When you move into a new home, the last thing you want to find are uninvited guests — like cockroaches, mice, or other pests — living under your new roof. Inform yourself of the dangers of common household pests with our video series, Top 5 Pests Found During Kansas City Home Inspections.
Many pests, like termites, can cause devastating structural damage, while others, like cockroaches, create unsanitary living conditions, making it impossible to comfortable in their new home. In addition to the “ew” factor, many pests can be difficult and expensive to get rid of for many homeowners, which is why it’s always a great idea to have a certified home inspector check for signs of pests before closing on your next home. Move-in with the confidence that you won’t face any uninvited guests in their home with a whole home inspection and termite inspection.
Termites (Eastern Subterranean)
The most common termite in Kansas and Missouri is the Eastern Subterranean Termite. The size and coloring of these termites can differ based on their caste (their role in the colony). Worker termites measure one-eighth to three-eighths of an inch in length, and soldier termites can be even larger. Subterranean termites also differ in color to their caste. Workers are often cream-colored and pale, whereas soldiers are light-colored with brown heads.
How To Spot Termites:
Termites are responsible for more than $5-Billion worth of damage annually, so spotting termite activity early can be essential to keeping damage and costs low.
- Shelter Tubes – mud tubes traveling up foundations, cracks, or joints in wood.
- Wood Damage (inside & outside)
- Evidence of Swarming – most commonly happens after warm spring rain showers, where winged termites establish new colonies.
How To Prevent Termites:
- Keep the foundation visible under the siding surrounding your home. Being able to easily view this area will make it easier to spot shelter tubes and other termite damage.
- Keep moisture out of wood and your home’s siding. Termites are attracted to moisture and don’t normally attack dryer wood.
- Consider using an alternative to mulch around the perimeter of your home. Mulch is wood, and if moisture-filled, can attract termites.
- Have your home inspected annually for termite damage. The best way to prevent termite damage is to find it and eliminate it early.
Carpenter Ants are known for creating hollow nests inside the wood, most commonly decks, siding, window and door frames, and other exterior wood-based structures. Instead of eating the wood like other pests, carpenter ants merely hollow out areas of wood for their nests. Carpenter ant nests come in two forms, either parent nests or satellite nests. Parent nests are where the queens reside. When resources in the parent nests begin to dwindle, satellite nests will be colonized to expand and better sustain the parent nests.
How To Spot Carpenter Ants:
- Trails outside your home, leading to your home, from dead wood (trees, logs, stumps, etc.)
- Frass and debris left behind from their tunnels and nests. Frass is wood dust that they push out of their tunnels and nests as they don’t consume the wood like termites.
How To Prevent Carpenter Ants:
- Clean Up Wood Piles Around Your Home
- Keep Moisture Away From Your Foundation
- Have Your Home Regularly Inspected
Carpenter bees are visually similar to bumblebees, except larger, roughly 1-inch in length. These bees are beneficial to the environment due to being excellent pollinators, but they can cause damage to your home. If a carpenter bee nest, in or around your home, is not found and removed in time, it can cause extensive damage to parts of your property made from softwoods, such as pine and cedar.
How To Spot Carpenter Bees:
The most common way to spot carpenter bee activity and nesting on your property is, what appears to be, a small pile of sawdust on the ground level. This is not sawdust, rather officially called bee bread. Bee bread is the remaining wood that the carpenter bees have removed from your softwoods to burrow their nests.
How To Prevent Carpenter Bees:
Paint or Stain All Wood Around Your Home – this will limit the access carpenter bees have to wood surfaces and will deter them from burrowing. Paint is better than stain, but either is better than bare wood.
Cockroaches & Rodents (Mice, Rats, & Squirrels)
Cockroaches are the most common household pest in the United States of America. When inspecting a home with cockroaches present, the first signs are the smell, the droppings, and dead cockroach carcasses. Cockroaches can carry up to 36 different bacteria, and 16 different viruses, which can be a major health hazard for residents.
How To Prevent Cockroaches:
- Avoid Using 2nd Hand Appliances – Cockroaches are known for traveling from home to home through the exchange of appliances
- Avoid Using 2nd Hand Cardboard Boxes – Cockroaches love cardboard, so avoid using 2nd hand cardboard as you do not know where it has been.
- Keep Food In 1 Central Location In Your Home – the best way to prevent cockroaches is to not provide them a food source, and limiting your home’s food to one location is the best practice in doing so.
How To Spot & Prevent Rodent Activity:
The most common sign of rodents in a home are rodent droppings, commonly found in garages and basements. The best ways to prevent rodents from entering your home are to seal off any openings, large and small, from the exterior of your home, as well as regularly cleaning up food debris to prevent attracting rodents into your home.
HOW TO SCHEDULE A HOME INSPECTION
When scheduling a home inspection with Metro Property Inspection, you have two options; you can call or text us at 913-390-9001, or schedule your home inspection with our online scheduler.
From our entire team of certified home inspectors here at Metro Property Inspection, we are excited and honored to serve you and the rest of Kansas City’s real estate industry.
Schedule A Home Inspection: