Moving into a house, whether it is brand new or not, is a very exciting time. Your home is usually the largest purchase that you will make in your lifetime. Before you move all of your stuff in and get unpacked, here are some new home pest control tips.
Pest Control Before you Move
Depending on where you live and how you obtained your mortgage, you may have needed a WDI. A WDI, or wood destroying insect, is a report that is written following a specific inspection on the property. As the name suggests, the WDI Inspector is inspecting for termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and wood beetles. These insects are all wood destroyers and could potentially compromise the structural integrity of the structure.
Termites in your new home
If the WDI report stated that termites were found, a termite treatment would be performed. This almost always happens BEFORE settlement and before you move in. If termites were found and treated at your new home, look to see if there was a warranty included with the treatment. Often the termite warranty will cover the property for a period of 6 months to 2 years, depending on the company.
Termite Warranties and the new homeowner
With all of the excitement of the move, it is easy to skim over important documents. You are signing and receiving a ton of paperwork at settlement and something as simple as a termite warranty can easily get lost.
Termite warranties can often be renewed on a year to year basis. This is important if you ever decide to sell the property. The new buyer will go through the same process you just did and have to have a WDI. If the WDI states that there is evidence of termites, which it will because your house was treated, then you will have to show documents that prove that a professional termite treatment occurred. If you cannot produce these documents or if there are active termites, you may have to pay for another termite treatment!
Additional Termite Information
Other Wood Destroying Insects
Termites are the main insect that most people think of that can destroy their home. Carpenter ants, wood beetles, and to a lesser extent, carpenter bees, can also cause substantial damage. Most of the time, these treatments are less expensive than termite treatments and are quicker to resolve. You can find out more about these insects here.
Rodents in your new home
Before you move all of your furniture and boxes into your new home, you should inspect for rodent activity. In a vacant home, rodent droppings should be pretty easy to spot. Look along the edges where the wall meets the floor for droppings and chew marks. Keep in mind that the previous owner may have cleaned up rodent droppings before you move in.
New Home INFESTED with Mice
We had a situation where a brand new home was absolutely INFESTED with mice. How can a new home have such a terrible mouse problem? Well for starters, think about how a new home is constructed. They will lay a foundation, and then assemble the walls and roof. One of the very last thing the contractor will install is the garage door. This extremely large opening allows mice and insects to enter the new home.
The home in our example above was infested with mice. Once the mice entered the garage area they would follow the piping, electrical, and HVAC lines throughout the home. This allowed the mice to be found throughout the entire home, all three floors! The new homeowner was shocked that a brand new home could be infested with mice.
Mice cause other pest problems in new homes
I once got a call from a frantic realtor who had just shown a prospective buyer a home. The home was staged for the showing and smelling like freshly baked cookies to entice the buyers into making an offer. What the realtor was unprepared for though, was a SNAKE making an appearance during the showing!
Having a snake slither out of a kitchen cabinet during a real estate walk through can make even a solid deal fall through. The snake was in the home because the home was infested with mice. This snake was enjoying a mouse buffet for months as the home was put up for sale. The best way to prevent a snake in the house is to eliminate its food source. The home later sold with a sales pitch of “mouse free”.
Rodents Damage Homes
It is unknown the exact dollar amount attributed to rodent damage in the home. Many estimate that a large number of home fires can be attributed to rodents damaging wiring. Rodents love to chew on things and they seem to prefer wiring. If your new home shows evidence of rodent activity, the time to treat is now.
Additional Rodent Information
- Rodent Control
- Interior Rodent Inspections -Video
- Exterior Rodent Entrances -Video
- Natural Rodent Control
- Common Rodent Entrances
- How did I get mice?!
New Home Pest Nightmares
Nothing will zap your new home excitement like being bitten by insects. The most common type of blood feeding insects that we treat for new homeowners are bed bugs and fleas.
Bed Bugs in New Home
Imagine you’ve just moved in and are ready to sleep in your new house for the very first night. You wake up the next morning ready to start unpacking the boxes and realize that you have bites on your body. How do we have bed bugs, we just moved in?!
