It does not fail to surprise me that to this day, bed bug inspections are not included as part of a pre-sale home inspection. I suppose it is because bed bugs are not causing structural damage to a house.
However, what about the emotional trauma that they cause to new homeowners inheriting a bedbug infestation with their new house?
I can still remember this couple who had experienced a recurring bed bug infestation in their house over the course of 2 years or so. Their pest control company hired our bed bug detection dogs to sniff out the scent of bed bugs in their huge house, which included a finished basement.
The owners believed that it was probably their daughter who brought the bed bug reality back home from a college break. As they had not traveled for quite some time, had not entertained guests and family members, nor gone to the cinema or theater or some other public event. Public transportation was also out of the questions, since they each drove their cars to and from work. It just did not make sense to them how they could possibly have introduced a bed bug into their home. Again, the most likely explanation was their student daughter coming home from college for the holidays.
Our dogs were brought in to sniff out the scent of bed bugs and sure enough they alerted on their bed and on an armchair in the downstairs living room.
The pest control company did the pesticide treatment with 2 more follow-ups. Everything seems to be ok for a while and then 4 months later they started to get bites again.
Once again, the dogs inspected the house and alerted again on the bed. The pest control company went through another program of pesticide treatment and got rid of the problem.
A few more months went by and lo-an-behold the owners started to experience the bites all over again.
I met with that PCO lately and we chatted and I asked him about these people and their bed bug problem. He said that they decided to sell their house and move into a new one. The PCO went on to say that he couldn’t guarantee that the bed bugs were 100% eliminated before they moved out. But the owners did not care, they wanted out as soon as possible, thinking they could walk away from the problem.
It is a scary thought to realize that people are so scared that they act irresponsibly by leaving a bedbug infestation to become the next homeowners’ problem.
So, if I was buying a house, I would want to see some sort of certification from the real estate agent that states that the house I am in the process of buying is clear of bed bugs. And I certainly would not rely on a visual confirmation as bedbugs are notorious for hiding in cracks and crevices, behind the walls and outlets, under the new carpets and behind the freshly painted wall-paper. Instead, I would ask to have a professionally-trained and certified bed bug dog inspect the house and detect any lingering bedbugs before the close of escrow.
And for you, realtors: a K9 bed bug inspection before closing can save you time, money and future litigation. Wouldn’t you want to give your buyer complete confidence in the property they are purchasing.
A canine inspection for bed bugs is fast, accurate and cost-effective. So call us at 508-713-8267 or contact us here.