Why Sellers Should Have a Pest Inspection Before Listing
Photo by Jesse Roberts
By The REALFX Group – Texas & Denise Donovan
Why Sellers Should Have a Pest Inspection Before Listing
Could you be living with a pest problem?
What happens when you pass the problem along to a potential buyer?
Homeowners want to get optimal value for their investment.
But this is less likely to happen if a pest issue has been unaddressed by a seller.
It can cause detours and delays during the home selling process.
Don’t surprise your buyers with a pest problem and potentially lose out on a sale!
Understand more about why early pest inspections prior to listing may be the best choice for sellers and potential buyers.
Significant Damage Hiding in a Home
Some pests can eat away at the structure of a home or hide in wall voids.
Termites can make meals of support beams and other wood structures, furniture and heirlooms.
Rodents can cause environmental degradation and cause severe damage to many parts of your home. [Attics, electrical, yards, storage areas and vehicles in garages].
Bed bugs can lie hidden in wall voids, behind baseboards or under carpet tacks.
Unfortunately, much of this damage isn’t visible to you.
This can lead to safety issues and decrease a home’s value.
This subjects the new buyer to potential financial outlay that may cause a lawsuit.
If your thinking about listing your home, here are some tips.
Have regular inspections and take care of pest problems when they present themselves.
This helps to avoid spending money on repairs after damage has occured.
Those who don’t, may find a costly problem during a home inspection.
This can cause you to accept a significant cut in the asking price.
Remember, that it is important for buyers and sellers to work together.
Addressing issues before a listing can make for less stress and fewer delays later on when it comes time to sell.
Pest Inspections Just Makes Sense
Don’t allow a pest problem come back to “bite” you!
In some states, a seller may not be required by law to obtain a pest inspection.
However, depending upon the home’s condition a buyers lender might demand a pest report.
When discussing the market, a seller’s market makes it likely a buyer may waive home inspection contingencies to close on a home.
A pest inspection becomes more important in buyer’s market.
This is where there may be several offers pending.
If a pest inspection is not required or requested, a seller may choose to forgo the extra inspection.
For example, a clear pest report could become a selling point and a benefit for a buyer.
As is beneficial with other inspection reports, buyers will appreciate a clear pest report.
Serious pest problems can cost a pretty penny so do your due diligence.
Sellers have little control of the report when buyers initiate the pest inspection.
And in some areas, such as California, it becomes part of the public record.
Therefore, it is wise for sellers to have a pest inspection done before listing their homes.
The Well-Positioned Seller
Asking price is one of the important factors that may drive traffic and lead to multiple offers on a property.
It’s better to be aware of any pest problems that can deter potential buyers from a sale or reduce the value of a home.
Inspections are generally affordable and range from $50 to $200, depending on the location.
Learn more about how useful a pest inspection can be for sellers and speak with an agent for more information on local professionals today.
We’re always here to help!
The REALFX Group – Texas
Suspect Bed Bugs?
Get Out That Steamer!
High steam heat kills bed bugs and eggs.
And here you thought steamers were for cleaning only.
If you think you have bed bugs, get out that steamer! (Give them our Coupon code IBBRA for a discount)
Bed bugs don’t go away on their own.
The longer you have them, the greater the amount.
And with regular blood meals they’ll grow into even larger infestations.
They can reach exponential growth patterns and can make your life unbearable and environment uninhabitable.
Know that bed bugs are everywhere and anywhere!
Don’t single yourself out, even the cleanest of people can get bed bugs.
And, clutter has a serious influence on the ability to get rid of them.
Stay ahead of bed bugs by steaming regularly.
How to Avoid an Infestation
Always check for signs of bed bug signs.
Common hiding places are, beds, couch, easy chair or areas where you sleep or rest.
Be aware of any bites. Don’t assume fleas or mosquitoes and check for bed bugs.
Change your sheets weekly. Examine your bed often for signs of bed bugs.
Especially if you are being bitten and don’t know the source.
Look for, live bed bugs in all stages of development, shed skins, blood smears, and fecal stains.
Toxins in Our Bodies
A senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Rebecca Sutton, PhD, stated, “In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.”
That’s pretty scary if you think about it.
Cleaning products contain chemicals like: Phthalates – Perchloroethylene or “PERC” – Sodium Hypochlorite – Ammonia -Triclosan – Chlorine – Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS” – 2-Butoxyethanol – Sodium Hydroxide – most of which are ‘hazardous to humans and domestic animals’.
