Preventing Pests and Infestations: Advice When Buying Property


Buying residential property can be both an exciting and stressful time. With so much to remember, it can be easy for some essential checks or precautions to slip under the radar. Especially when it comes to any potential pest infestations or problems associated with the home which are not always easy to spot on an initial viewing.

Although these may seem like a minor issue, pests and infestations can cause much more significant problems later in the process. More specifically, these pests can not only be a potential health hazard for occupants, but the costs involved in removing an infestation can be both expensive and invasive.

To assist, the team here at White Horse Surveyors have put together the following article, looking at the kinds of infestations to consider and the measures you can take to either prevent or tackle them…

Pests and Infestations – Who Is Responsible?

Issues with the property can stem from several different kinds of pests and/or vermin, including:

  • Flies
  • Wood Worms
  • Rats and/or Mice
  • Ants and/or Fleas
  • Wasps and/or hornets
  • Cockroaches, Mites or Bedbugs

Depending on the circumstances, the party responsible for dealing with these infestations will vary. To assist in identifying whoever is accountable, you should contact an Environmental Health Officer – they will be able to trace the source of the problem as well as offer advice on the best course of action.

In some cases, it will fall to either the landlord (if you are renting the property), local authority (if you have bought the property) or freeholder to deal with the pests. However, whilst they will deal with the current infestation, any subsequent repairs that occur as a result will be left to you (e.g. replacing wooden window frames). What is more, if the infestation has resulted from negligence on the part of the occupant then it will be up to them to resolve this issue.

What Measures Can You Take to Prevent Pests and/or an Infestation?

Luckily, there are several steps you can take as the occupant/homeowner to help prevent these pest infestations occurring. One of the first and most essential actions you can take is with your waste disposal bins – make sure that these containers are not left exposed for prolonged periods of time. By properly sealing rubbish bins with a secure lid and keeping areas such as garages or greenhouses clean you will avoid attracting pests or vermin to your property.

Another effective measure you can take involves the sealing of any small gaps or holes in the home. This may seem like an insignificant factor, but even a minuscule crack or loose opening (such as doors, windows, or ventilation fans) can provide vermin with access to your home.  

Lastly, if you are purchasing a home that contains second-hand furniture or fixtures then we would also recommend that you check these thoroughly before moving in. If you do not feel confident in your assessment, then we would also recommend that you consult with one of the following local experts:

  • Property Survey – A visual, non-invasive assessment that will highlight any obvious cases of infestation, rot, or damp and offer advice on your best course of action.
  • Pest Control Company – Dedicated experts that can inspect and resolve any form of pest infestation.

Contact Us

If you are thinking about purchasing a property via auction and would like independent and impartial advice on your best course of action, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experts for an in-principal discussion.

Simply drop us an email via

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