Bed bugs feed on human blood. They can go dormant for over a year if there is no food around. This means that if the home you just moved into had a bed bug problem before, it may STILL have a bed bug problem. When the old homeowners left, the bed bugs didn’t just disappear. No, they went into hiding until a new food source arrived. That new food source, you, have the bed bugs coming out again to feed and reproduce.
It is very common for us to get bed bug treatment calls for folks who have just moved into a new home or apartment. Truth be told, it can be very difficult to determine where the bed bugs came from. Did the bed bugs come from the new home or apartment from a previous bed bug infestation? Maybe the bed bugs came from the moving truck? The moving truck goes from home to home and is loaded with who knows what. Or was your last place infested with bed bugs and your brought them with you?
Finding out where the bed bugs came from can be difficult but do not worry. Below is a list of additional bed bug information where you can learn more about signs and evidence of bed bugs.
Fleas in New Home
Fleas, like bed bugs, are blood feeding insects. Fleas can also go dormant when their food source leaves. It is not uncommon for fleas to go dormant for 6 months or longer when they don’t have a food source. This means that you could move into a vacant home and have a flea problem within a few days. Fleas prefer pets but will definitely bite humans as well.
You can learn more about fleas and flea treatments here.
Wildlife Issues in a New Home
There are a few species of wildlife that cause new homeowners problems. Many times, wildlife issues are disclosed to you prior to settlement. Sometimes the wildlife issue was discovered during your inspection process and the animal removal and exclusion is currently or recently happened.
Common wildlife species that cause problems for new homeowners include squirrels, groundhogs, skunks, raccoons, birds, bats, and snakes. Squirrels and raccoons can cause substantial damage inside of a home. Groundhogs and skunks can cause damage to foundations and structures by digging and making dens. Birds and bats cause damage with the accumulation of their droppings.
In most cases, if you are hearing noises in your new home that sound larger than a mouse, its time to call in a pro. You can find out more information on wildlife control here.
Insects in your new home
Common insects found when you move into a home include ants, spiders, centipedes, and bees/wasps. Many of these pest problems will be pretty apparent when you walk around the house. Seeing bees or wasps coming in and out of your home is evidence of a nest.
As you are putting boxes away and unpacking you want to make note of any insect activity. Many times this will be the only time that your home is this empty and you will be able to see everywhere. Seeing lots of ants or spiders could mean there are insect issues. If you see a lot of centipedes, that is evidence of a moisture issue. By inspecting and looking around your new home, you can have a better understanding of the pests in your home.
Insect Treatments in a new home
If the new home is still vacant and you haven’t moved in yet, a one-time treatment can really reduce the amount of insects in the home. Whether you call an exterminator or handle it yourself, this is a prime time to treat for pests. There will not be another opportunity when your new home is this empty to treat.
Preventing Pests in your New Home
There are some really important preventative measures that you can do to protect your new home from pests.
Insects, rodents, and nuisance wildlife, like us, require moisture to survive. By making sure your gutters are clear and that the land is graded AWAY from your home can go a long way in preventing moisture issues. Many times, simply adding extenders to your downspouts so that the water is channeled away from the home can really help. Moisture problems lead to more than just insect and pest issues. You can learn more about moisture and pests here.
Removing Access to Pests
Keeping trees and shrubbery trimmed back and away from the house can prevent pests from gaining access to your home. Sealing up openings and accesses, and making sure door seals are in place can really stop pests from getting in.
Pest Control Service Plans
We offer pest control service plans to homeowners for year-round pest protection. Service plans protect the inside and outside of your new home from pests and rodents. Our service plans include free in-between service calls for covered pests. You can learn more about our service plans here.
New Home Exterminator
Congrats on moving into your new home! By following some the guidelines and inspection techniques we have provided, you can protect your largest investment for years to come. New home pest control can be DIY or you can contact a pest control professional.