The time has come for you to move, and you’re armed with a plan, your moving company and some boxes. But your current living space may have had pest problems in the past, and you don’t want to bring those pests with you. Or maybe you’re unsure of what your new home will bring and want to avoid any unwanted visitors.
The battle against pests is much easier fought when armed with the proper knowledge. Below you’ll find five of the most common pests that appear during a move. Use the following information as a guide for avoiding or dealing with pests.
Bed bug infestations occur more commonly in urban areas, and they bother landlords and tenants alike. Make sure you do what you can to rid yourself of any before the move, and investigate your new living space prior to moving to avoid problems in the future.
Many large metropolises, such as New York City, mandate that landlords release an annual bed bug infestation report to all tenants. If you want to make extra sure that you’re not moving into a bad situation, search the Bed Bug Registry, which lists bed bug infestations across the United States.
You should hire movers that inspect for bed bugs. Previously used boxes might also create an avenue for infestation, so it’s best to obtain new packing materials from your mover.
If you currently have or previously experienced a bed bug infestation, use our advice to make a clean break before the move:
• Wash clothing and bedding in water that exceeds 120 degrees
• Dry items for 20+ minutes on the hottest setting available
• Pack all items in clear, sealable plastic bags away from the infested area
• Inspect all containers, boxes, and suitcases before you pack
• Discard any packing material upon arrival outside of your new home
• Inspect all electronics
• Check bookcases and other furniture for signs of infestation
• Seek professional treatments to ensure peace of mind
Book worms are often thought of as charming, scholarly little “guests” that live among your books. Truthfully, they pose a much larger problem than most people give them credit for. If you’re worried about a bookworm infestation, avoid wrapping your books in newspaper that could transfer ink. Pack your books in new, clean, acid-free boxes to give them a bookworm-free environment, or use clear sealable tubs to safely transfer your books.
Discard or repair any books with mildew or mold damage. Check the spines and binding to ensure no stowaway bookworms remain. Vacuum your bookshelf and boxes to remove any loose eggs or nests.
Cockroaches can almost anything thrown at them. To ensure your new home remains free of cockroaches, take steps to eliminate the transfer of eggs from your old home.
Conduct a close inspection of all items before packing. Wash any clothes and linens before you pack them, and shake out items with cracks, crevices, or hidey-holes. Vacuum everything you can.
Again, obtain clean and new packing materials. Roaches aren’t the only pests that might reside in old or used cardboard boxes. Many movers provide clean plastic and sealable bins, which provide a much safer and cleaner alternative.
Certain termite sub-species may make a home in older wood furniture, which requires professional removal. Consult a professional pest control service to inspect your current and future homes. This will ensure that no unwanted pests will be waiting for you when you move in.
Much like roaches and bookworms, weevils have larvae that can lie dormant for some time before maturing into an infestation. Best practices insist on discarding most food such as larger bags of flour, sugar, grain, or rice before you move. These present high risks, and aren’t worth the trouble.
Clean pots and pans along with any cooking utensils before you pack for your move. Upon arrival, inspect your new pantry for any cracks. Fill existing cracks and spaces with caulking solution, and clean your new kitchen thoroughly before you unpack.
Use the above tips to avoid infestations before, during, and after your move. Be sure to check out our Resources page for more information and advice regarding moving. If you’d like to schedule a free, in-home estimate, check out our estimate form!