Best Ways to Prevent Pest Infestations in Your Home
Whether it is termites, roaches, roof rats, or bark scorpions, homeowners have their figurative hands full dealing with pests. The good news is that you can take proactive steps to prevent pest infestations in your home or kick pests out and keep them out for good.
In this article, we will review some of the ways homeowners can prevent pests from infesting their home in the first place and what they should do if they do have a pest problem. Plus, we will discuss how a pest infestation can impact your home’s resale value down the road.
Here are several key ways to prevent pest infestations in your home…
Keep Your Home Tidy
Most pests enter your home seeking three things: food, water, and shelter. Generally, the homes that have issues with roaches, crickets, roof rats, and other critters and creepy crawlies have unknowingly made their homes very accommodating for these pests.
From pet food that gets left out to the clutter that makes for a nice hiding place, pests are more than ready and eager to be your roommate. Evicting them may take the assistance of a pest control professional, but you can start pushing them out the door by cleaning up pet food, clearing trash and clutter, and keeping your kitchen free of loose food debris.
This battle extends outside. Roof rats are a major nuisance because they have easy access to the citrus trees found in many backyards. Rats and other pests are attracted to fallen fruit, which represents an easy meal. Regularly pick up fruit and keep your yard free of good hiding places for pests, which can include stacked lumber, loose construction materials, and overgrown shrubs and bushes.
Keeping your home pest-free means keeping an eye on things. By remaining vigilant and proactive, homeowners can often catch pest problems early before they become a concern.
One of the most common types of termites in the U.S. is the Desert Subterranean Termite. As its name implies, this termite typically enters the home by constructing mud tubes on your foundation.
These termites can also get into the attic, where they will build their telltale tubes to move between beams and get where they want. An aware homeowner who regularly checks their foundation and attic can spot the start of a termite infestation before major damage is done.
The same principle applies to bee infestations. Two common places where bees build hives are in trees on your property and inside exterior walls, such as the walls of your garage. They can get into the wall through cracks or gaps in your exterior stucco.
Watch out for heavier-than-normal bee activity or bees swarming in a particular area, and you can not only prevent bee stings to your pets and family but have a pest professional deal with the hive before it becomes a danger to you, yourself, and others on adjacent properties.
Seal Your Home
Home sealing is one of the best ways to keep pests out of your home. By blocking off common entry points, you can prevent all kinds of pests from getting in. From caulking gaps in your stucco and underneath doors to adding wire screens over weep holes, a professional pest technician can help you keep pests out.
For instance, scorpions are notorious pests in hotter climates. As anyone who has been stung by one can attest, you do not want them in your home. Scorpions can typically squeeze between gaps no wider than a credit card and are typically resistant to most forms of insecticide.
Home sealing helps cut off their easy entry to the home. Combined with a pest control strategy that eliminates their prey of crickets and roaches, scorpions will typically move on.
What You Should Know About Pests When Selling Your Home
Beyond being gross or dangerous, a pest infestation in your home can actually cause lasting damage and impact your home’s resale value when you list. In fact, Georgia State Law requires those selling their home to disclose through the Residential Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (RSPDS) whether or not the property has a history of termites, scorpions, bee swarms, rodents, bed bugs, or other common pests.
An active termite infestation or extensive termite damage is often a dealbreaker for many buyers. The RSPDS requires sellers to provide information upfront about the home’s history with termites. The seller should explain when the termite infestation was present, when the home was last treated, and whether or not the property is still covered by a transferable termite warranty.
In addition to this mandatory disclosure, it is prudent for most homebuyers to put the property through multiple inspections, including a walkthrough by a termite specialist, prior to closing on the home. This helps protect the buyer against a scenario in which the seller was not aware of a pest infestation at the time of the disclosure.
How Pests and Pest Control can Impact Your Home’s Value
Homeowner negligence when it comes to pests can have serious consequences down the road. The last thing someone selling their home wants is for potential buyers to make offers on the home, only for those buyers to drop out prior to closing because of the property’s history with pests.
In contrast, effective homeowner vigilance and fast action on pests can actually boost your home’s value. For example, a seller that discloses the fact that the property once had infestations also has the opportunity to note when the treatments occurred, whether or not there is any damage, and if the service came with a transferable warranty for the buyer’s peace of mind.
Get a Professional Opinion
If you have pests or suspect you have pests, we recommend you start by talking to a professional pest technician. Keeping pests out of your home for good is not just about a single battle. It is a war, and you need a winning strategy.
A pest technician has the experience and training to know which methods work, and then to tailor a pest prevention plan specific to your home.
By combining methods such as pest treatments, home sealing, and general clean-up, homeowners can put their home on the path to being pest-free, both in the present and in the future for when they eventually go to list their home.