Purchasing a new home can be one of the most exciting (and overwhelming) life milestones, especially if you are a first-time buyer. You may already be envisioning how you will welcome guests into your brand new living space to celebrate the move. But no one wants visitors with antennae, wings, or a few extra legs. That’s why completing all of the proper pest inspections with the help of professionals is one of the most important steps in the home-buying process. With that in mind, our pest control experts are here to help you cross off one key thing on your new home checklist: pest inspections.
What You Need to Know About Pest Control for Your New Home
Common Pest Infestations to Watch Out For
According to the National Pest Management Association (NMPA), approximately 29% of American homes are experiencing a pest infestation at any given time. Before signing the dotted line to purchase a new home, make sure that you are educated about the most common (and destructive) pests to invade homes, and signs that they could be in yours.
#1 – Termites
American homeowners spend more money battling termites, also called the “silent destroyers”, than many other species of pests due to their highly destructive feeding behaviors. The National Pest Management Association reports that the average termite repair cost is oftentimes $2,500 and $7,500, but can be significantly higher depending on your region. The average cost of repair for termite damages in South Carolina is usually much higher due to the well-established population of active Formosan termites in the area. Unfortunately, these costs are typically not covered by homeowners insurance either.
#2 – Bed Bugs
Though these pests don’t cause damage to your home, they can leave the people inside with swollen, painful bites. Not to mention, they are one of the most difficult guests to get rid of for good. Bed bugs typically hide on clothing, beds, couches, and any other type of fabric or linens. After feeding, a bed bug will hide out for 5 to 10 days to digest and lay eggs. This is when an infestation can get out of control. Trust us, the last thing you want to do is wake up the morning after moving into your new home with unexplained bites and a big bed bug problem!
#3 – Ants
Carpenter ants dwell in almost all forested parts of the world, dwelling in soft or decaying wood hulled out with large mandible parts. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood. Wood is simply excavated to create a new home or galley. These pests can inflict significant damage to the structure of your home. They tend to infest areas with high moisture content, such as bathrooms and kitchens, where they may contaminate food items.
#4 – Cockroaches
One of the most well-known house pests is the ever-so-present cockroach. You can find them essentially anywhere there is food and excessive moisture, especially basements, pantries, and cabinets. Though they are one of the most common and universally hated pests, that doesn’t make it any easier to get rid of them. Cockroaches are extremely resilient and reproduce at an extremely fast rate. It is not unusual for them to produce thousands of offspring a year, which is why an infestation can rapidly grow out of hand.
#5 – Rodents
Rodents, too, can cause notable damage to your home, as they eat through electrical wires, furniture, and more. They also pose a significant health risk, carrying several diseases that can be transmitted to both humans and pets inside the home. This makes dealing with mice and rate infestations especially dangerous, not to mention a lot of work. You will need to sanitize your home and eliminate anything that can be used as food or nesting materials, from wood chips to garbage.
During or separately from your professional pest inspection, it may be a good idea to do another walkthrough of the home to search for any pest problem areas. Insects and rodents often enter through garages, basements, rooflines, and loose-fitting windows and doors. You may want to consider having these entry points sealed off before the home purchase.
Home Inspection vs Pest Inspection: What’s the Difference?
The completion of your contract is most likely contingent upon the results of a home inspection in which a licensed inspector will evaluate the property for any major safety concerns or defects. A home inspection is primarily concerned with the integrity and soundness of the property, providing a detailed review of mechanical components like the roof, plumbing, foundation, electrical, and heating systems. By contrast, a pest inspection is a protective measure that ensures homes are not damaged by dangerous pests before closing a sale. Whereas an experienced home inspector may be able to diagnose foundational areas that are dangerous, costly, or not up to code, they are often limited in what they can include about pests in their final report with an untrained eye.
Though problems with the structural components of your home can be extremely costly, so can a pest infestation. While home inspectors may be able to spot glaring red flags such as rotting wood, a licensed pest control professional has a keen eye for subtle signs of a pest infestation that may otherwise go undetected. Oftentimes, only a professional pest control technician has the necessary knowledge and expertise needed to notice and properly treat a pest problem. Wood-destroying organisms such as termites, wood-boring beetles, carpenter ants, fungi and rot, have a propensity for inflicting expensive damages and are best dealt with by a professional!
Do I Really Need a Pest Inspection?
Having a pest inspection on your new home is like taking your car to the mechanic before you buy it. Would you continue with your purchase if the car was defective or faulty? A professional pest inspection is not necessarily required, however, it can save you significant time and money in the long run, considering a home is often one of the most costly investments. Depending on your home loan, a pest inspection may even be required by banks or mortgage lending institutions. However, some state governments also mandate a Wood Destroying Organism Inspection and Report.
South Carolina, for example, requires a WIR with all real-estate transactions. The inspection and report are prepared by a licensed pest control business and document any visible evidence of activity and damage caused by pests like termites or beetles, especially decay in accessible areas of the home. As a home buyer, you should always request one of these reports before finalizing your purchase. With such a significant investment, it’s best not to leave the possibility of wood-destroying insects up to chance.
Where Do I Find A Licensed Pest Professional?
A pest inspector or pest management company must be licensed by your city or state to conduct a real estate pest inspection. If you are in the process of purchasing a new home, contact the professional pest control technicians at Palmetto Exterminators. Our exclusive real estate inspection program is the best in the Carolinas and Georgia. Just take a look at what our customers have to say about us! Whereas many other pest control companies provide you with a lower-priced but quick inspection that produces only a vague one-page report at best, we provided extensively detailed documentation at a fair price. Our bound reports include:
- Insured & licensed inspections by highly trained and experienced personnel
- A 3-step personnel review procedures
- Thorough photographs
- Easy to understand language
- Computer-generated reports
- Detailed diagrams of the home
- A detailed treatment plan should pests be found
Our WIR inspections and reports will not only provide you with information about any current or potential pest problems but also the security and peace of mind that you need to purchase a home. The professional pest control technicians at Palmetto Exterminators will also provide you with an estimate so that you know how much it will cost to resolve any issues before finalizing your agreement terms. With this in mind, you will have the opportunity to negotiate with the home seller if any pest infestations are found. Keep in mind that some purchase contracts include a “termite contingency,” which allows a home buyer to withdraw from the transaction in the event of extreme damage.
Purchasing a new home is one of the most exciting times, and one of the most important times for pest control. Being proactive with your pest control will ensure that you don’t end up with costly damage and regrets. At Palmetto Exterminators, we understand how important it is to keep your new home pest free, and our team of professional pest control experts will personalize a plan suited to your needs. Contact us today for more information on pest inspections and personalized pest control plans for your new home.