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Pests To Look Out For While Buying A Home

Buying a new home can be stressful. There's so much to consider before signing on the dotted line--or several dotted lines. And pests are usually last on the list of issues that potential homeowners think of.

If you're in the market to buy a new home, you have certain criteria that must be met. It might be important to you that the neighborhood is near a school so your kids can walk to school on their own. It may be a high priority for you to find a home in an area that has a low crime rate. Or it might be nice sidewalks, street lamps, or cul de sacs that matter most to you. When it comes to selecting the right home, you're going to be thinking about how many bedrooms it has, whether or not there is an island in the kitchen, how many bathrooms there are, whether or not there is a mother-in-law apartment, and other important amenities. You're also going to consider practical things such as what kind of heating and cooling the home has and what the monthly energy bills are going to cost you. With all of this to think about, who has time to think about pest problems?

When buying a new home, you can't afford to ignore pest problems. The last thing you need is to inherit someone else's nightmare. Here are some things you should look for when purchasing a new home.

Termite Signs

This is the big one. It is so big, some lenders will not give a home loan until a certified termite inspector has drawn up an official NPMA-33 form. Subterranean termites cost property owners billions of dollars annually, and lenders don't want to be stuck paying for it.

When you do a walk through of a potential home, consider looking for the following signs of termites--but be aware that these signs can be difficult to detect without doing a thorough inspection.

  • Mud tubes are the primary warning sign of subterranean termites. Look for these on outside foundation walls, in locations that are shaded, moist, or secluded. These mud tubes will look liked caked mud lines running up hard surfaces from the soil. Be sure to check on interior walls from the basement all the way to the attic. Tiny mud lines may even be on the side of toilets or tubs.
  • Look on window sills for white wings. After termite swarmers mate, they shed their wings. These wings may be found on window sills, floors, and outside surfaces.
  • If you see damage that looks like water damage, be aware that it might be termite damage.

Carpenter Ant Signs

While these insects don't eat wood like termites, they can still do a significant amount of damage to a structure. Fortunately, they are a little easier to detect. Here are some signs to look for:

  • If you see a large black or blackish red ant with one node between its thorax and abdomen crawling around the home, you've found yourself a carpenter ant. And, if there is one ant crawling around inside, there is a good chance there is a nest somewhere inside the home. This is definitely something you should have checked by a professional.
  • When carpenter ants make their tunnels, they push sawdust (called frass) out of their tunnels. Look for this frass clinging to walls or piled up on floors. Don't be afraid to get down under exterior decks or crawl around in crawl spaces under the home. Carpenter ants aren't going to make it easy for you.
  • If a porch, deck, patio, balcony, or some other structure has sinking floors, dipping ceilings, or bulging walls, it could be a sign of major infestation from a wood-destroying organism like carpenter ants.

Moisture Issues

While this isn't a pest problem, it is definitely something you should be keeping an eye out for. Many pests, including termites, are drawn to a home that has moisture issues around the outside. These may be areas where the ground gets excessive shade, keeping the sun from drying up rainwater. It may be bushes or shrubs that are closer than 2 feet to the foundation, allowing dampness and harborage for pests. It could be compacted earth that allows water to pool after a rainstorm. Any conditions of moisture should be considered if having a pest-free home is important to you.

Pest Inspection

Before buying a home, it is always best to have a trained pest control technician do a detailed inspection. There are many pests that can create misery for you in your new home. If you live in our Pennsylvania service area, contact Moyer Pest Control for a pest control inspection you can trust. And consider investing in year-round pest control to keep your home pest-free for years to come.

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"I purchased a Big Deal for 1 year of indoor/outdoor pest control. They performed the initial visit and first treatment. The Moyer representative was punctual, professional, knowledgeable, and personable. He explained exactly what he was doing and why and did the work in an efficient manner. This was just the first of 4 quarterly treatments. I will have to wait and see if the treatments are effective during the whole year."

S. Hess