Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Is Your Homeowners Insurance Enough?


What is covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy?

Some natural disasters are always covered by homeowner’s insurance, including wildfires, tornadoes and hail storms. But other natural disasters are never or rarely covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. They generally fall into two categories: floods and “earth movements.”

The first category comprises disasters caused by rising water, which includes everything from floods caused by extensive rainfall and hurricane-induced storm surges to dam failures and tsunamis. “Earth movements” include disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and sinkholes.

Unfortunately, many Americans are unaware that these disasters are not covered by a standard homeowner’s policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Certain natural disaster typically aren’t covered because of the level of the destruction they create, said Lynne McChristian, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute and executive director of the Center for Risk Management Education and Research at Florida State University.
With these disasters, “the damage is usually so widespread, and it’s typically a total loss,” McChristian said. “Insurance companies can’t price it appropriately to make it a viable line of business for them.”



Read the entire article at www.realtor.com

Monday, October 8, 2018

Why to Buy a Lexington MA Home This Fall

Buy a Lexington MA home this fall
If you’ve been wanting to buy a Lexington MA home, but have been putting it off, now is the time to do it! As your Lexington real estate agent, allow me to fill you in on some reasons why fall is the ideal season for home-buying:

1.  You’ll reap tax benefits. Buy before the year’s over and you can take advantage of tax breaks, such as mortgage interest and property tax deductions.
2.  You’ll be home for the holidays. Buy now, before the holiday season begins, and you’ll be able to celebrate the winter holidays in your new Lexington MA home!
3.  The market is calmer. Bidding wars dominated the summer market, but activity tends to slow down in the fall. Take advantage now and you might have more bargaining power.
4. You could save money. Home prices and mortgage rates are still on the rise. The sooner you buy, the more you may save.

When you’re ready to begin house hunting in the Lexington real estate market this fall, contact me, your Lexington real estate agent! Fall weather is beautiful for showings. Take advantage!

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Verrill Farms Harvest Fest


Saturday, October 6, 11 am - 3 pm
12th Annual Harvest Festival & Benefit for Emerson Hospital Pediatric Care



Fields surrounding the farm stand are transformed into an old-fashioned fair ground. Event includes games, activities, music food, a raffle & more.

Water Balloon Toss
Hay rides
Obstacle Course
Pony rides
High Striker
Hay Treasure Hunt
Spin the Wheel!
Noodle Smash
Cow Milking

  • Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin in fields by the stand
  • Live Music by Live Music by The Sky Ridge Boys
  • Delicious food, beverages & more... a la carte


There will also be a Silent Auction & a Raffle of items featuring fun family activities, gourmet food baskets & restaurant gift certificates. Activity, game & raffle tickets are 5 tickets for $10 or 12 for $20.

Proceeds from ticket sales and food purchases are used by Emerson Hospital's Pediatric Intervention 

Team to create and distribute age appropriate kits to all children entering the Hospital. The kits are used to help both children and families manage and cope successfully with the hospital experience.

Tickets for games and activities can be purchased at the festival for $2 each or 12 for $20. Entry to Festival is free.

Proceeds from activity, game & raffle tickets, as well as food purchases, go to Emerson Hospital's Pediatric Intervention Team to provide Coping Kits for children at the hospital.

Rain Date October 13



Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Minuteman Bikeway 25th Anniversary


Come celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway on Saturday, September 29, 2018, when Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford will host a tri-town celebration of the popular rail-trail.  The bikeway was completed and dedicated by the three towns during 1992-93, and its success has inspired countless rail-trail and pathway projects in New England and beyond.  As we celebrate the past 25 years of Going Places on the Minuteman Bikeway, we look forward to an even better trail that is part of a robust regional bicycle transportation network.  
 
Community celebrations will be held simultaneously along the bikeway in all three towns from 11 am to 3 pm on September 29.  You are welcome to visit as many activities as you like in Arlington Center (Whittemore Park), Lexington Center (Visitors' Center lawn), and Bedford (near the Bikeway Source), as well as along the bikeway.  Each location will feature conversations with local bicycle enthusiasts and bikeway representatives, information about current and future bicycling initiatives, and light refreshments.  Planning is underway for special visual art and musical interludes along the path. 

