Learn which insects commonly infest our homes,
and how to avoid having them move with you
How To Keep Your Move Pest Free
When the time comes to begin organizing your move and packing up your home, there are many things to think about and prepare for. One fact that many of us don’t take into consideration is the possibility that there might be pests in our home that are thinking about making the move with us, to our new home. Below is an explanation of the types of pests to look out for, and what action needs to be taken to have a pest free move.
Types Of Insects
There are four common pests that could be infesting your home, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas and the gypsy moth. If any infestations, especially with bedbugs and fleas are not taken care of before the move, it could continue to be a problem in your new home.
Cockroaches – If you see droppings, smell a musty odor, and see egg cases, also known as oothecae, in addition to the cockroaches.
Bedbugs – Bedbugs are found in the seams of the bed mattresses and between the mattress and headboard. They can also live in your closets and dresser drawers. They are small, oval and brown. After feeding, they become a reddish color.
Fleas – With over 2000 types of fleas, the ones that you’ll find in your home are very small, their color is black or brown and they jump when found. Fleas are not only found in pets. Also look in carpets, beds and any upholstered furniture.
Gypsy moth – (Lymantria dispar) worldwide, the gypsy moth is one of the 100 most destructive invasive species. Within the United States, these pests destroy hardwood trees. The larvae consume the leaves of more than 500 varieties of trees, plants and shrubs.
What To Do And How To Prevent Your Move From Pests
Once you start sorting through your belongings, going through your closets, garage, or any area in your home, you might come across a few insects, or a larger pest infestation. The first thing to do is to determine which insects they are.
Once it has been determined that there is an infestation, have an exterminator come and remove any insects from the current home. Before ensuring that no pests make it to your new home, and that it remains pest free, there are a few more areas to check.
Personal belongings - Before you begin packing and placing your belongings into boxes, make sure to carefully inspect clothing, bedding, linens, towels, mattresses, stuffed toys and any other areas where insect infestations could occur. If you do see that infestation has occurred on any of your belongings, make sure to eliminate the pests before placing any items in boxes.
Electronics – You might be surprised to know that some insects can hide in your electronics; they are attracted to the heat. Cold temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit are the best way to eliminate pests from your electronics. Not all electronics are able to withstand these low temperatures, especially any device with an LCD screen. Make sure to inquire into how your item is manufactured. Place the item in a sealable bag and either put it in the freezer for 5 days, or, if you live in a very cold climate, you can leave the bag in a garage or shed. This is a sure way to rid any electronics of infestation and any remaining insect eggs. Once out of the cold, leave the electronic for a few days to “warm” up, before plugging back in.
Clothing, bedding, linens and towels – Washing and drying any items that have been infested on the hottest setting of the washing machine and dryer will remove any insects. Before packing, place these items into plastic bags to avoid any additional infestation.
Mattresses – Protect your mattresses from bedbugs by placing it in a large plastic bag, specially designed for mattresses.
Houseplants – Insects could also be hiding in your houseplants. Be sure to check!
Outdoor items – If you are moving from the east coast of the United States, you need to check whether you are moving from a gypsy moth quarantine area. If you will be moving to a non-quarantine area, by law you are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect your outdoor items and complete a checklist. If you fail to do the inspection and do not have a copy of the completed checklist in the vehicle transporting your belongings, both you and your moving company could face penalties.
If you’re planning to use recycled boxes and packing supplies, and have a more Eco-Friendly Move you will need to inspect any boxes that are being reused, for potential pest infestations. If you decide to use all new boxes and supplies, keep them in an area that is clean and protected from pests. Using Ziploc and plastic bags is a safeguard to keep your move pest free.