How to Detect Signs of Pest Infestation Before Buying a Home

November 13, 2021

Every homebuyer wants all the best things for their future property. They take so much time searching for listings and going on house tours to ensure they’re getting a worthwhile investment. But if there’s one thing every homeowner should be aware of, it would be the existence of annoying critters in the house they plan on buying.

Ants, bedbugs, mice, and cockroaches are the common causes of pest problems in almost every home. According to pest control experts, there’s a great chance you’ll find at least one in or around the house at some point. While others don’t take them too seriously, moving into a home filled with unsavory squatters can lead to bigger problems in the future.

Responsible homeowners turn to pest control services for ticks, mosquitoes, and other critters before putting a house on sale. Failure to address pest infestation can lose their chances of selling a home or get them into big trouble. But if you’re keen to avoid homes that are potential breeding grounds for pests, it’s important to be aware of the telltale signs of pest infestation.

Keep a critical eye

Spotting a lone cockroach or an innocent mouse in a cabinet immediately points to a pest problem no matter how small or irrelevant it appears. The sight of any pest, traps, or bait stations is questionable and needs proper addressing. Ask the homeowner about existing pest issues, the history, and the steps they have taken to eliminate them.

Fecal matter is another sure sign of pest infestation. Rodent droppings have a solid, conical, or spindly shape and don’t smell that much. Insect droppings are much smaller and may include body parts, wings, shed, or discarded skin, while cockroach feces look like oval pellets with brown or pepper stains.

Furniture and fabric damage can also indicate the presence of bugs. Check for tears or small holes on drapes, clothing, furniture, carpeting, and other fabric-based items. Bite marks are not the only signs of bug infestation. They can make the fabric look dirty by leaving smudges of

grime, dirt, droppings, or grease along the surface. Although these dirt patches may look harmless to you, they can lead to health issues, such as allergies and skin irritation.

Seeing a live or dead pest can be a good bargaining chip with the seller or agent to ensure they will tackle the pest problem before closing the deal.

It’s all in the smell

When stepping inside an apartment or home, the smell of the premises can pretty much tell signs of infestation. Pests produce a wide range of unpleasant smells. For example, bed bugs have a musty, sweet odor while rodents give off a musty urine odor or a burning scene that smells like ammonia.

Pests such as cockroaches and mice leave behind a foul odor in areas they converted into their homes or breeding grounds. Roach infestation is something you can detect pretty quickly, as their smell typically has an oily or musty odor.

Ants, rodents, beetles, and other bugs carry food in their hiding places to eat it. The problem is they leave food particles, which eventually leads to rotting. So if you start noticing the smell of rotting food, there’s a chance a pest left a small bit of food behind your walls.

Pests are also notorious for tearing through random items and food packaging to consume the contents. They end up breaking the airtight seal, exposing the perishables. Those who turn to pesticides and include poison in baits will eventually notice odors coming from the decaying bodies of pests within the walls or hiding places. The smell of animal droppings is also a major giveaway.

Basically, if you notice a strange odor around the house that you can’t distinguish, there’s a possibility that pest infestation might be present.

Check for odd sounds

Pests can be small and unnoticeable, but they can be very poor at keeping their sounds at bay. Rodents prefer to hide behind walls and under floorboards, and they make scratching sounds when moving along floors and walls. These sounds vary from scurrying, squeaking, and gnawing, which you can hear clearly if the room is tranquil. The noise is even more obvious if there’s a rodent infestation.

Check for signs of termites by knocking at the wooden floors and walls. Bugs might be present if you hear hollow sounds when tapped. Ant infestation might be present if you hear a slight rustling sound against the walls.

The extent of damage caused by pests can be very dangerous not only to our possessions but also to our physical health. Letting them roam into your home can cause financial implications and life-threatening diseases. Inspecting a house thoroughly before living in it is a smart homebuyer move to avoid unexpected liabilities in the long run.


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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