8 Steps to Ensure Your New Home Is Critter-Proof on Moving Day

By Teri Silver

The excitement builds as moving day approaches, but before settling into your new home or apartment, you want to be sure that no unexpected roommates are squatting in the abode. Check out these eight steps to ensure your new home is critter-proof on moving day.  

Clean critter free kitchen on moving day

Thorough Cleaning

While it seems logical that a home would be clean when you move in, you may not want to trust the previous owners. It’s easy to overlook cracks and crevices, especially in bathrooms and the kitchen. Tiny crumbs and food scraps hide in dining areas, kitchen nooks, and crannies — there may even be a few in the bedrooms and living areas. Where there are crumbs, there may be ants, roaches, mice, and other hungry little dudes.

Hiring a professional service for a thorough cleaning not only gets the job done but will give you peace of mind that the home is ready for a new occupant. Necessary cleaning for moving day includes removing food residue from the oven, refrigerator, and sinks. The cleaner the home is, the less chance you’ll inherit bug or mouse problems from previous owners or tenants.   

Seal Entry Points

Mice and bugs are resourceful critters; they’ll find a way to get into the home — especially in cold weather. Pests get into houses and apartment buildings through tiny cracks in the foundation, window frames, and entry doors. Caulk seals cracks and gaps in buildings and will help to keep bugs and rodents where they belong — outside. (Use weather stripping on windows and doors that are opened frequently). Caulking the whole house also makes the home more energy efficient.  

Inspect and Treat   

Before signing on that dotted line, a thorough home inspection is a given for most buyers. If bug or rodent problems exist, call a professional exterminator (or require the seller or landlord to remedy the problem). DIY-ers can do it too with rodent smoke bombs and ready-to-use insect repellents. In any case, addressing bug and mouse problems before you move in will lessen the chance of surprises later.  

Books and Paper Items

Old books and papers that move in with you may be full of dust and cobwebs, or worse: Carpet beetles, roaches, termites, silverfish, and other bugs that eat the pages, covers, and binding glue. Inspect all books for stains, pellets, dust, and holes…something may have been chewing through the paper. Insert damaged books into plastic bags and stick them in the freezer for a few days. This should kill any surviving bugs. 

Sealing and Food Storage    

Unless you’re moving cross-country, you probably will be moving a lot of your pantry food. And because ants and mice are always looking for something to eat, they’ll sniff out moving boxes of foodstuff that aren’t well sealed. In the time it takes to get your kitchen in order, unsecured food can become a feast for pests.

Clean the Yard

Yards and outdoor recreation areas invite rodents and pests to the living space. Ragged lawns and bushes make good shelter and hiding places for moles and voles. Trash attracts bugs, mice, rats, skunks, raccoons, and whatever else likes to crawl through garbage. Cleaning up the trash before moving in helps to prevent infestations. 

After the Move  

The house and yard are clean, now you must keep them that way. After moving in, keeping the home clean and dry will ward off unwanted pests and lessen the chance of mold growing in moist, dark places. Set up dehumidifiers in damp areas like the laundry room, bathrooms, and basement.  

Monitoring Schedule

It may not be something you’d think about during the move, but setting up a schedule for regular pest monitoring is a good idea, at least once or twice a month. Look for bugs or mice in the pantry, kitchen, attic, basement, and crawl space. Keep a written log of where you see pests, and if necessary, hire an exterminator or pest control company.   

It’s a Great Day for moving, especially when your new home is clean and pest-free. Get a free estimate for professional packing and moving, and leave the critters behind.    

Teri Silver is a journalist and outdoor enthusiast. She and her husband live on 5 acres with a vast lawn, three gardens, a farm, a pond, many trees, and a lot of yard work! The best parts of the year are summer and fall when home-grown veggies are on the dinner table.

8 Steps to Ensure Your New Home Is Critter-Proof on Moving Day
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