So you’re considering buying a house. You’ve done your research, have your down payment, been pre-approved for your mortgage loan, have a real estate agent, and have the perfect home picked out. You’ve had your future home inspected for things that need fixing and any signs of structural damage, such as, termite activity. But, have you made sure your not buying a mouse house? One that is infested by rodents.
Annually in the United States mice, rats, and rodents cause millions of dollars in property damage. These rodents will not only chew on just about anything in your potential new home, like wood, electrical wire, and even insulation, they will urinate and defecate all over the place, causing a health hazard for you and your family. Mice and rats can also cause house fires by chewing on electrical wires. Up to 20 percent of undetermined home fires in the United States are thought to be caused by rodents.
It is important that when you have this home that you want to buy inspected that the inspector pay attention to any rodent activity they find inside and around the house. One of the last things you want is to find out after you’ve moved into your new home is to find out you’ve bought a mouse house. Imagine your first night sleeping in your bed you hear something scratching and scurrying in the walls and ceiling. Then you wake up in the morning to find the bread has been gnawed at and there’s mouse poop in your silverware drawer. Yuck!
Here are some rodent signs you can check for before buying your dream home. Mouse or rat poop in cabinets and draws. Another place you may find mouse activity is on ledges or the sill plate. A real good place to check for rodent activity in a home is the garage. Holes or gaps in a garage door are prime spots for rodents, like mice and rats to enter through. Look for dirty or oily marks around the holes or openings. These marks are caused by the rodents dirty, oily fur rubbing against surface openings. When checking the attic for mouse activity first use your nose. This may sound strange but mouse pee isn’t like a strong ammonia smell….that would be bats…mouse urine has sort of a popcorn smell…believe it or not. While in the attic check the insulation for small quarter sized holes…these are called mouse tunnels. Also look for any rodent fecal matter and signs of nesting. If you can get your hand on a black light check and see if any of the insulation has glowing spots. That is a sign of rodent urine contamination.
If you do find signs of rodent activity in your potential new home let your realtor know and have it taken care of by a professionally licensed local rodent extermination company. That will be able to do the job right and give you personal service. One of the last things you want to do is buy a mouse house and try living with the rodent problem.