Of course, the best way to celebrate the bikeway's success is to get out and enjoy it by foot, bicycle, skates, or wheelchair!  We look forward to celebrating "Minuteman Bikeway Day" with everyone on September 29.

Curious about the the bikeway and its history? Visit MinutemanBikeway.org and watch the special 25th Anniversary video


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What is an Energy Efficient Mortgage?


If you’re in the market for a new Lexington home, there’s a way to save the environment and some cash at the same time: Consider a “green” mortgage.

An energy-efficient mortgage (EEM), the umbrella term for these types of loans, allows buyers to fold expenses for energy-saving home improvements into their mortgage.

EMs are an option if you’re buying or building a home and you want to add energy-efficient features, if you’re refinancing a mortgage for a home you already own and want to add energy-efficient renovations, or if you’re buying a new home that is already energy-efficient.
The idea is that, in the long run, the money saved on monthly utility bills will offset the higher mortgage payment. The projected energy savings from the lower bills could also qualify buyers for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.

And at the point of resale, homeowners will likely benefit again, as the energy upgrades can boost the home’s value and attract buyers in a competitive market.

Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Green mortgages can be used to finance a range of energy-efficient upgrades, from weather stripping to new heating and cooling systems to double-pane windows and solar panels.
A required home energy audit provides recommendations for energy-saving improvements and estimates of the costs and savings of those improvements. Lenders use this information to determine how much you’ll save in energy costs with each improvement.
Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs all offer a version of EEMs. The amount of energy improvements a borrower can finance varies by program, ranging from about 5 percent of the value of the property through an FHA loan to around 15 percent with a conventional mortgage. A VA EEM, available to military personnel, caps energy improvements at $3,000 to $6,000.

Understanding the Green Mortgage Lending Process
While securing an EEM can be fairly simple for the borrower, it can be cumbersome for lenders unaccustomed to the process of managing the “work flow” of the energy improvements, says Tonya Todd, senior vice president of strategic products at Mountain West Financial in Redlands, California. This may be why they aren’t more common.

“The loan itself is easy; it’s the facilitation that takes some work,” Todd says. “Lenders that are successful at this will find a local energy-efficient mortgage facilitator. The facilitator handles everything from A to Z to ensure a smooth and timely process for all parties.”
The facilitator works with the buyer, the energy rater, the contractor, the realtor and the lender to keep everything moving to avoid delays.

“After closing, the facilitator will ensure the installation of the energy improvements are completed,” she adds. “It just makes everything much smoother.”
So, if you’re interested in pursuing an EEM, go for it — just be aware you may have to put some effort into finding a lender.

“Niche lenders do offer these programs and do them well,” Todd says. “However, a lot of lenders do not offer them because they do not understand the operational component, or they don’t have the support system internally.”





Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Breakfast & Pajama Party with LexFUN!


You Donut Want To Miss This! Please Come in Your PJs!


Saturday, September 15th
8.30am - 1pm
Keilty Hall at St. Brigids Church, 2001 Mass. Ave.

Open to existing and prospective members!

Help us kick off the 2018-2019 membership year.  We invite you and your family to join us in your pajamas.

Enjoy free breakfast from favorites Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Wegmans and Wicked Bagel. Stay until noon for free custard from Abbott’s!

Schedule of fun:
8.30am - Games, Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, and Instrument Petting Zoo with Keys for Kids Music School begin
9.30am - Pajama Parade with Prizes!
10.15am - Toe Jam Puppet Band
12.00pm - Enjoy free frozen custard from Abbott’s

  
Location: Keilty Hall at St. Brigids Church, 2001 Mass. Ave. Lexington, MA 02421


Search For Lexington Area Homes For Sale

Monday, September 10, 2018

Lexington Homebuyers Trade Must-Haves for Good Schools

Now that the new school year is in full swing, are you considering relocating to a better school district? As your Lexington real estate agent, I understand! A new report from Realtor.com found that 86 percent of homebuyers defined their home search by school district boundaries, and 78 percent of buyers were willing to sacrifice must-have home features for a dream school district.

