When looking for a new home, buyers often look for signs of termites or rodents; but what about other animals? It is important when buying a home that you are able to tell if the home has had a wild animal problem in the past, and what that can mean for the home in the future. If the home has had a pest problem in the past, you should check with the owner or real estate agent to ensure that the animals have been dealt with, and that the affected area was properly cleaned and repaired. Professional cleaning is vital to ensure that the space is free of any bacteria or parasites carried by intruding animals. Repair of damages from a pest is important to ensure that other animals don’t find their way back in.
Mice, rats, and squirrels can be a big problem for homeowners, especially in urban areas. Rodents can cause damage throughout the home, can produce fire hazards, and can create drafts in the insulation. Most rodents carry a large host of diseases, especially rats. Rodents tend to gnaw their way through walls, and make smaller, pre-existing holes larger. They can create tunnels through insulation that can cause drafts and waste energy. Wires can be chewed up by rodents, creating potential fire hazards. Signs of rodent infestation can include holes in the walls, roof, or floors; brown stains from the oils of rodent fur; droppings; gnawed wires or beams; or gaps in insulation.
Raccoons can be a lot of trouble for homeowners. They love camping out under decks or sheds, but can easily make their way into an attic. They can be a huge problem for in and around the house. They like to dig through trash, and are adept at opening garbage cans. Raccoons have been known to tear up boxes and bags in an attic and make beds out of the scraps of clothing or items in them. Raccoons can also hunt for fish kept in outdoor ponds such as koi. They may also make use of your pool, and can leave parasites in their feces in the water. Raccoons are one of the most common carriers of rabies, which can pose a threat to people or pets that come into contact with them.
Signs of raccoon problems can be damaged trash cans, damage under a deck or patio space, and damage in the attic. Raccoon claws have 5 toes, as opposed to cats, which have 4. This may help you determine whether scratch marks were made by a pet, or an unwanted intruder.
Bats can be a real nightmare for homeowners. Bats often break into attics and sheds, and can squeeze through small breaks in the roof or eaves in order to gain access to your home. Like rats, bats leave brown oil stains where they squeeze their way into a home. Bats can cause damage to the beams in an attic with their claws as they hang. Bat guano can be a severe issue for homeowners. Guano is dust-like, and carries many parasites that can become airborne when disturbed. These parasites can persist without proper cleaning, and can infect people or animals living in the home below the bat colony.
Pigeons are an issue for many homeowners. Pigeon waste can be corrosive to your roofing. They tend to roost on the roof of homes or in chimneys. They may make use of vent ducts or gutters on the home for nesting. Flocks of pigeons resting on the gutters can cause damage to the eaves of the home, and can even detach them from the home. While not as common as outdoor roosting, sometimes they will attempt to roost in sheds or attics. The most obvious sign of pigeon problems in a home is evidence of feces or nests. Fecal matter that is not properly dealt with can leave white or green stains, and can corrode and eat away at the material it is left on.