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Imagine how embarrassing it would be to be showing potential buyers around your home… and a pest scuttles out from under your refrigerator. No matter how beautiful your house or how reasonably it’s priced you’d be looking at a hard no when selling a home with an infestation. So how do you recognize the signs of a pest infestation and make sure that you don’t have mice, roaches, termites or other pests?
While many pests are unhygienic, termites can actually damage the structural integrity of your home. In old homes with wooden beams they can bring down a ceiling on your head.
You might be able to see the wings they shed during mating season or their excrement- unsurprisingly for an animal that eats wood, this looks like sawdust. You may also be able to see visible signs of damage like clusters of small holes in wood or sagging floorboards.
If you find them there’s nothing you can do except call an exterminator and expect to pay a lot to get the problem fixed. Given how much damage they can cause you’ll be glad that you did.
Rats were eradicated from Alberta fifty years ago, and there are only a dozen or so reported infestations a year- mostly from escaped pet rats. Mice are still fairly common, and can cause major problems if they chew through electrical wires. Look out for droppings and listen for movement in your walls at night. You won’t need to call in an exterminator right away- try mousetraps first, or even a cat.
One of the most common and difficult to handle pests, cockroaches are common across the entire world. They breed fast, tend to congregate in difficult to reach places and are extraordinarily hard to kill. You may see them scuttling about at night (they’re mostly nocturnal) or find egg cases and cast-off shells. You might even be able to smell them, although by the time a cockroach infestation starts to smell you will probably need an exterminator.
You can save yourself a lot of time and money by avoiding creating a place for pests in the first place: clean up food quickly and store rotting fruit and vegetables in a secure container or outside compost, make sure that wooden fixtures are well varnished and treated and speak to your neighbours about any problems they have had in your area.
As real estate professionals, we will probably notice signs of pest infestation when we inspect your home, so if you have any concerns let us know.