Dead bugs in corner

How to Spot Pests While House Shopping

Let’s face it; buying a home in the Vancouver area is strenuous enough without having to worry about possible pest infestations. However, neglecting bugs and pests before you sign will surely lead to more headaches than you can imagine. Look before you buy and you might save yourself big headaches further down the road.


Here are 10 tell-tale signs your potential purchase has a pest problem:

1. Shredded paper or cloth.
A mouse or rat problem can often be spotted in the darker recesses of attics, underneath stairs, behind appliances and under sinks. If you see shredded paper, insulation, cloth or other material in these places, it’s likely mice or rats have made their homes in the walls. Don’t count on your house inspector to get down on his hands and knees to look for these things. You’ll probably have to do it yourself or contact a professional B.C pest inspection company.

2. What does the alley behind the house look like? Is the house near a restaurant or grocery store? Trash bins overflowing with food waste attract vermin and can be a hotspot for raccoons and other small mammals.

3. Holes, gnaw marks, droppings and grease tracks.
No, we’re not talking about a horror movie script! These are all tell-tale signs that mice or rats are squatting in your potential new home. Stay vigilant and do not dismiss small holes or cracks. Mice can squeeze through extremely small openings to get to their nest or food supply.

4. Rank odours. They can be subtle or overpowering. Remember the smell of your hamster cage when you were a kid? Well if you smell the same under sinks or in cupboards, you can bet mice are present. A pungent or funky smell probably means something is decomposing in the walls and the flies won’t be far behind. A musty or oily smell in the kitchen or bathrooms can also be a sign of cockroaches.

5. Speaking of cockroaches… Small, empty, brown egg sacks and black spots along the back of kitchen counters and along floorboards may be signs that these critters have settled in. If possible, arrange an after-dark visit and come with a flashlight. Cockroaches—and many other pests for that matter—are nocturnal. Do you hear strange rustling in the walls and the pitter-patter of tiny feet? No, we’re not talking about ghosts, but the mice, rats and cockroaches that scurry about under dark floors and in walls. An evening visit might also expose any marauding skunks or raccoons.

6. Ask the neighbors and previous inhabitants. Does the house have a history of pests? Prior issues may be the best indicator of future troubles. If you are informed of a previous pest problem, ask how they dealt with the issue and who they called to inspect the work. Call Pest Detective today for a second opinion or regular residential pest maintenance to prevent the same critters from returning if you move in.

7. A few dead bugs is one thing, but finding mounds of them in dark corners is not good. This could be a sign of seasonal infestations. Window Sills with bugs can be a sign of more things to come. Make sure that you are on the lookout. Don’t be afraid to get up close and ask questions.

8. Termites, carpenter ants and bed bugs. These are not mere pests. They’re home destroyers. Any signs of them; holes in wood, sagging floors, small piles of sawdust on windowsills, bits of termite wings and powdery, tan fecal matter should put you on red alert. Rust-colored stains around mattresses and couches? Bed bug alert! Read more about bed bugs here.

9. Is the house located near standing water?
It could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes in summer.

10. Mole holes and anthills. Are you a big fan of impeccable lawns? Keep an eye out for those Pacific Moles! Raccoons and skunks can also cause issues for your green space. They like to go after grubs in the lawn, especially the European Chafer beetle larvae that have recently been introduced and infested turf throughout Metro Vancouver. Be sure to check under sheds and decks to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

As long-time specialists in Victoria pest control, we’ve seen it all at Pest Detective.

Do you have questions about pest control in a Vancouver home that you are considering buying? Give us a call at Pest Detective! We’re pros at safe insect pest extermination and pest removal. Contact us with your questions and concerns about Victoria pest control and pest control in Vancouver and the surrounding area.

Call Pest Detective for pest control in Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and beyond!