The Lexington MA school district was named the second best school district in Massachusetts by Niche, with an overall A+ grade. We received an A+ grade in Academics, Teacher and College Prep!

If you’d like to relocate to Lexington MA for better schools, or you’d like to buy and remain in the Lexington school district, contact me! As your Lexington real estate agent, I can help you find a home that meets your needs in the Lexington real estate market this fall.

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Girl Scout Information Nights


Calling all parents and caregivers of girls in kindergarten and older! Join us to learn more about joining Girl Scouts--whether you're joining a troop, volunteering to be a troop leader, or coming to learn about the amazing programs and activities Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts offers, adults are invited to join us for a Q&A.

Choose from two different dates! Both sessions will be held at the Lexington Community Center (39 Marrett Road, Lexington MA).

THURS 9/6, 7pm-8pm
WED 9/12, 7pm-8pm

Recruitment Specialist Molly Kazin will be there, along with volunteers from Lexington MA Girl Scouts to answer any and all of your Girl Scouting questions! We do request that this event is adults-only. 

Can't make it? That's okay, sign up to become a member and join a troop online now! Secure her spot for fall, register on the Girl Scouts of Eastern MA website www.gsema.org/join, select "Join Today", fill out the girl registration page and click continue. Search by troop number or zip code on the next page.

Financial aid is available for girl and adult memberships. Your transaction is complete when you receive an email confirmation for your purchase. Remember to add your adult membership if you plan to help with the troop.

Questions? Email Molly at MKazin@gsema.org.

Location: Community Center, 39 Marrett Road, Lexington





Wednesday, August 29, 2018

8 Ideas to Add Color to Your Laundry Room


If you have a finished, designated area for laundry, have you ever considered what a great canvas you have for injecting personality into your home? Take a look at eight eye-catching examples of colorful laundry rooms for inspiration.

1. Be bold. Keep in mind that this isn’t your living room or bedroom, therefore you probably (hopefully!) won’t be be spending hours upon hours in the space. I’m also guessing it’s not where you do the bulk of your entertaining, so don’t be afraid to go for a vibrant color if you happen to be a fan of intense hues. A saturated, juicy orange is a terrific choice for revving up the room.

2. Borrow from the kitchen. Take your favorite elements from the kitchen — a floor or wall tile pattern, a nice light fixture — and crank it up with color for the laundry room. This black, white and deep green laundry room has an interesting graphic appeal because of the contrasting hues. The punches of green set it apart from ubiquitous mostly-white laundry rooms.

3. Go wild with wallcoverings. A hot-pink backsplash might not fly in your open-plan kitchen, but why not inject this unusual hue into your laundry room? Forget about what’s trendy and go ahead and select colors or patterns that speak to you, regardless of how bold they might be.

4. Look to the ceiling. Don’t forget the often-overlooked “fifth wall” when upgrading your laundry room. The ceiling can be a fantastic canvas for a fun color. This yellow ceiling really raises the eye upward and accentuates the handsome pendant light fixture.

5. Consider colorful cabinetry. Fire-engine-red cabinetry might be a visually overwhelming choice for your kitchen, but in a laundry room it injects much-needed energy and personality. The colors we surround ourselves with can affect our mood and motivation level, so if you need to get revved up to do the laundry, hot hues such as red can get your motor running.

6. Add artwork. In addition to using a fetching wall color, think about installing artwork and other decorative elements, such as pretty window treatments. There’s no reason why the laundry room has to be a boring, utilitarian space. If you’re going to spend time in there, make it as comfortable and visually appealing as you can.

7. Have fun. I say don’t feel obligated to stick to safe neutrals for the laundry room. Go ahead and experiment with color combinations you wouldn’t normally consider. Color trends are constantly shifting, but paint is a relatively easy and affordable thing to change. Tile is a bit more labor-intensive to add or change out, but if you select a relatively inexpensive tile and the area to be tiled is not very large, you might be surprised by just how budget-friendly an option it can be. So have fun with it and don’t worry so much about trends or resale value.

