Jim Gaffigan said, “if the great outdoors is so great, why do all the bugs want to live in my house.” I don’t like to step on them because of the mess it makes, I am not fast enough to catch them, and I am not really sure what I would do if I did since I don’t want to touch them. So, I wait till they are lying on the backs, as they always are when they die. This, however, tends to make the wrong impression on visitors who do not know of my phobias. So, I am implementing the following plan to keep them out, which I think will be good advice to anyone with their home on the market. A buyer seeing one dead roach will imagine an infestation and conclude that the house has been neglected. It is all about preparing the house for sale.
Think like a bug. Start on the outside where they live. Ivy and Asiatic Jasmine, which will take over the world one day, are invitations to ants and other bugs to vulnerable cracks and fissures in windows and doors. These plants also do damage to your mortar. Pull them down and away from the house. Keep shrubs and flowers at least a foot away from the house. Trim trees that overhang the roof. They are a launching pad for squirrels to the roof to investigate for holes and gaps through which to enter your attic and eat any wiring they find. Fallen branches can cause damage to the roof. Patrol the perimeter for vulnerable breaches. A mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime and a critter the size of a raccoon can go through a six inch opening.
Light or air movement through cracks at doors and windows tell you that it is time to apply some caulk or install weather stripping. Intrusive bugs and critters will be turned away and your energy costs will see the benefit. Look for holes in walls caused during the installation of appliances or by the clothes washer going for a walk with an uneven load. Inspect where cable and other networks enter the house and plug any extra gaps. There are foams available that expand and harden for this purpose.
Stool droppings, chewed wood, turtled roaches and a parade of ants are clear signs that you are losing the battle of the bugs. Whip out that cell phone if you don’t know the type of perpetrator, snap a picture and consult an expert to determine what you have and how to get rid of it. You may be tempted treat the house for insects, but only the professionals can get the strong stuff, and if you have ever used a trap for a mouse, you probably won’t want to do it again.
Don’t let trash pile up, clean up kitchen counters, store trash cans away from the house with their tops securely on, keep barbeque pits clean and monitor the bird feeders and baths to be sure they are not attracting the wrong visitors.
Again, think like the enemy and consider why the intruders are coming in from the great outdoors… food, water and comfort. Don’t let them have it.
Walt Smith, Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
803 622 5210