House hunting? Make sure you keep an eye out for these pests.
Whether you are buying a house for the first time, buying an additional home, or finding yourself a change a scenery, house hunting can have its own aches and pains. One obstacle you don’t want to have to think about when you walk in the door for the first time is being greeted by the militant pest, bed bugs.
Often found hiding in the seams of mattresses and other places, bed bugs can invade any home and because of their tiny size, they are also difficult to find and can be easily overlooked. Bed bugs are notorious for causing sleepless nights, which often lead to mental and physical anguish and are extremely difficult and costly to get rid of. So before buying a home, ensure you have done your due diligence so you aren’t moving into a home that is surprisingly occupied.
Bed Bug Infestation Disclosure
In Ohio, it is ambiguous as to whether a seller should disclose on the Residential Property Disclosure Form whether they have dealt with or are dealing with bed bugs. Based on the fact that they don’t have to disclose it, it may be important to ask the real estate agent whether the property has a history of bed bugs. This is not only important to the property itself, but could be extremely telling if you are looking into purchasing a condo or an apartment because the bed bugs could be moving from unit to unit.
Quick Visual Inspection
Although you may be distracted by the layout and design of a property you are interested in, it may be worthwhile keeping your eyes open for signs of bed bugs. Because you are in someone else’s home, it isn’t proper to be peeling back bedsheets to look for them on mattresses, so you will have to keep it general to start out. You will more than likely not see any walking around, as they are very elusive, but what may look like dirt, could be feces and exoskeletons left by these pests. Here are some signs of bed bugs to look out for:
- Live bed bugs
- Dark spots on mattress or sheets
- Bed bugs’ excreta
- Bed bug eggs and eggshells
Bed bugs are extremely small and flat. To put this into perspective, the insect is about the size of the thickness of a quarter, 0.1 inches, and enjoy being in warm and dark places. Bed bugs can be anywhere, but they are most often found in the following locations:
- Mattresses and box springs
- Drawers and furniture
- Bed frames, headboards, and baseboards
- Cracks behind outlets
- Curtain folds
- Furniture seams
- Floor and door molding
- Electrical appliances
When looking for bed bugs while touring a house, you are not going to be able to look at the mattress, box springs, and furniture in respect of another family’s belongings. So keep an eye out along the baseboards for any of the signs.
What To Do If You Find Bed Bugs
If you find a bed bug or have the signs of bed bugs in a home you are interested in purchasing, you must first tell your realtor to ensure that it is communicated clearly to the other party. This may or may not alter property value or halt any offers that are in place. At this point, the seller would have to seek help from a professional bed bug exterminator. They will be able to confirm whether there is, or is not a bed bug infestation and the best methods to exterminate. If the house you are seeking does have bed bugs, it is not a dealbreaker. With the right bed bug treatment procedure, the bed bugs can be exterminated in just one day.
Hiring a House Inspector
Hiring a house inspector that is familiar with bed bugs could save you an immense amount of time and money. Some home inspectors may or may not be familiar with bed bugs and many individuals have to hire a separate bed bug investigator to make sure there aren’t any infestations in your home. Because of this, it may be worth doing some research and finding a home inspector that is familiar with these infestations!
Bed Bug Barbeque in Lakewood, OH offers free bed bug home inspections! If you are located in Cleveland, OH and need a bed bug exterminator or need someone to inspect your house, please contact Bed Bug Barbeque at (216) 221-1227 or visit us on our website!
Check out our other articles on bed bug prevention!