Originally posted on Porch.com In May 2018, Lennar, the largest homebuilder in the country, said…
When buying a property, you certainly don’t want it to be infested with any sort of pest. This could include insects, chipmunks, raccoons, or a number of other critters. Any real estate agent or property owner should be happy to let you inspect their property for pests, if they don’t, that’s instantly a red flag. Hiring an exterminator can be a time consuming and expensive process. If your new house has termites, you might have to evacuate before you’ve finished moving in. When renting or purchasing a property, you must ensure that you check for pests, it really doesn’t take very long or much effort!
What should I look for?
An instant red flag when stepping into a property should be any kind of droppings. If there are droppings, it’s extremely likely that there is pest activity on this property. It’s also very important to look for property damage. If you spot any, even minor inconsistencies in the wood, doors, or holes in walls, it could mean that there is a mouse, rat, termite, or carpenter ant infestation on the property. The specific pest depends on the severity of the damage and surrounding wood shavings. That’s why it’s important to learn about different wildlife pests.
Dark areas can be another red flag. Make sure to carry a flashlight or your phone’s flashlight around and illuminate any dark areas that you see. Often, pest droppings will be hiding in these crevices. Another thing to be aware of while touring a house is the smell. If something smells unusual in a room, try to figure out where the smell is coming from. An unusual and generally unappetizing smell likely is originating from a pest, decomposing droppings, or a pest’s nest.
Where should I look for pests?
Make sure to examine the whole house, while paying special attention to tight, dark spaces. Examples of these spaces include cabinets, wardrobes, attics, under the porch, under floorboards, basements, and sinks.
Hire a professional pest inspector to make sure
If you’re unsure whether a property has pests or not, consider finding a pro in your area for help. You may see a dirt mound in the property’s backyard. Most people would have a lot of trouble distinguishing an earthworm’s dirt mound from an ant’s dirt mound, as such, a professional pest inspector can be a valuable resource. A pest inspector will be able to assist you with finding evidence of pests that may be residing at a home you intend to purchase. Once you have evidence, you can bring it to the property manager or real estate agent and request that they take care of the infestation before you move in.
Depending on the state and district you live in, the property seller may be legally required to pay for a pest inspection, or you may have the option of paying for a pest inspection because they’re not required to. Some sellers will have their property inspected for pests regardless of the legalities, so it’s always important to ask if they’ve had the property inspected recently.