Pest control considerations for prospective home buyers

Aug 22, 2023, 13:25 PM by Fred Speer

According to the NerdWallet Home Buyer Report, 28 million Americans plan to purchase a home in 2023. If you are one of them, you have a lot of things to consider, including pest control. Clark, your friendly pest, mosquito, rodent, and termite control – and grounds care – expert, would like to highlight the importance of pest control considerations when buying a home. Focusing on pest control and prevention is crucial to ensure that the home and property you’re thinking about buying is free from existing infestations. You’ll also want to minimize the risk of future pest-related problems.

Pests can cause significant damage to the structure of a house, pose health risks, and be a financial burden to eradicate. Wood-destroying insects like termites and carpenter ants can quickly turn your dream home into a nightmare, making pest inspections an integral part of the home-buying process.

Termites are silent destroyers and can severely damage the structural stability of a building, chewing away at a house often without anyone knowing. They are one of the most devastating insect species, causing an estimated $6.8 billion in property damage each year, when adjusted for current inflation. These costs are not typically covered by homeowners’ insurance policies, but instead get passed on to the property owner, illustrating the importance of taking precautions before signing that dotted line.

The inspection

Whether you’ve been a homeowner for decades or you’re looking to join the fold, pest inspections are an absolute must to ensure a safe and structurally sound home. Clark recommends that home buyers (and sellers) consider the following when buying or selling a home:

Get a professional inspection: Before finalizing the purchase, hire a licensed pest control company to conduct a thorough inspection of the property. They will check for signs of termites, ants, rodents, cockroaches, bed bugs, and other common pests. The inspection report will help you understand the current pest situation and potential risks.

A word about termite inspections: As mentioned earlier, termites can cause severe damage to the structural integrity of a home, often leading to costly repairs. A termite inspection is critical, as termite damage may not be immediately visible to the untrained eye. If the property has a

history of termite issues, ask the seller about what they have done. Also, ask them if there is a warranty in place from a pest control company that will cover future treatment and repairs.

Ask about the home’s pest history: Inquire about the property's history of pest problems. If there have been infestations in the past, ask the seller for details on how they were corrected, such as regular treatments and inspections from a licensed pest control company. If their answer is yes, ask for documentation or records of these actions.

Location and surroundings: Research the area's pest prevalence and the types of pests commonly found in the region. A home with excess moisture in its crawlspaces or yard or one that is located near a body of water, a wooded area, or an open field might be more prone to certain pests, such as mosquitoes, rodents, or ticks.

Structural vulnerabilities: Look for potential entry points for pests, such as cracks in the foundation, gaps around doors and windows, damaged roofing, and faulty vents. Identifying these vulnerabilities can help you assess the risk of future pest infestations.

Yard and landscaping vulnerabilities: Inspect the yard and landscaping for signs of pests or conditions that may attract them. Overgrown vegetation, standing water, too much mulch near the foundation, and woodpiles can be inviting to pests.

Pest control provisions in the contract: Work with your real estate agent and attorney to include specific provisions in the purchase contract related to pest control, such as requirements for pest inspections and remedies for infestations discovered after the sale. In California, sellers are not required to provide a termite inspection or report. Some loan companies may require an inspection, however. A buyer can ask in their contract that the seller provide a termite inspection and pay for repairs found in that inspection.

Got inspection questions? Call Clark


If you have questions on pest inspections for a home you are buying or selling, call California’s trusted pest control expert, Clark, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at We can schedule a home wellness inspection and get you the answers you need. Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keeping unwanted pests out of your home.

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