The problems arise with repeated contact.
So, if your cleaning with that same product every week, monthly or yearly, the likelihood is that you will find those chemicals in your tissues, organs, blood or urine.
Many of these toxins are stored in our tissues creating, hormone disruption, asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, and neurotoxicity.
And we actually pay hundreds of dollars each year to poison ourselves and our environments with each bottle we buy.
We may not be able to avoid toxic chemicals altogether but we can reduce them significantly. And here’s how:
Every living organism has a thermal death point.
Spores, viruses, bacteria, mold to insects, mammals and humans.
Pressurized steam is used to sterilize dental probes, and medical equipment for surgery, anesthesia and respiratory therapy.
Moist heat destroys microorganisms by the denaturation of enzymes and structural proteins.
Routine cleaning using chemicals on mops and rags absorb and hold in bacteria and viruses, cross-contaminate and smear bacteria from one area to another.
Even a concentration of 70 percent, ethyl alcohol has virtually no effect on bacterial spores.
It may smell good or look clean, but if you were to test the surface you would find all kinds of harmful microorganisms.
Benefits of Vapamore MR 100 Steamer
The benefits of steam go beyond a clean, sanitized environment.
- Non-Toxic/Child/Pet/Senior/Health Benefits
- Kills Bacteria/Viruses/Mold/Yeasts/Fungi
- Infection Control
- Destroys Bed Bugs, Eggs and other Inspects
- Neutralizes Allergens
- Safe for Respiratory Issues
- Leaves No Residual
- Saves Water/Protects Environment
- Saves You Money/No More Purchasing Chemicals
- Easier on The Lungs and Hands Than Chemical Cleaning Products.
- Cuts cleaning time in half!
We’ve tested many steamers over the past decade and have found one that stands behind their product, quality and warranty.
Rated best on the market for all purpose and bed bugs.
How Vapamore MR 100 Steamer Works
The unit has a 1,500-Watt heating element that heats water to high temperatures of 210-220F and generates a low-pressure output of steam.
This steam kills 99.99% of bacteria and doesn’t require the use of any harmful chemicals.
Only water and electricity are used.
Built to last!
Can be used for industrial, commercial and residential environments.
I’m amazed that hospitals, hotels, daycares, and senior care environments don’t use steam to clean daily.
There are a multitude of uses inside homes like:
Grout, tile, quartz, wood floors, carpet, upholstery, laminates, porcelain, granite, ceramic, bath tubs, toilets, sinks, ovens, water spots on shower doors and walls, blinds, fabrics, draperies, pet stains and many other surfaces.
There’s even an attachment to use for steam pressing your clothing!
And outside the home:
Bar-b-q’s, patio furniture, auto detail, concrete, weeds, spider nests, garage floors and so much more!
Did you know that the average family of 4 spends anywhere between $400 to 600 hundred dollars a year on cleaning products?
I personally own and highly recommend the Vapamore MR 100.
Since I purchased mine, I no longer use any chemicals to clean my home and save lots of money.
Learn How to Use A Vapamore MR 100 for Bed Bugs
If you’re going to use a Vapamore MR100 to treat for bed bugs, get “How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on a Tight Budget”.
It’s only $4.99 in Kindle!
You will learn step by step, how to void spreading the bed bugs and learn the exact process used by professionals.
Get yours today, you’ll be glad you did! Use Coupon Code IBBRA
(I have no vested interest or financial reward by promoting this product)
We’re here to help!
What to Look for While Changing Your Sheets (Signs of Bed Bugs)
One of the most common Bed Bug Hotline calls we get are from people who say, “I never noticed anything on my sheets.”
But after weeks, and sometimes months of mysterious bites, they finally begin their search.
Bed bugs are most common in areas where we sleep or rest.
Survival of The Fittest
Food, environments and proper shelter is how most living organisms survive.
Most all species of insects have a certain nature and pattern.
It is through knowing their nature, that helps pest control develop ways of combating them and keeping them out of our homes.
Bees make hives. Ants create tunnels. They have particular habitats and food sources.
Of course, unless you are dealing with cockroaches who are omnivorous scavengers and can survive a multitude of environments.
Long term survival depends upon attaining basic nutritional essentials and shelter from outside dangers.
For bed bugs, to assure survival they usually take up shelter close to where they get their blood meal.
