Wasps and Squirrels and Mice, Oh My!
If you've been following Team Broady, you know how much we stress the importance of a pre-listing building inspection. It is a worthwhile investment, as it helps avoid unpleasant surprises for both buyers and sellers. It's the best way for you, as a seller, to disclose your home's condition to potential buyers upfront, giving them confidence that you are being fully transparent about any possible issues.
Water infiltration, structural problems, plumbing, and electrical defects are common issues when selling a home. However, many people are completely unaware that household pests can cause significant headaches.
You might be surprised to know how often we uncover pest problems during a pre-listing inspection that the homeowners are oblivious to. Some of the most common visitors include mice, ants, bats, squirrels, birds, and wasps, with the occasional raccoon or skunk! Most of the time, our sellers have no idea that a problem exists, and in many cases, the damage that has already been caused, and the steps required to remedy the situation, can be quite substantial.
A building inspector will usually detect evidence that a problem exists. They may notice rotten wood that’s been infested by ants, or they may find mouse droppings in the attic. It’s important not to ignore these clues, and to call in an expert to take a closer look.
Carpenter ants are one example that we often see. They bore into moist or rotting wood, and can cause serious damage to a home if left unchecked. In order to get rid of carpenter ants for good, the nest must be destroyed. Sometimes, the nest can be very difficult to find when it’s located behind a wall or outside the home in an old tree stump. Simply spraying around the house or setting ant traps may provide temporary relief, but the ants will probably come back. It’s always best to call a professional.
Mice and bats can also be very problematic and costly to deal with. Their droppings can be toxic and significant accumulation over time will require professional decontamination to remove it safely. These pests also breed very rapidly and so can quickly multiply. Although hiring an exterminator can be a short-term solution and often gets rid of the pests that are already present, there’s always the chance that new pests will find their way back into the home. For this reason, we recommend hiring a wildlife control expert who specializes in sealing off entry points, and who offers a guarantee that no new pests can get in (provided you don’t leave your garage door open overnight!).
Even though these are very common problems, most people don’t like to bring attention to them and some might even turn a blind eye. After all, who wants their friends and neighbours to know that they have a mouse infestation! And because it tends to be a topic that is often swept under the rug, many homebuyers don’t realize how common such problems are.
When a potential buyer learns about a pest issue, they often overreact and get completely turned off. This is why it’s so important to not only uncover the problem before you sell but to deal with it properly before putting that “For sale” sign on your front lawn. Selling your home pest-free is key to maximizing your value, and your buyers will be grateful.
Even if you’re not thinking of selling, if you see early signs of pest issues, it is vital that you not wait! Spotting one carpenter ant means that there is likely a large colony nearby. Acting quickly will avoid a more serious problem and save you money down the road.
If you need advice or guidance about pest control, don't hesitate to reach out to Team Broady today at 514-613-2988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.