Pests are not one of the issues that people commonly think about when going through the moving process. There are so many other, seemingly more important things that tend to take our focus instead.
Location and price tend to dominate our thoughts more than anything. There’s also furniture and the necessity for remodeling. And then any potential maintenance issues such as leaks, mold or bad paint jobs.
You definitely do need to consider pests too though. They can cause a myriad of different issues and moving into a new house without dealing with a pest problem first would be disastrous. This happens often because the infestation wouldn’t be obvious unless you look for it. You’ll find the actual transition taking substantially longer than you originally planned for.
There are a number of potential pests you could end up dealing with, and their effect ranges from somewhat irritating to genuinely dangerous. It’s important to make sure that you deal with any pest problems in your new home before you move in.
Here are some of the important things to remember about how to deal with pests during your moving process:
Pests to Think About
As mentioned above, there are a few different kinds of pests that could cause you problems, and you need to be ready for all of them. You’ve got:
- Rodents. Rats and mice are far more common than people realize because again, they are so good at hiding. They multiply fast and can be extremely dangerous. Rats especially carry a lot of diseases and do tend to be aggressive in some cases.
- Roaches. Cockroaches are difficult to kill, and if there is an infestation of them, it’s going to get very big, very quickly. They are an unpleasant site, they can cause odors and they carry quite a few diseases too.
- Bed Bugs. A lot of people don’t even realize that bed bugs exist. They think that they are just a part of that rhyme used to put children to bed but that’s not the case. Their bites are painful, itchy and can cause infection in some cases.
- Ants. The worst thing about having an ant infestation in your house is that there will be so many of them. You could have hundreds of them, and they’d be getting into your cupboards and your food supply where they’d be spreading bacteria.
- Fleas. These insects are so very tiny that it’s almost impossible to see them. They are a very unhygienic presence and like the others listed, they spread fast. They’re especially common if you’ve got dogs or cats.
So with all of these in mind, what should you do to keep them at bay?
Prepare the House You’re Moving to
The first thing that you need to do is a very, very thorough clean of the entire house. It can be tempting to just move all of your boxes in as soon as the deal is closed, but you’ll regret that if there’s an unchecked pest problem.
Find the time to clean the entire house from top to bottom. Maybe on a weekend or a couple of evenings, it shouldn’t take too long if you commit yourself to it. Move everything left there by the previous owners out so that you can get into every nook and cranny.
Vacuum and mop the floors, dust every surface, clean up all the cobwebs and scrub the bathrooms. Grime and dirt attracts pests, and you could prevent infestations by keeping the place clean.
Then you need to go through the house with a fine tooth comb to try and find any signs of pests. Lay out traps, look for droppings and smear marks. If there are pests present you will definitely find some dead ones after looking hard enough.
In some cases, you might be able to solve the problem yourself with pesticides. But if you find evidence of a severe infestation, then you really should hire professional pest control. Any evidence of bed bugs or rodents will necessitate this.
Prepare the Yard
It's not just the interior of the house that you need to worry about, there is the potential for pests in the yard too. Mice and rats, also squirrels especially love unkempt gardens. Piles of wood, debris, cut grass or trimmings from trees and bushes make great hiding places.
It seems like a common courtesy to clean up the yard before moving out of a house, but a lot of people don’t do it. So you may need to do a job on that yourself. Clean up everything from the yard and then do a perimeter check on the walls of the house.
What you’re looking for are any potential entry points. Any holes, gaps or cracks in the walls. You can seal these up with caulk, and you can also use wire meshing to block off larger holes because that’s something that rodents can’t chew through.
Leaving Pests Behind
There’s always the possibility that your new home will be pest free and you will actually bring the problem with you from your old home. You may have an infestation brewing which you aren’t aware of that you could inadvertently transport with you.
The most likely pest for this would be a cockroach. Typically, people will pack up the stuff they're moving in cardboard boxes with adhesive. Cockroaches can get through that easily and they will view it as another place to hide and breed.
So instead, use plastic boxes. No pests will find their way into them and they are much stronger anyway. You also should check your mattress over for signs of bed bugs. Even if you don’t find any, you should sanitize the mattress before packing it up anyway.
And then of course, give all of your clothes and linens one final cleaning before you go. Don’t pack any of that stuff without cleaning it first, especially if it’s something that hasn’t been used in a while.
If you take all of these steps, then you can move into a new place confident that you will neither find any pests there, nor bring any with you. Arriving in a new home should be exciting, and that excitement will be dashed promptly if you realize you’re sharing the place with an infestation. So make sure that doesn’t happen.