Buying a home in the cold winter weather can prove to be a challenge. The ground is frozen and often both it and the roof are covered in snow, making the condition tough to determine. And what about termites, carpenter ants and the like, how do you know if they are hibernating for the winter in your potential home?
So we went to the experts at Best Pest Control Services, owner Rod Kreimeyer and manager Matt Kreimeyer, for the answer to the 3 most frequently asked Buyer questions for pest inspectors in winter. Best Pest, located in Somerville, has been in business for 26 years and is the go-to company for many Buyers and Sellers in the greater Boston area. They are an authority on pest control, rodents and just about any insect you don't want to find in your home!
We asked them to give us their professional opinion on the following:
1. If buying a home in the colder months with the ground around the property frozen , is it possible to detect active carpenter ants or termites?
Best Pest: It is a bit difficult to detect active carpenter ants or termites during the winter months as these insects are generally not active in colder winter months. However, there are visible signs of evidence and/or conducive conditions that can be searched for. For termites the signs to look for are mud shelter tubes, damaged wood and/or evidence of any prior treatments. The signs for carpenter ants that we look for are wood damage caused by the ant excavation, the presence of sawdust the ants have made and conditions within and around the structure that could be conducive.
2. What directive should a buyer give a home inspector in looking for possible rodent entry?
Best Pest: Mice can fit through the hole the size of a dime and a rat can fit through the hole the size of a quarter. Typical rodent entry points in a home are found at doorways where there is a gap between the door and threshold, through bulkheads, holes in the foundation and from gaps where pipes may enter the home. Also, inspecting the exterior areas of the structure and property as well for any activity.
3. If some activity is found in a home during an inspection and treatment is recommended, when and how quickly should the treatment take place?
Best Pest:Treatment response depends on the pest involved. Rodents should be treated promptly. Ideally, a follow up inspection and service performed when the property is vacant prior to the new owners moving in. This would give the pest control company the greatest access throughout the structure to seal holes and resolve the rodent issue. Unless the carpenter ant and/or termite evidence is active the treatment should be performed in the Spring after the snow has melted and the weather has warmed up for a 2-3 week period.