8. Be creative. Lest all the color fun be limited to those with separate and distinct laundry rooms, here’s a clever color upgrade for those of us living with laundry closets. I love this vibrant blue-green, but if you’re worried about a bold door color clashing with other decor in the room, you could always paint the eye-catching hue on the inside panel of the doors only, or just the interior walls of the closet. That way you’ll get an eyeful of gorgeous color whenever you open the doors to put in a load.

Article compliments of Houzz.com



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Household Medical Waste Disposal Just Got Easier in Lexington


The Lexington Public Health Department has installed 2 secure containers to allow residents to safely dispose of household medical waste. They are behind the Town Office Building, which is at 1625 Massachusetts Avenue.

Directions:
Drive up the divided driveway just to the east of the Police Station - across from the First Baptist Church.Turn left and drive behind the police station and Cary Memorial Building. There is short term parking on your left, between Cary Memorial Building and the Town Office Building. The containers are just outside the back door of the Town Office Building.



The Red Box

The red box on the right is for the disposal of needles and syringes:
  • No loose needles or syringes - they must be in a sealed container (see below)
  • No glass containers
  • No medications
  • No trash or paper or plastic bags

ALL needles and syringes must be put into a container and sealed before being placed in the Red Box. 

You can use: a closed sharps container, sealed with duct tape a heavy plastic bottle, such as an empty detergent bottle - NOT a water or soda bottle. Fill it only 2/3 full, put the cap on and seal with duct tape.

The Blue Box

The blue box on the left is for disposal of unwanted household medications. 
You can dispose of:

  • prescription medications
  • over-the-counter medications
  • pet medications

You can't use this box to dispose of:
  • sharps or syringes - they go in the Red Box
  • asthma inhalers, aerosols or cylinders
  • schedule II drugs, such as Adderall, Ritalin, fentanyl, Demerol or OxyContin
  • alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or other solutions
  • mercury or mercury thermometers
  • trash

Packaging:
tablets, gelcaps, capsules should be in a sealed container or sealed zip lock bag
liquid medications should be in the original container and sealed
Personal information should be removed or marked over with a permanent marker

If you have any questions, please contact the Lexington Office of Public Health from 8:30 - 4:30, Monday - Friday, at 781-698-4533.





Wednesday, August 15, 2018

3rd Annual End of the Summer Party at the Lexington Community Center!



Join us for our 3rd Annual End of the Summer Party at the Lexington Community Center
Friday, August 17, 5:30 - 10:00 PM
  • There will be food trucks and dessert (for purchase)
  • inflatable obstacle courses
  • outdoor yard games
  • police and fire trucks
  • raffles
  • giveaways
  • a family friendly movie to close the night
  • and much more!
Address:

Lexington Community Center
39 Marrett Road
LexingtonMA 02421



https://www.lexingtonma.gov/ for more information



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Downsizing Mistakes to Avoid As Lexington MA Homeowner

Is it time to downsize your Lexington MA home?
If you are ready to sell your home and downsize to a home that better fits your needs in the Lexington MA real estate market, I am here to help! As your Lexington real estate agent, I can help you sell and buy simultaneously. Here's how to avoid the most common downsizing mistakes:

1.  Waiting too long. Why wait to move into a home that makes more sense for you?
2.  Giving your kids storage space. If your kids have moved out, it’s time for their belongings to go with them. 
3.  Assuming furniture will fit in the new home. Be sure to measure the rooms in your new house before moving all your furniture!
4.  Focusing on the loss. Take photos of what’s hardest to leave. Find new homes for your belongings. Focus on how refreshing it feels to let go rather than the loss. Memories never fade.

When ready to sell and buy in the Lexington real estate market, contact me, your Lexington real estate agent! I am here and ready to help!

