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Pest Control Red Flags For Renters

Moving is a stressful process that we all wish to make as easy on ourselves as possible. If you are a renter, chances are you’ve moved a couple times or more already as you add and eliminate roommates, make adjustments in your lifestyle and budget or when seasons in your life just simply change. Whatever your reason for looking for a new place to call home, there is enough to think about with packing and unpacking boxes and landlord negotiations that you sometimes forget about some pretty important issues. Pest control can be something you don’t give a second thought to until you find yourself in an infested space with nowhere else to go. Prevent yourself from going through the distress of dealing with a pest problem by looking for some simple red flags while you’re out considering prospective new living quarters.

dead roachesDead or Alive Insects

This may seem like a rather straightforward tip, but surprisingly, many people overlook the presence of bugs already in the place they’re potentially moving into. Whether they are dead or alive, you don’t want to be concerned about them later. If they’re presently flying around or crawling, try to use your best judgement in deciding if the particular species is going to pose a real threat for infestation somewhere down the line or if it’s just a random fly that found its way inside. Checking all window ledges and any basements for evidence of lifeless creatures will give you a good indicator if there seems to be a pest control issue.


Even if they do a great job of hiding themselves, pests often leave indications behind that they’ve recently been around. Taking a special interest in the surfaces around the apartment or house, and maybe even mattresses still lying around, can aid you in determining if there are rodents or insects around and possibly which kind if you are savvy enough to identify the droppings.

Smells and Noises

This can be a dead giveaway of the need for pest control if you know what to smell and listen for. Distinctive aromas can follow certain pests, so if you notice an odd smell here or there while viewing new places, it might do you some good to engage in a little research on what it could be. Of course, the odor of sitting trash is never good since that’s an instant attraction for pests of many varieties. Keeping an ear out is also important, as larger rodents and bugs can be heard running back and forth in walls and under floorboards.

Mouse In BreadIndications of Nesting

While viewing a place you may be interested in living, take a little extra time to walk around with a flashlight and go through cabinets and corners looking for any sign that rodents have made themselves comfortable inside. They are known to build nests out of just about anything they can get their claws on. What may look like just a pile of trash at first glance may actually be a big clue that the place has a pest problem.

Possible Breeding Grounds

The outside of the property should have just as much influence on where you decide to live as the inside, especially if you’re concerned about pest control. There are several things you can watch out for that warn of potential breeding grounds for rodents and insects. Any dwelling near ponds, lakes or stagnant water has a good chance of having a high mosquito population, and alleyways, water and gas pipes and electrical wiring are natural attractions for mice and rats.

Previous Complaints

If the current or prior tenants or any neighbors happen to be around during your visit, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask them what their experiences were like living in that residence. This will give you first-hand knowledge of any pest-related concerns that you should consider.

Pest control should be a significant factor when choosing a new place to live. It can be the difference between an enjoyable experience and an unpleasant one in your own home.

Tiffany Olson is a writer from Northern California who loves to write on anything home related. She recently had some pest issues and received some great advice from Kill Roy, who specialize in termite inspection and pest control in Hayward.


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June 11, 2013 - 8:28 PM

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