Controlling Pests in Your Home: A First Time Buyer’s Guide

Mice, ants, spiders, termites, and other creepy-crawlies can quickly take the fun out of moving into your new home. But don’t panic. There’s plenty you can do before the moving trucks arrive to ensure your new home is pest free. Just follow the simple process detailed in this article.

Isoptera - Termitie

When it comes to home pest control, proper inspection can make all the difference. Of course, your first chance to inspect the house comes at your very first viewing. Check kitchen cabinets for ants, corners for spiders, and dark spaces for signs of mice or other vermin. If you don’t see any obvious signs of infestation, that’s great – but your job is far from over.

Before you sign on the dotted line to purchase the house, it’s critical to have your home professionally inspected. Make sure that you hire an inspector with special training in termite inspection. Termites can lurk under siding, between structural supports, and in other hidden areas that a layperson can’t easily detect – that’s why termite inspection is best left to a professional. While many other pests like ants and spiders are relatively easy to deal with, termite control can be difficult and expensive. If your inspection does turn up termites, get a quote for what a professional extermination might cost. You might be able to negotiate a reduction in the cost of the house based on the cost of termite control.If all goes well during the inspection, don’t assume your job is done. Even after you’ve purchased the home, it’s an especially good idea to do one final walkthrough a week or so before moving in. Because the house will be empty of furniture and personal possessions, it’s far easier to check for pests in their favorite hiding places. Check the backs of closets, hidden corners in the basement, behind the dryer hookup, and anywhere else that’s dark and secluded.

If you do find pests at this stage, don’t panic. While it can be tempting to attempt to exterminate them yourself, this can often do more harm than good. Commercially available pest control products are often weak and ineffective. Rather than exterminating your pests, you’ll just drive them even deeper into hiding, making the problem even more intractable. Your best bet is to hire a qualified local exterminator to do the work.


If you’ve made it this far without finding so much as a cobweb, count yourself lucky. Before your boxes are unpacked is the perfect time to do some preventative maintenance, to ensure that your home remains pest free. Caulk around leaky windows, fill any holes or cracks in the foundation, and consider investing in a professional preventive treatment.

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