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Ensuring that Your New Home is Pest Free

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Congratulations on your new home! Whether you’re making room for a bigger family or you’ve landed a new job in a different state, pests are the last thing you’d want to welcome into your brand-new home.
How do you start with a clean slate? Read on for some tips to have a pest-free home.

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Image Credit: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Before the move

1. Have a final house inspection

Sure you checked how your new space can accommodate all your belongings, but have you inspected to see if there are termites or roaches lurking in the corners? Inspect the back of your wooden installations.
Better yet, come up with a checklist to make sure all aspects of your new house were looked into.
Be sure to check some of these indoor areas:

  • Kitchen
    Rodents will naturally find their way into food supplies. Check if there are stains and food marks near the dishwasher, garbage area, sink and cabinets. Rats will more likely leave droppings on corners where biodegradable and non-canned food items used to be stored.
  • Living room
    Most homeowners tend to bring popcorn, pizza and other kinds of messy snacks during play dates or movie nights. Check for carpet spills or rows of ant build ups on the walls. Look for trails on overhead lights, night stands, desks and drawers.
  • Garage and basement
    This area tends to get damp especially during winter time and rainy seasons. Silverfish or millipedes are huge, multi-legged fans of damp and moist spaces. Take a look into you basement’s carpet, flooring, wall paper and windows. Make sure to check for silver fish at night, as these are nocturnal insects.

After your last check before the move, you may also refer to these tips to keep your home cleaner for longer.

2. Consult with pest control experts

Hopefully, you weren’t able to see major trails of pest droppings in your prospective home. Just to be sure, it’s best to have a word with pest control experts. They’re more experienced and have a keener eye at seeing the extent of damages in every home.

You can look into pest inspectors to provide you with a written report about a property. They can also pinpoint the pest-susceptible areas in your home.

3. If needed, schedule a fumigation session

Your home’s previous homeowner should ensure the property is as good as new. In case you find some traces and signs of pests, do not hesitate to re-consider the clauses of your agreement. The applicable ownership laws on pest control will depend on the local council of your area. A property’s legal promulgations will also depend on your terms with the previous owner.

If you’re renting the house, you can revisit the Residential Tenancies Act of 1997, which is one of Australia’s property references. It does not necessarily indicate a clause on pest control, but it identifies the landlord’s duties in maintaining the premises. Make sure to agree on a fumigation session especially when pest control experts suggest for you to do so.

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Sheathed house under fumigation
Image Credit: Ryan Dickey

For home re-sellers, their realtors would suggest a fumigation as the first step in tidying up their home. Some states submitted laws about sellers securing required reports to clear their properties. This should assure the new owners that their homes will be safe from diseases caused by pests.

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Image Credit: ArmchairBuilder.com

Upon settling in your new home

After securing a clearance to your new house, the next major step is to ensure you won’t lure in any type of insects during your move. Don’t attempt to bring leftover food items from your previous house. As much as possible, just bring packed edibles to be stored in your cabinets.

1. Regularly sanitise the kitchen

As mentioned earlier, the kitchen is one of the main areas where pests pile up. Rodents are actively looking for ways to get their food from your home. If you leave used pizza boxes at trash bins for days or you have a knack for leaving leftover food in the sink, there’s a high chance for rodents to share homes with you.

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Image Credit: Jeffrey Gelens

Focus on the sink, trash can and floors. For daily cleaning, simply mix detergent and bleach with water. Then, prepare a concentrated bleaching solution alongside your chemical mixture. Using three different cloths, wipe off the dirt and food stains on the surfaces of your table, the sink and floors. After having done so, you can apply the second coat which is the bleaching solution.

If food items are properly sealed and all surfaces are disinfected, rodents can’t sense if there’s anything to scavenge from your kitchen.

2. Make weekly or monthly pest inspections

It’s understandable for you to have busy work schedules, but there’s never an excuse to check whether some corners of your home are piling up on nests for pests. If you can’t thoroughly check all the corners of our house, then make a checklist which focuses on one area per week or per month.

Most importantly, the kitchen should be disinfected every day. Your weekly checklist should include your landscape, roof drainages, timber walls and carpets. These require detailed inspections, so be sure to schedule a day within your weekend to clear them from pest build ups.

3. Organise a pest-vigilant neighbourhood

Unfortunately, having a squeaky clean home does not guarantee you from a pest invasion. If you have a highly disorganised next-door neighbour, he or she might attract cockroaches that can potentially lure them over to your home.

Pests might see your street as an abundant source of food and habitat. If you have periodic neighbourhood meetings, bring up the topic of chasing off trash scavengers. Invite the garbage truck operators to give quick talks on keeping outdoor trash bins closed at all times or correctly sealing biodegradable trash. Slowly initiating this topic can also give you a chance to get acquainted with your new neighbours.

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Image Credit: University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association

Moving to a new home is a sign of new beginnings. Have a great start during your big move by ensuring your abode is free of pests. The mentioned tips are just few of the steps you can take to ensure a clean home and a healthy lifestyle.