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Lexington Empow Open House



OPEN HOUSE
Join Empow for a tour of their Lexington Studio on Saturday August 11! Check out the space and a showcase of projects made by their students. Computer stations will be set up to let kids try out some of the curriculum. This is the perfect time to get all your questions answered about their programs, transportation options, curriculum, and more! Please register for how many people (parents, kids, etc.) will be attending the event. Kids can not be dropped off for this event.
This is an event for families with children in 2nd to 8th grade who are interested in STEM education through our after school program, weekday and weekend classes, summer camps, and birthday parties. Registration for all programs is open now!
LOCATION: Empow Studios STEM Enrichment Center - Lexington
1776 Massachusetts Avenue Lexington, MA 02420 



WHEN: Saturday, August 11 from 3:30pm-5:30pm


Visit EMPOW for more information on their events and programs.





Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Lexington Historical Society Upcoming Events



Stories In Stone

Fridays in July and August, 11 AM, Buckman Tavern

Explore the Old Burying Ground with us in a new tour! Walk through over three centuries of Lexington's past. The Old Burying Ground contains some of the most beautiful gravestone art in New England, and even has stones signed by their carvers! Discover how mortuary art has changed over time here, and meet some of Lexington's most famous inhabitants along the way. 

$5/adult, 16 & under FREE. Buy tickets at Buckman Tavern.

Wicked Revelry

Saturday, August 11, 7:00 PM at the Depot

Back by popular demand!

Join us for a night in the 18th century underworld with a bawdy singalong and a presentation of The Beggar’s Opera, the first modern comedy musical from 1728! Follow the infamous highwayman Macheath as he tries to dodge his wife’s greedy family and the other ladies he abandoned along the way. Abridged by Diane Taraz, founder of the LHS Colonial Singers.

Admission includes 18th century snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Cash bar - try a glass of authentic Peachum's Punch!

$15 Members, $20 nonmembers.​
This is a 21+ event.

Visit the Lexington Historical Society website for more information and events.



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Where to Splurge and Where to Save


There are some fundamental areas of the home where it makes sense to invest more on certain pieces — or to hold back in lieu of something more rewarding. To help you create a balanced decor budget, here are areas to invest more in and areas where you can invest less.

Splurge


Durable, upholstered seating. Your primary sofa, sectional or other plush upholstered seating should be comfortable, durable and beautiful, and that formula tends to require an investment. Quality fabrics with tight weaves made of natural fibers (or high-grade synthetics) will feel nicer against the skin and be able to resist soil, even in lighter shades.
Often, budget fabrics will cheat on durability, perhaps looking stylish in the showroom but not lasting through the wear and tear of real life. If you don’t want to replace your seating in five years, splurge a little up-front to get a well-constructed piece from a reputable manufacturer.

Save

Airy occasional tables. If your beautiful sofa is the star of the show, don’t hide it behind chunky tables. Leggy versions (like the barely-there side table shown here) give you a place to set a drink or book without taking up much visual real estate or a lot of your budget.

Splurge

Hard-wearing kitchen cabinets. A good kitchen remodel can add value to your home, but not if it’s falling apart by the time you sell. If you skimp on your kitchen cabinets (especially the doors and drawer fronts), you may find things looking rough around the edges sooner than they should.
This is true regardless of the style and finish you choose. Even white cabinets should be chosen in a hard-wearing material that will hold up to repeated use. If possible, avoid laminated finishes that show obvious seams at the corners, as this is where materials can start to separate. Real wood cabinets are refinishable or repaintable, so they’re always a good bet.

Save

Elegantly simple backsplashes.A backsplash doesn’t have to be busy to be beautiful. Simple subway tile or other functional porcelain tile arranged in a geometric pattern with a thoughtfully chosen grout color is an affordable way to enliven any kitchen.

Another smart, low-cost backsplash option is to use a short band of your countertop material, which can often be made up of offcuts from the same slab. This will provide enough wall coverage to catch splashes, allowing you to leave the rest of the wall blank.

Splurge

A well-crafted dining table. The dining table, like your sofa, is a key piece of furniture that sees a lot of use — and suffers a lot of spills. White laminate tables are trendy but, depending on how they’re treated, can start to show wear and tear quite quickly. An elegant wood or stone dining table can suit any decor and can last for decades.
Save

Classic wood dining chairs.Wood chairs come in a range of prices, are timeless and suit any decor style. They also hold up better to dropped food than upholstered chairs because they’re so easy to wipe clean. This is definitely one area where you can look for low-cost options without a significant drop in quality.
o get the best of both worlds, mix some wood chairs with upholstered seats at each end of the dining table, or use a banquette along one side.

