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What Is a Pest Inspection?

Mice and other rodent pests may be poisoned to eliminate them from a home.
Brown rats are a common rodent pest.
An American cockroach, which is sometimes called a palmetto bug.
A flying cockroach.
Ants surrounding a piece of food.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2014
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A pest inspection is an inspection of a facility conducted for the purpose of identifying pests such as insects and rodents. People are often familiar with the pest inspection in the context of the inspection which is recommended to prospective real estate buyers so that they can identify issues such as termites. Pest inspections are also conducted by health departments to ensure that buildings are safe and sanitary, and they are an important part of routine maintenance for private homes, apartment complexes, businesses, and other structures.

In addition to termites, a pest inspection can also identify issues like ants, rats, mice, and other pests. The pest inspector spends between half an hour to an hour in a regular-sized house to carefully examine the entire structure, looking under the house, in the attic, and anywhere else that pests might be hiding. For bigger structures like apartment complexes and factories, a team of inspectors may be used to examine the facility.

At the conclusion of a pest inspection, the inspector writes up a report, showing all of the places that he or she checked for pests, and whether or not pests were present. The report also includes descriptions of pest-related damage, if such damage is present, and identification of issues which could become problematic in the future. The pest inspector may also offer a recommendation, such as extermination to eliminate the pests.

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Pests can be a serious problem. Termites, for example, can substantially damage the woodwork of a structure, making it unsound and potentially creating a very expensive list of repairs. Rodents like rats and mice can carry disease, infecting people present in the building, and they can also spoil food, cause damage to electrical systems, and generate other problems. For this reason, many people opt to exterminate when pests are identified during a pest inspection.

Many pest inspection companies also offer extermination services, although it is possible to use separate companies for inspection and termination. For people who aren't sure about which company would be best to use for a pest inspection, a health department or Realtor may be able to offer advice based on experiences with local companies. When requesting a pest inspection, people should always ask for an upfront estimate of the cost of inspection, which is usually a flat fee, and if termination is recommended, an estimate should be requested and compared with estimates from other pest termination companies.

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