Let’s face it: buying a new home is hard work. Keeping an eye on the market, checking out house after house, and finally negotiating with the seller and completing paperwork. Not to mention that a home is typically the most expensive purchase someone will ever make. It’s a big deal!

So, of course, if you’re committing to homeownership, you want to be sure that you make the best decision possible. In most cases, a home inspection is required before the loan is finalized. But in all the hustle and bustle, one important thing often goes overlooked: pest control. Here are a few pest control tips when buying a home.

Termites

These tiny pests come in big colonies, and the damage they can do is even bigger. Many buyers who are purchasing a home with wood siding opt for a termite inspection, but it may come as a surprise that termites don’t discriminate: they will be happy to make their homes in your home, no matter what type of siding you have!

Why it Matters

Termites cause billions of dollars in damages to structures in the US annually. If a colony is living in your prospective home for long, it could end up costing you far more than you ever wanted to spend on a home. What’s worse is that many insurance companies don’t cover termite-related damage!

What to Watch Out For

  • Mud tubes along outside foundation, basement walls, or in crawl spaces
  • Weak or sagging floors
  • Wood that has visible holes or sounds hollow when you knock on it

(Check out this blog to read more about common signs of termites.)

Bedbugs

One of the most feared indoor pests, bedbugs are another creepy-crawlie to keep an eye out for while house shopping.

Why it Matters

It is a common misconception that bedbugs only live in a bed, and that simply getting rid of the infested mattress will cure a bedbug infestation. This is not true! While they are most noticeable in areas where a host will spend a lot of time asleep (a bed), bedbugs love living in any little nooks and crannies, and will happily make the journey to any food source.

What’s more is that bedbugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate. They can even survive for about five months without a blood meal. This means that even if a house has been empty and unoccupied for months, a bed bug population can still remain alive and active, despite their lack of a host.

What to Watch Out For

  • Rust-colored stains on furniture or bedding
  • Tiny, cream-colored eggs in the nooks and crannies of beds or other furniture

Bedbugs are one pest that are difficult for the untrained eye to spot. They are typically no bigger than an apple seed and are great at hiding. There are a couple things to watch for, but if you have any concerns, be sure to thoroughly read the seller’s disclosure statement, and specifically ask about pest infestations.

Mice, Rats, and Wildlife

Why it Matters

While rodent damage isn’t typically as expensive to repair as the damage caused by termites, mice, rats, and other wildlife can have serious human health impacts, ranging from allergies and asthma, to life-threatening illnesses.

What to Watch Out For

  • Pellet droppings in corners, especially in basements, attics, or crawlspaces
  • Scratching noises behind walls, or in floors or ceilings
  • Gnawed wiring
  • Bundles of shredded fabrics and papers (nesting area)

Be a Savvy Home Buyer

Pests are experts at hiding and often choose to infest areas that are out of the way or completely hidden from view. Although spotting pests may be difficult for a novice, there are some telltale signs of pest problems. Just knowing what to look for can give you a heads-up on whether or not you want to invest in a property.

Your best bet is to use a qualified home inspector. Review with them any areas of concern or conditions that may be conducive to pest issues, such as moisture leaks. Also ask your realtor if it is possible to have YES Pest Pros inspect the home prior to closing. This will give you a clearer picture of the home you’re buying and give you peace of mind that you’re not getting more than you bargained for.