Splurge

Time-tested plumbing essentials. When it comes to your plumbing, cutting corners is risky. A poor-quality fixture can be responsible for a leak whose repair costs far outstrip any up-front savings, so it’s definitely best to invest in a quality piece.

Essential fixtures such as toilets don’t change quickly with trends like some other home goods, so there’s no reason not to choose a well-reviewed model from a reputable brand that has stood the test of time. Ask around for personal testimonials and recommendations rather than hunting for the lowest deal.

Save

Sleek vanity cabinets. Most bathrooms are fairly small, so often all you need is one dramatic element to bring the space to life. Use an airy floating vanity cabinet to keep the room feeling open and to free up your budget for something more exciting, such as dramatic floor tile.
If you want a vanity with more personality, you still don’t necessarily have to spend much. Look to refurbished-furniture stores for wood cabinets and chests that can be turned into a vanity by adding a vessel sink. This will cost a bit more than a prefabricated unit, but if you shop creatively, the result will be more luxurious-looking than the sum of its parts.

Splurge

A cozy and comfortable bed. As it’s often said, we spend about a third of our lives in bed. So it makes sense to splurge on a bed that will properly support your mattress and a headboard that can help you read in comfort while anchoring a focal point for the room. It’s easy to fill out the rest of the decor with basic accents like paint or a single wall of wallpaper and let the bed be the star of the show, so go on and splurge a bit here.

Save

Functional nightstands. You can find all kinds of fancy nightstands these days with built-in chargers or stunning decorative features, but an inexpensive nightstand in a simple shape does the trick perfectly well.
In fact, a boxy or rectangular nightstand can create a pleasing counterpoint to plush bedding and other soft accents, so why not choose something simple and functional?

Find an option with an open shelf and you can easily style it with a few books to create a casually elegant look.


Splurge

Tailored window treatments. Whether you opt for fully custom draperies or prefabricated panel curtains, there’s one thing you should splurge on: a bit of tailoring to make sure the length of the panels is just right.

Floor-to-ceiling draperies make a room look polished, but this effect goes away if the fabric is excessively pooled on the floor (possibly even sweeping up dust) or hanging several inches above it. Splurging on having your curtains professionally hemmed will ensure a correct fit for a priceless, sophisticated presentation. Suspended lights, such as pendants and chandeliers, are natural focal points. They hang down close to eye level and radiate light, so they tend to command attention. Splurging a little here can elevate the look of the whole room, as you’ll naturally focus on them instead of other, less-exciting pieces.

Save

Shaded table and floor lamps. What’s the first thing you notice in this room? It’s probably not the pair of table lamps flanking the sofa. You can find many artistic and striking table and floor lamps on the market, but if you already have other points of interest in the room, all you really need is a source of light that can blend in.

Simple table lamps with classic drum or cone shapes are timeless and mix into any decor seamlessly.

Save

Mix-and-match accessories. When it comes to pieces such as throw pillows and blankets, it may feel as though you can never have enough. Keep an eye out for deals on pillows and other trendy accents to update your look with minimal investment.

Don’t be afraid to choose pieces that don’t perfectly “match.” Instead, pick up on a family of hues or add a new design element altogether. If you want to change the look down the road, you can move these pieces to a different room or store them away for a season.



Monday, July 16, 2018

8 Creepy Things Exterminators Wish You Knew About Pests in Your Home


Homeownership can have a dark underbelly, full of scary things we pretend don't exist when we turn out the lights. The scary truth is you're not the only one living in your house. Whether you see them or not, you're hosting a number of nightmare-inducing, creepy, crawly creatures. Sometimes they stay hidden, in dark corners under the house. All too often, they decide to come out and say hi.
Don't let the pests win! To keep them at bay, you just have to exercise a bit of exterminator expertise. Take back command of your home, and heed these eight things that pest control pros wish you knew.

