Damage Control: Pest Control for Foreclosed or Short Sale Properties- By: Karim El Sheikh
One minor problem that can become a major one for the savvy Real Estate-Owned (REO) agent or foreclosure investor are pests. Talk about bugged out! Many foreclosed, short sale and distressed homes suffer from pest invasions simply because the critters move in when the humans move out. Without a homeowner to quell the bees or chase away the rodents, foreclosed homes can quickly become dens of insect inequity.
Once you purchase a foreclosed home, it is time to go into pest control mode. Clearing them out is a definite must whether you are moving in or reselling.
Any home with large pools of stagnant water can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Chemical solutions poured into the water can take care of this, but can have long-term impact on the environment. Draining pools and allowing the larvae to die in the sun is a natural solution. If the property is abuzz with adult mosquitoes, UV attractors or environmentally friendly mosquito traps work wonders.
Bees and Wasps
Gutters, roof overhangs and trees can become grottos for bees and wasps. Smoking them out can potentially be dangerous (and drive them to the neighboring lot). One way to do it is to move the Queen or destroy the hive, forcing the occupants to find a different location.
Termites are a nuisance especially if the home is primarily made of wood. They can also be a danger to the future homeowner, as they can eat away at the supports or foundations of the home. It is best to call pest control if the termite infestation is large. Another is the find and kill the Queen, causing the rest to scatter.
Fleas, ticks and other biting nuisances
If the former homeowners owned pets, the house may still have dormant fleas running around, waiting for their next victims. Flea soap or powder mixed with cleaning water can help kill these dormant eggs. Overgrown yards can breed ticks and other biting insects.
Spiders inside the home are actually a good thing, since they keep smaller insects at bay. However, spider webs and eggs can be very unsightly and their presence can scare away potential buyers.
Abandoned homes make attractive nests for different types of rodents, not just the rat. You may find yourself knee deep in mice and rats and in this case, professional help may be needed. Humane traps or poisons can also be used.
Before entering a home, make sure that there are no stray animals that have made the house into a home. They may consider the house their territory and attack on site. Stray animals can also carry diseases. Call in the nearest Animal Control shelter if you happen to come across Fido or Tabby making a home in what was once a living room.
Large infestations definitely need to be controlled. Call in a pest control agency before it gets too out of hand or before the home gets too damaged to be livable. One thing to keep in mind is that clearing out infestations does take time.
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