The Wheaton Blog

5 Pests to Avoid During Your Move

January 20, 2016 | Household Moves

The time has come for you to move, and you’re armed with a plan 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. How do you ensure that your new home and items stay free of any pests?

Part of the war against pests includes knowing what you’re up against. Below you’ll find five of the most common pests that make an appearance during a move. Use the following information to avoid and deal with any infestations.

1. Bed Bugs
Bed bug infestations occur more commonly in urban areas than rural ones, and they bother landlords and tenants alike. Do what you can to rid yourself of any before the move, and investigate your new living space to avoid problems in the future.

Many large metropolises, including 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 and deal with bed bugs. Previously used boxes might also present an avenue for infestation, so it’s best to obtain new packing materials from your moving company.

If you currently have or previously experienced a bed bug infestation, use the following steps to make a clean break before the move:
•    Launder clothing and bedding in water that exceeds 120 degrees.
•    Dry items for 20+ minutes on the highest heat setting available.
•    Pack all items in clear sealable plastic bags away from the infested area.
•    Inspect all luggage, boxes, and suitcases before you pack.
•    Discard any packing material upon arrival outside of your new home.
•    Inspect all electronics and clean as appropriate.
•    Check bookcases and other furniture for problems.
•    Seek professional treatments to ensure peace of mind.

2. Bookworms
Book lovers might enjoy this title, but real bookworms create more problems than most people realize. 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, nests, or other undesirables.

3. Cockroaches
Cockroaches survive a great many catastrophes. 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. Launder any clothes and linens before you pack them, and shake out items with convenient cracks, crevices, or hidey-holes. Vacuum everything you can to ensure cleanliness.

Again, obtain clean and new packing materials. Otherwise, you cannot guarantee their cleanliness. Roaches aren’t the only pests that might linger in old or used cardboard boxes. Many moving companies provide clean plastic and sealable bins, which provide a much safer alternative.

4. Termites
Certain termite sub-species may make a home in older wood furniture. These dry wood termites require professional removal. Consult a professional pest control service to inspect your current and future homes. This will ensure that no unwanted pests lay in wait for you.

5. Weevils
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 before you move. Larger bags of flour, sugar, grain, or rice present high risks, and probably 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 pest infestations before, during, and after your move.

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