1. You don't have to live in squalor to have a pest problem
We often associate mice, roaches, and other pests with unkempt, dirty homes. But you keep a relatively clean house! These wannabe intruders are no match for you, right? Not so fast—even pristine homes can have pest infestations.

Consider this nauseating revelation:
“Mice can survive on just 3 to 4 grams of food per day, so a few crumbs here and there are all they need to thrive in your home,” says Joe Magyar, branch manager at Terminix in Madison, AL. “Good sanitation won’t get rid of them, but a messy house will attract them. So be sure to vacuum floors regularly, wipe down counters, and eliminate access to food sources."

2. Moisture is the enemy
Food and clutter aren't the only things that attract pests. Beware of leaky pipes, clogged drains, or anything that creates standing water around your home. But you don't have to take our word for it. Just get a load of this horrifying anecdote from Kim Kelley-Tunis, director of quality assurance for Orkin in Atlanta.

“One time I went into a house and took a look at the plumbing, which at first glance had a furry appearance to it,“ Kelley-Tunis says. “Upon closer inspection, there were cockroaches living on the piping in such large numbers that their antennae and legs gave the piping this sort of hairy look. When there are that many cockroaches in your home, you have a serious problem."

3. Pests aren't just icky—they can also be dangerous
Besides being gross, pests can also do serious damage that could put your house and your family in jeopardy. For example, rats can chew on—and fray—wires, which is a major fire hazard.
“Spotting a rodent issue early and resolving it immediately is incredibly important for this reason, let alone the fact that rodents carry numerous pathogens on their bodies and are known disease spreaders,” Kelley-Tunis says.

4. Secondhand furniture can cause problems
We're not saying you should pass up that fabulous antique chair you spotted at the weekend's estate sale, or the storage ottoman you can have for a steal on Craigslist. But just know that those pieces of furniture might come with some special guests.
“Technicians have encountered situations where a homeowner has purchased a new piece of furniture at an antique store and accidentally brought in termites or bedbugs to their home,” Kelley-Tunis says. She stresses that it’s vital to closely inspect any secondhand furniture that you bring into the house.

5. Pests aren’t loners
As much as you want to believe that the huge waterbug you just squashed (in alarmingly close proximity to your blender full of kale smoothie) was just a solo infiltrator, we're here to break the bad news: It’s probably not the case.
“As a general rule of thumb, where there is one cockroach, there are likely many others,” Magyar says. “Roaches are aggressive breeders, so it doesn’t take long for a small problem to grow to a major infestation. If you wait to call in a professional until you’ve spotted a few of these pests, you may have a much larger problem on your hands.”

6. Poison isn't foolproof
Matteo Grader, pest control specialist at Panther Pest Control, describes the scene of a homeowner who thought he’d gotten rid of his mice infestation himself. He thought wrong.
“He bought some cheap mice poison from the store and placed it in every corner of his house. The mice had eaten from the poison, but unfortunately they were able to find a narrow place to hide in before they died (which is typical for mice)," Grader recalls. "So the customer thought he got rid of the problem, until one day there was a disgusting smell in his home.

"During the inspection we found that there were more than 10 dead mice trapped inside the walls between the living room and the kitchen,” he adds.

If you insist on using poison, be prepared to call in a pro to remove the remains from your walls or pipes. Blecch!

7. Humane options exist
If the idea of a snap trap makes you feel queasy, or you're concerned about your pets being underfoot, there are other options (ones that won't send pests crawling into your walls). For example, PETA offers instructions on how to make humane rat traps. Other experts recommend peppermint oil to deter rodents. There are even humane options for cockroach control, such as putting stoppers in all drains and sealing up spaces between floorboards, under counters, and around sinks. You can also try placing dried bay leaves in your drawers and cabinets to repel them.

8. Don't wait too long to call in the pros
We applaud you for having the courage to DIY your pest situation. Really, we do. But even the bravest homeowners need to ask for help every now and then. And when it comes to pest control, you should make that call sooner rather than later, says Brian Kelly of Twin Forks Pest Control, in Southampton, NY.

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