mitigate the effects of an infestation before buying a home.
Firewood – a stack of firewood placed at the side of the house is almost irresistible to termites and allows them easy access into the house.
Tip: Firewood should be stored at least 20 feet from the house and raised on platforms about 5″ high.
Guttering – Termites need food and water to live. Clogged gutters and waterlogging can provide the termite colony with the moisture it needs to thrive.
Tip: Make sure gutters and downspouts are cleaned and maintained regularly and prevent water from pooling in the house.
Tree Stumps – It may seem easiest to keep a tree stump in your yard, but that rotting slab of wood can serve as a hodgepodge for a whole colony of ravenous termites. Eventually they will move into the home.
Tip: Have stumps and dead trees removed quickly by a professional tree removal service.
Mulch – is commonly used around the home for landscaping and gardening. But mulch is a treat for termites, providing both moisture and food.
- Avoid using mulch around the house.
- Keep the mulch at least 15″ away from the outside of the house.
- Keep an eye on your mulching to spot signs of termite activity before they have a chance to establish themselves in your home.
Tree branches – Tree branches hanging from the roof can also give termites access to your home.
Tip: Keep all branches and branches a safe distance away to prevent termites from accessing the roof’s wooden structures.