Bed bugs are drawn to the CO2 we breath when we exhale and warmth of our bodies.
During our sleeping or resting times, CO2 builds up in concentrated form and acts like a “dinner bell” to bed bugs.
The female finds her way to the food source and will deposit her eggs in the seams of the mattress or frame.
This way after they hatch they don’t have far to go to obtain a meal.
Instars or first hatched bed bugs are very small, have thin skin and need blood meals in order to grow to their next stage of development.
Knowing if You Have Bed Bugs in Your Environment Takes A Conscious Effort
Often, you’ll see online pictures of horrible infestations.
These pictures make people fearful and scared and they do some pretty crazy things.
Like throw away beds and furniture because they found one bug.
All they envision is thousands of bed bugs that causes them to freak out and toss everything.
These types of infestations have been around for great lengths of time.
How to Avoid an Infestation in Homes
Bed bugs take time to build into “infestation” levels.
Of course, unless you’ve brought home a completely “infested” item from a secondhand store or from a garage sale.
But normally, only one or two are introduced.
Some people begin experiencing bites.
If your one of those who are not allergic to bug bites, you’ll need to be even more conscientious.
- Be aware of where you go and where you sit or sleep.
- Vigilance is important when you have overnight guests.
- Check items you bring into your home like, luggage from a trip, backpacks, computer bags if you’ve sat at a local library or coffee shop.
- Check your clothing if you’ve visited a movie theater, restaurant booth or sat in an emergency waiting room or doctors’ clinic.
Bed bugs are found in places where people congregate.
Change your sheets weekly. Examine them first for any blood smears.
When changing them, roll them into the middle of your bed, folding the edges inwards before taking them to your laundry.
Carefully examine the edges of your mattress and boxsprings, looking for any sign of bed bugs. (bed bugs in all sizes, fecal stains, shed skins, blood smears).
I always suggest having mattress and boxsprings encasements.
Not only to keep bed bugs out of your mattress, (should you get them they can’t get in), but to keep your investment clean from sweat, spills and especially, dust mites.
They just protect your investment and keep it clean.
If you have a headboard, vacuum it thoroughly and check for any signs of bed bugs.
And check the frame.
So, if you’re experiencing bites, these are the common places where they hide.
Sleeping on the Couch and Guest Room Beds
Lots of people sleep on their couch.
They may fall asleep watching a movie or just prefer a cozy couch.
The one thing you must not do is move to your couch if you think you might have bed bugs in your bed.
They will follow you!
A big reason why bed bugs spread to other parts of their home.
If you have an overnight guest using your guest room, always check for signs of bed bugs after your guest leaves.
A guest can pick up a bed bug while traveling and leave it behind at your home.
Most of the time they don’t know they have one and it really isn’t their fault.
What to Do If You Suspect Bed Bugs
Finding bed bugs and eliminating them when they are first discovered prevents “infestations” from building.
The number one process I tell people about should they discover a bed bug or two, is the use of a steamer.
Insects of all sorts have a “thermal death point” which the steamer provides and no bug can survive the steam.
I’ve been using a steamer for over 6 years to clean my house and remove any bug that should find its way into my house.
Eliminating toxins chemicals that accompany cleaning products has made my home a whole lot cleaner.
I like the fact that the steamer also kills bacteria and other toxins and sanitizes my environment at the same time.
I never worry about my grandchildren playing in a bathtub that was washed down with some chemical.
Or playing on the floor washed with some chemical cleaner.
Step by Step
If you suspect bed bugs or if you just want to know the process of finding their hiding places and removing them safely, read
“Hot to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on a Tight Budget”.
Many people can’t afford the services of a professional which can be quite expensive.
After thousands of Bed Bug Hotline calls requesting information on how to get rid of bed bugs, we wrote this book.
And of course, we had to make it affordable at $4.99 on Kindle
The book takes you through a step-by-step process from knowing the nature of the bed bug, to discovering their favorite hiding places to safe and proper elimination.
It especially explains what process DO NOT work and what not to do.
Also, if you have any questions, you can always reach out to us for answers at 888-966-2332
We are here to help! www.ibbra.org
My Life – Closed for Maintenance – I Have Bed Bugs!
Bed bugs are an unexpected nightmare that no one wants.
They can show up at the most inopportune time.
If you suspect bed bugs, you need to pay attention now.
