pest spray

*Whether you are buying a house for the first time or just moving to a new area, it may seem like there is an endless list of things you need to know before signing the final papers. One common issue that often gets overlooked is pest problems, especially if buying an older home. Household pests can be a nightmare if they aren’t identified and taken care of immediately, so it’s best to recognize the problem right away, if there is one. It is a good idea to look for signs of these pests before you move into a new house. You should also learn how to spot them, so you can prevent them from ever invading your home.

Ants

Almost every homeowner has had a run-in with ants at one time or another. While an ant infestation is annoying, it doesn’t usually cause any permanent damage and can be a relatively simple fix compared to some other pests. The first thing to look for are potential entry points such as cracks around doors and windows. Use caulk to fill these areas. Also looks for any piles of dirt, leaves or warm, damp areas around the house that could attract ants. Natural repellents include lemon, coffee and cinnamon.

Rats and Mice

Rats and mice are much tougher pests to get rid of, not to mention they can inflict a lot of damage on your house and they carry diseases. Signs of a rodent infestation include chewed boxes or wires in the garage or attic, burrows around the perimeter of the house or droppings or urine stains. There are many traps you can set to humanely trap and dispose of rats and mice, but if your problem persists there may be an easy entry or attraction that is bringing them into your home. According to HowStuffWorks.com, remove any food source that may attract them, such as unsealed pantry food or bird seed. You should also look for holes and gaps and seal them.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches can bring out the squeamish in all of us and can be a pain to get rid of once you begin to see them in your house. First of all, pay attention to where you are seeing them so you can identify where the infestation is concentrated. Most common places include around drains, vents and under pantries and cabinets. According to UPCRC.com, you should treat areas you are seeing cockroaches with traps, sprays or bait, as well as cover drains with screens to prevent movement around the house.

Termites

Termites are the one pest that can do the most serious damage to your home. If you see signs of them, protection and prevention should be done right away to stop any irreversible damage. Orkin’s YouTube channel has useful videos on how to inspect your home thoroughly for termites, such as keeping an eye out for mud tubes or holes around your deck and door frames. They also offer tips for preventing termites. For example, wood debris and firewood should be kept at least 15 feet away from your house and gutters should be cleaned regularly.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs may not damage your home, but they can bite people and pets and cause health issues. They can also be tricky to deal with as they are experts at hiding and hard to kill. To prevent bed bugs, launder bed sheets, pillows and other linens regularly and check for signs of the bugs around mattress crevices, floorboards and other areas they may hide and treat these areas with a spray or powder insecticide. If you see signs of bed bugs or you experience bites, you’ll need to strip all bedding, linens and clothes and wash them, as well as use specialized bed bug treatments to kill the infestations.