In the excitement of buying a new home and finally moving in, it’s only natural that a few chores might slip your mind. However, if you really want to enjoy your new home to the fullest, it’s well worth keeping on top of some maintenance tasks more than others. Pest control is one of those things that few of us really think about until it’s too late.
But, when you’re moving into a new home, especially one that has been vacant for some time, it’s a good idea to give it some thought. The last thing you want is for your nice new home to become infested with bugs and other critters within a week! Fortunately, it’s easier than you might think to keep on top of, just make sure to complete the following 6 tasks before you move in!
Inspect the woodwork
A good home inspector will often pick up on serious infestations, but if it’s been some time since the inspection, and the house has been vacant, it’s well worth going over things one more time before you move in. You can tell a lot from the woodwork, so go around the home to check everything from window and door frames to rafters and even furniture. Any wood that is dry and brittle can indicate a termite infestation, and it’s wise to rid your home of these pests before moving your stuff in.
Be sure to take a look outside as well, ensuring that any wooden parts of your home are at least an inch away from the soil. Untreated wood that’s embedded in soil can soon become a haven for ants and termites, who will eat through the damp wood and gain access into your home.
Check your cabinets
Before you put your nice new dishware into the kitchen cabinets, take a good look inside and be sure to clean them out thoroughly. Mice and other rodents can soon move into a vacant home, and these dark areas often offer up a small feast in the form of crumbs and old food that hasn’t been cleared out properly. Check for droppings, chewed up wood, and holes in the back.
Seal foundation cracks
Take a look around the outside of your home, paying particular attention to the foundations. You’re looking for any cracks or holes that essentially act as a gateway for critters big and small to gain access. Larger holes can be sealed up using expanding foam, keeping mice and rats at bay, while smaller cracks can be filled in with caulk. Check also the crawlspace, both inside and out to ensure there are no nests down there, as well as seal up any gaps or holes that might be there.
Explore the attic
Head up to the attic next to check for nesting critters. From bats and bees to birds and raccoons, a poorly sealed attic is a popular place for pests to nest, as it’s normally warm, dark, and sheltered from the elements. While they’re up there, they can wreak costly damage to your home, so it’s good to be sure you’re in the clear before moving in. Again, expanding foam can be used to seal any larger holes or gaps. Also, check that wooden rafters are in good shape and aren’t dry and brittle, or damp.
If the previous owners have left behind their old mattresses, it’s a good idea to swap them out. Bed bugs are a very real risk, and once they get into your other clothes, they’re difficult to get rid of. It’s best practice to give all of your clothes, towels, and any other fabrics a good, hot wash before you pack them away, just to be safe, especially if you’ve traveled a long way.
Clear the yard
Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who bought a home from someone who took great care of the yard, it’s worth giving it a good going over. Check for burrowing animals, wasp nests, termite mounds, anthills, and any other signs of pests. Cut back any overgrown hedges, trees, or shrubs, especially if they’re close to the house, and give the grass a good trim to be sure there’s nothing lurking underneath. If there’s a pond or other water feature, check that the water hasn’t gone stagnant, and be sure anti-mosquito breeding measures are in place.
There’s a lot you can do yourself to keep on top of pest control, but it’s always a good idea to get the pros in for a thorough inspection before you move in. In this way, you can rest assured that you haven’t missed anything.