Or you’ll be wearing a sign that says, “My Life – Closed for Maintenance – I Have Bed Bugs”.
Life Is Unpredictable
You can get a flat or be playing softball and a misdirected ball may break a window.
But unlike a flat tire or a broken window that are easy to fix in a day, bed bugs need time to end.
But bed bugs can show up or dropped off at any time, anywhere without you ever knowing.
Your time and energy need focusing.
If you think or suspect bed bugs for any reason, stop what you are doing.
Focus on finding out whether you have them or not.
Meanwhile, you don’t want to have overnight guests or visitors that may put them at risk.
And don’t play the “wait and see” game.
A single bite doesn’t always mean you have bed bugs.
But it is wise to investigate if the bites are coming from fleas or mosquitoes.
Bed bugs are not always easy to find should you have only one or two of them.
Their ability to hide supersedes your ability to find them.
And they are difficult for even a trained professional to find during this time.
After about a week after introduction, a scent has developed.
It would be wise to bring in a detection dog team to find their scent.
These trained dogs detect very small amounts of bed bugs.
Even down to a single bug or egg and can target the area where they are hiding.
Knee Jerk Reactions
So many people tend to think that if they throw away their bed, that bed bugs will be gone.
They’re called bed bugs for a reason.
They harbor in areas where we rest or sleep which are usually beds, couches or easy chairs.
It is not always necessary to get rid of your furniture because of bed bugs.
Especially when they are first introduced.
Using the Wrong Products
People tend to do is reach for anything that says bed bugs on the label at their local hardware store or online.
Using inferior products will create a whole new set of circumstances.
How would you know if you are dealing with a resistant strain?
We can’t depend on chemicals – Concentrations of sometimes 1,000 times more is often needed – This would create a heavy toxic environment in our already toxic homes.
Most chemicals are “contact” killers. (sprayed on bug in order for the product to kill them).
To kill resistant bed bugs, it may need concentrations of 1,000 times more than normal.
- Less Expensive Treatment
- May offer Some Residual
- Works in Conjunction with Other IPM Methods
- Low Success Rates
- Dependent on Client Involvement
- Resistance Issues
- Does not penetrate egg
- Clutter Influences Effectiveness
- Limits use of Canines (30 days)
- Repeated Treatments Required
- May Spread Bed Bugs
- Some Items May Need Discarding
- Requires Extensive Prep Work
- Health Issues
Possible Added Costs
High Success Rates – Bed bugs, like any living organism, has a thermal death temperature.
Temperatures vary from 135°F to 180°F and success depends upon experience of operator.
Other factors for success:
Extent and length of Infestation
- Immediate Single Treatment Elimination
- Chemical Free
- No Odors
- No Resistance
- Kills all Stages of Bed Bugs Including Eggs
- Limited Discarding of Items
- Least Preparation
- Safe for People and Pets Immediately After Treatment
- Sanitizes and Disinfects
- Can be costly
- Leaves no Residual
So, What Do You Do?
Find a bed bug. – Find signs of bed bugs. – Have a trained dog scent for bed bugs.
If confirmed, decide on professional or DIY yourself.
Weight the possibilities of chemical treatment versus heat treatment.
Treatment choices are up to you.
Anyway, your life will be closed for a while until you get rid of the bed bugs.
Have no shame or hide the fact you have them.
They can happen to anyone.
What You Should Expect with a Professional Bed Bug Treatment
We are being flooded with calls from people saying, “I think we have bed bugs, what do we do?”
It’s understood that complete knowledge of this pest, combined with a cohesive partnership with YOU will provide the best elimination result and future protection you can expect.
The bed bugs resurgence has become a significant concern for our global society.
Successful elimination and control of this pest is extremely difficult and once breeding grounds have “established” in structures of multi-unit properties, presents even greater challenges.
As you will understand with this, each step of elimination should be clearly outlined and provide inclusions and exclusions pertaining to the size and length of the infestation, the number of units affected, the people involved, and the environment treated.
Before you begin your search on how to qualify a professional you’re probably full of questions on bed bugs and the process of elimination, and that’s a good thing!
You’ll want to be asking intelligent questions, lots of them!
And if you don’t get the answers you’re looking for – say “next”.
Remember, you can’t just “knock down” or kill a “few bed bugs” because if any bugs or eggs are left behind, you will start all over again in a short amount of time.
