Have you recently inherited a house from a hoarder? That is probably not the only thing you've inherited. Unfortunately, hoarder homes can come with plenty of "extras"—but they're, typically, not the kind of things that you'll want to keep. Filled with excess junk, trash, food, and rarely, if ever, cleaned, hoarder houses are the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of pests, including mice, cockroaches, spiders, fleas, rats, and silverfish. Getting rid of these creepy crawlies will not be an easy task, and it may even be dangerous to your health.
In Sickness and In Filth, Till Death Do We Part
Pests can carry a slew of diseases. For example, as cockroaches make the rounds of your home, crawling through the bathroom and over your trash, they can pick up bacteria and germs. They can then spread those germs to your countertops, dishes, or food. Mice and rats can be just as bad, possibly even worse. These rodents can ruin your belongings by defecating or urinating on them. They are also notorious for chewing through wires and causing electrical fires. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mice and rats can also transmit a number of diseases, including, but not limited to:
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
In 2012, for instance, three women on a reality show about hoarding were sickened, while cleaning the house of a hoarder. At first, they tested positive for hantavirus, a dangerous, often deadly, disease that is usually contracted by breathing in the virus from dried rodent urine or feces. Fortunately, a second test showed that they did not have the hantavirus; although, no one is sure what actually sickened the women.
Put the Pests to Rest
Before you can live in or sell a former hoarder house, it's important to bring in a professional pest service to deal with the various creatures that have taken up residence in the structure. Simply laying a few traps out, when you're dealing with what is likely a heavy infestation, will not be sufficient. A professional pest service or exterminator will do a careful inspection of your house to determine what creatures they will be dealing with, and they will then create a plan for eliminating the various pests.
Don't despair. Though your hoarder house may seem like a mess, there is a good chance that–with a lot of elbow grease and the help of a professional pest service—you could end up with a great home or investment.Share