How to Inspect Used Homes for Pest Infestations

Hello, Di, First article here. Thank you.

How do you inspect used homes for infestations?

  1. Check for active pests
  2. Inspect surfaces for dead indoor bugs
  3. Holes, fecal matter, and gnaw marks
  4. Check the wood


Buying a new home or property can be one of the most pivotal moments in your life. However, one thing that can ruin this moment is the presence of pests and their accompanying infestations. The worst part about it is you might not detect them until you’ve spent some time in the home, leaving you questioning the worth of your investment and paying even more for repairs and pest control.

Let’s face it — nobody wants to be in that kind of situation. But without proper diligence and inspection during the home-buying process, there’s no way to guarantee a pest-free home. To help you in that regard, are ways on how you can inspect used homes for infestations.


Check for active pests

Check for active pests

One of the first things you should do when inspecting a used home you are interested in buying is to do a visual evaluation. The most obvious sign of a pest infestation is simply seeing pests walking or scurrying around the nooks and crannies of the house, if not in plain sight along the floors and walls.

This might not be the most likely thing to observe, but in some cases, lapses in management can lead to poor pest control before the sale of a house. This should be an immediate red flag on your end, no matter how desirable that property is to you.

To aid you in this endeavor, make sure to bring a flashlight every time you do a house tour.


Inspect surfaces for dead indoor bugs

Inspect surfaces for dead indoor bugs

If live pests are nowhere to be found, don’t celebrate just yet. Insects like termites and bed bugs usually leave their dead along window ledges due to it being an entry or exit point for them. Always check the corners of a room as well because dead insect bodies could also be found there.

It is important to take note of the number of dead insects that you find because an indoor infestation would usually mean copious amounts of insects like termites and bed bugs. Seeing only a handful might lead you to believe that the house is infested when in it could be random insects that go in through an open window or vent.

Dead bugs also mean an effort at pest control was made by the previous owners or the homeowners association, which should be a good sign for you.


Holes, fecal matter, and gnaw marks

Holes, fecal matter, and gnaw marks

Going further with the theme of ocular inspection, the next telltale signs of a pest infestation are holes, fecal matter, and gnaw marks. These three signs are grouped together because they mostly mean one thing: an active rodent infestation.

Rats have been known to be pests of habit, passing through the same established routes every time they move. This is why you should be monitoring the edges of a room that is closest to the walls.

Rodents love walking along walls since it gives them protection. It is also where they love to make holes to pass through.

Rats are also notorious producers of feces. They tend to leave their droppings anywhere they pass through. If you see tiny black pellets on the floor, along walls, or near conspicuous holes and drains, you can be sure that a rodent has been there recently.


Check the wood

Check the wood

No pest infestation inspection is complete without checking for termites. Termites are one of the worst pests one can have in a home regardless of whether it’s used or brand new.

During a house tour, make sure to knock on the wooden surfaces of the house in each room. If some parts sound hollow while others don’t, it could be a sign of termites. One way to verify this is by checking how brittle some of the hollow parts are. If they start crumbling at the slightest touch, then that should confirm the presence of termites.


Key Takeaway

Just because a used home has a form of pest infestation doesn’t mean you should automatically disregard it. In actuality, it is hard to find a home that has no history of infestation, whether it’s rodent, bedbug, or termites.

The important things you should know include the severity of the infestation as well as the options you have for pest control. Only then can you make a better decision when buying a home, so don’t forget to include those things on your checklist the next time you go house shopping.