You need to be assured that once the company commits to your project they will follow it through until complete control is maintained.
Interview and search for a well-educated and experienced company that will start with coaching you first.
Develop a relationship as you would with any other professional (i.e. Car repair, builder, clergy, maintenance, doctor, and dentist)
During an inspection and treatment evaluation, your professional will identify the bug in question.
At this point, knowing the nature of the bed bug, the life cycles and their interaction with the environment, they will begin an inspection to evaluate the extent of the infestation.
Bed bugs in particular are cryptic in nature and are very hard to find in early stages.
This inspection may take some time depending upon your environment, how much clutter, how many people and who sleeps where.
In multi-unit properties, units with shared walls need inspecting as well.
During this time, they may ask a multitude of questions to discover the source of introduction.
Because they want success in their treatment, they will share “what not to do” to help limit bed bug activity spreading until treatment can start.
It is suggested that people keep their homes decluttered prior to getting bedbugs but this is not always the case.
Cluttered environments greatly reduce the efficacy of any treatment.
Once finished with a thorough inspection, they will design a multidisciplinary or integrated treatment protocol.
They will focus their treatment on your affordability, the extent of infestation, and structural environments.
Questions to Ask
- Do they “specialize” in bed bug treatments?
- Where did they get their training on bed bugs? Elimination training?
- Is their complete staff trained in bed bugs?
- How long have they been treating for bed bugs and how many treatments have they done?
- What type of treatments and processes do they offer? (Heat, Chemical, Fumigation, Other?)
- Which treatment is the most effective and why?
- Which treatment would be best suited for your environment and why? (Children, elderly, sick, medical or mental situations, handicapped, pets, clutter or hoarder)
- Do they supply educational materials on bed bugs?
- Do you have to be involved in the treatment process and what is expected of you, your family, staff or tenants?
- How many treatments will it take to get rid of your problem? (Be sure to fully understand the nature of this pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to completely solve the problem)
- How much is this going to cost you? (When dealing with bed bug treatment it can be costly)
- Do they offer or provide extended or extra services for preparation?
- Do they offer a post treatment follow-up?
- Do they have any referrals or previous clients you can speak to about their service?
- Are there any “hidden or extra costs” outside the contract? (Removal, prep, additional products i.e. mattress encasements, monitors)
- Do they have or have access to a detection dog team?
- Do they have any reviews online that you can read? (Angie’s List, Yelp, LinkedIn, other associations?)
- Do they offer a guarantee or warranty? (If so, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and managing skills are necessary)
Be Aware and Avoid
AVOID PRODUCTS FROM HARDWARE STORES!
The number one biggest mistakes you can make is running to the store to buy up anything that says bed bugs on the label. Most of these products spread bed bugs and do not work.
- Be aware of unlicensed advertisers “posing” as pest control taking advantage of bed bug victims. Avoid any person or company that does not or can’t show you a valid ID, company license and insurance
- Avoid suspicious or unmarked cars or trucks (All dedicated service vehicles are clearly marked with the company’s name consistent with state laws)
- Be aware of anyone who offers a treatment without confirming and “showing you evidence” (live bed bugs or signs of them).
- Avoid any company that will commence treatment in multi-unit dwellings without complete authorization from owner/management.
- Avoid “rotating door techs”. Having consistency will assure they fully understand every phase of your job.
- Be aware of exterminators that offer “too good to be true” bargains.
- Stay away from your cousins, sisters, boyfriend that “used” to be a pest technician many years ago!
- Avoid “ads” promising complete removal in just one treatment on Craig’s List or other such sites
- RUN from slick sales people with “urgency to treat” who sees one bug in a bag then hands you a contract for thousands of dollars.
- Stay away from anyone telling you, you MUST throw away all your furniture! (exceptions)
- Avoid lengthy contracts with all kinds of legal jargon that you don’t understand!
Proper and effective bed bug removal is a scientifically based and strategically designed methodology that may include different processes that varies from one environment to another.
Different settings affect decisions of treatments that may include:
- Size and time infestation has been established
- People’s vocations
- Conditions (structures, age) of dwellings
- Amount of furniture or items
- Previous treatment methods used and much more.
Remember, the severity of the infestation will greatly influence the type of treatment and involvement.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS!
For training and education materials please visit with one of our service providers in your area http://ibbra.org/service-providers
or give us a call 1-888-966-2332 / 1-888-9-NOBEDBUGS