Termites, Carpenter Ants, Raccoons, Mice, Rats
Hurting the Value of your Home in Toronto, GTA, Mississauga
by Linda Pinizzotto, Realtor and Radio Show Host Twitter @LindaPinizzotto
Nasty pests in your condo, townhouse, semi-detach or your detached home are not only annoying but they also will cost you money. The value of a property could be harmed if you have termites or carpenter ants and you do not get rid of them. Many home owners don’t realize they have a problem before it’s too late and it becomes very costly. Nothing is worst than having your home for sale, selling it only to find out that the Buyers cancel the sale because their home inspector found a pest problem especially termites or carpenter ants. As a Realtor I have found home values are affected by pests. There is nothing worst than going into a home and seeing cockroaches, mice or rats. No one wants to have to deal with the issue and certainly not anyone who wants to buy into the problem. Many times home inspections will not check for termites. If the area is known to have termites, make sure to have the inspection.
I had an interview on my Radio Show with Joe Bruno of SNAP Pest Control and it gave me an insight into termites, carpenter ants, mice, rats, bees and wasps, cock roaches and racoons. I was amazed to say the least and I also believe that everyone should learn more and better yet listen to my show.
DID YOU KNOW – Researchers found pests cause up to $21 million annually in damages to GTA homes. Termites – in August 11, 2013 the Toronto Sun ran an article called “Termites a growing problem in Toronto by Julia Alexander. http://www.torontosun.com/2013/08/11/termites-a-growing-problem-in-toronto The article reports that the City and County Pest Control reported the increase in the number of homes reporting problems with termites. One resident Toronto resident in Riverdale reported that it took her over a month a about $20,000 to try to get rid of termites that built up in her house crawl space. Foam insulation you may find in older homes plays a host to termites because they survive in the foam since they are not losing any moisture. Another way to spot them is mud markings on your walls. Termites eat wood non stop 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they raise their young as a group. It is estimated that they cause up to $5 billion in damage per year. The City is no longer having any education programs to provide public awareness of pests; at one point in 2001 they actually had grant programs in place. Now homeowners are expected to take up their termite problems with provincially-licensed pest control agencies. Carpenter Ants They are not like termites, they prefer dead, damp wood to build nests and they do not consume the wood but they will hollow out sections of trees too. They eat plant and animal matter; protein and sweet foods found in homes although their natural food is insects. http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/environment-environnement/pesticides/carp-ants-fourmis-charp-eng.php
Racoons – cause damage to uncapped chimneys, vegetable gardens, eat your trash and may carry rabies. They fall under nuisance wildlife control and their numbers are growing rapidly in Toronto and 905 regions. David Suzuki had a CBC documentary on racoons and experts are saying that the green recycling bins in Toronto have help to explode the population. The City website may offer you some tips on getting rid of them Mississauga tacked their geese problem in 1997 by shipping 2,000 of them to New Brunswick but the question is what will be done about the racoon problem.
Mice and Rats – The City controls mice and rats by euthanasia but I never understand why racoons are not included. Cornwall ended its free pest control service in 2011 and today there is a 50% increase of the problem. They eat a variety of food and leave behind contaminates that could lead to food poisoning. They also spread disease by bite, urine or droppings. HPS is spread through virus particles in the air and breathed in., main through deer mouse droppings, urine or nesting materials which have been disturbed. Mice droppings are 1/4 inch and rat droppings are 3/4 inch. Although not Ontario I found a very good site at http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile37.stm
Cockroaches – nasty, nasty insects preferring warm conditions in homes, condos, apartments, restaurants, supermarkets, hospital etc. They are nocturnal and run if they see light but worst they leave chemical trails in their feces that transmit bacteria onto surfaces. Mayor Rob Ford stated in September 18, 2013 National Post that there is “no excuse for cockroaches” as he toured Toronto Community Housing building. A key thing to note: if you live in a condo, make sure you see a budget for pest control and if you don’t go to your General Meeting and bring up the issue because it is or can be a huge issue if your Board and Property Management are not using pest control and disinfection services. Remember, there are many things that affect real estate value; pests may not be on your radar but it should be. When I work with Buyers or Sellers; we talk about pests and pest control.