What I'm Seeing Now


I Got There Early Enough To See The Roaches

This is brand new construction, never lived in, and I got there early enough to see the roaches.

I'm glad I did.  Nobody would have believed me without a photo to prove it!

This is the upstairs unit of a four-floor condo building of fourteen units.  Each unit has two floors.  We did the pre-drywall inspection a couple of months ago.

It's 7am.  I opened the upstairs hallway bathroom door to see this guy scurrying around.

Roaches don't come one by one, or in pairs, or in small groups.

The size was amazing!  That is a big roach!  I threw a quarter down to try to snap a quick photo and he/she walked right over to it and posed!  And this roach is quite alive.

Where they are living I don't know, but, like the movie, they'rrrre heeerrrre.

This one hung around after I left and a worker eliminated him a few minutes later.

So, what are such large roaches doing in new construction?

On pre-drywall inspections I have seen many things left inside walls and I have always wondered if the junk gets left and walled up inside the drywall.

Fast food wrappers and bags, chicken, fruit, soda cups and cans - you name it.  All unfinished and politely left there.

THIS IS NEW CONSTRUCTION!  There is no food in these houses yet.  What are such large roaches doing here?

Apparently there is a food source somewhere, maybe a large one.  Roaches need food and water.  They must be getting it here.


My recommendation:  don't assume that since it is new construction you can't already have problems with animalia!  While this is not the usual occurrence, it happens.  Buyers would never expect this in their new house, but if a roach infestation exists they are entitled to have this problem eradicated before they move it.  And the photo is proof roaches are there!




Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 121 commentsJay Markanich • June 19 2013 03:00AM


Good morning, Jay.... that's disgusting.... if I were the buyer, I'd walk away from that house and sue for my deposit....that builder just slaps 'em up and does not care what gets walled in...

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) over 7 years ago

Jay... I can only say... EWWWWWWWW!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 7 years ago

I don't know where else a food source can be coming from Barbara.  When I see food left all about on a pre-drywall I always mention it to the buyers as an issue.

Andrea - what, now you're against pets?  What's next?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago
Oh vey. Looks like a big German one. They can multiply like crazy. Only takes 5 weeks for them to grow up and reproduce.
Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

Yummie Debbie!  I told them I thought asking for a treatment would not be out of line, but I did not put that in my report.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I see a problem as the roaches can go from unit to unit.  There's no easy solution to this one and I have never seen it before.  Never.  That said, I would suggest that it could be a simple matter of just one (not likely) OR WORSE, the entire building, block, neighborhood infested.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Lenn - if "subcontractors," term used loosely, leave food inside the walls of one unit, it is inside the walls of every unit.  So you are right, this has to be a building problem.  And roaches have free reign inside walls!

And the builder wasn't 'specting me so early!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

While I agree with your analysis do you have a solution that everyone can agree to?  It's an age old problem with no end in sight. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 7 years ago

This early on, with roaches this large, I think Lenn hit on it James.  The building needs to be treated.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Construction workes are always leaving partially empty cans of soft drinks around work sites...

Posted by Edward Gilmartin (CRE) over 7 years ago

Jay, to my knowledge roaches don't eat drywall so their must be something there to attract them. Time to call the Orkin Man.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 7 years ago

Well it's obvious to me they were doing the walk thru prior to closing!

PS - I heard they are good covered in chocolate!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 7 years ago

Yikes!! Not what a new owner of a new unit wants to see.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 7 years ago

I see much more than that Edward!

Mike - somebody anyway!  Do they each drywall screws and duct tape?

Fred - after a good sizzle in some butter...

They were surprised to say the least Gabe!  And not happy.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

New construction is not without issues!  I always recommend inspections and exterminating for all property, including new construction.  You don't know what animals you will find.  Once, we were greeted by an alligator on the back porch!

Posted by Dee Toohey, Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro (Innovative Realty Solutions Group) over 7 years ago
The standards of the contractor really come into play. In my commercial construction experience, we require that wall cavities be vacuum cleaned prior to closing the wall.
Posted by Mark Delgado, Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h (houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove) over 7 years ago

You are the inspector whisperer. . 

getting a roach to pose for a  pic. .is no easy feat. . 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 7 years ago

Hit him with you hand as he scurries out of the light...oh you have to be quicker than that told one restaurant waitress I remember a few years back. When the bugs loved the sweet and sour in the sun sweltering dumpster out back that was the magnet, airport for them.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 7 years ago

Hi Jay,

Yikes! I hate to see roaches even dead ones. Call the exterminator before the home is even finished. Now that is a sad day for the buyers and the builder.

Have a better day in the Bristow area.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 7 years ago

I do not think that the average spray treatment is going to eliminate these roaches in a single treatment.

Posted by Dwight Puntigan, Dwight Puntigan (DRP Realty, LLC) over 7 years ago

I managed quite a few rentals in the poorer sections of town for a miser/owner when first starting out where roaches were treated like tenants and roommates...When it gets to the point where they are out during the day, you got a major infestation on your hands...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 7 years ago

Oh my goodness, and a newly built home that has never been lived in.  This is unusual. 

Posted by Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School, Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor (Rowlett Real Estate School) over 7 years ago

When we renovated an old "beach box" down on the Outer Banks a few years ago, we found an unexploded ordnance behind one of the walls. We called the local authorities, but they had no clue what to do...eventually a state trooper showed up and took it away.  Apparently sealing up behind the walls has been going on for a few decades. 

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 7 years ago

These things live everywhere. It is best to get it treated by a professional right away.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) over 7 years ago


Insects can actually live a long time without food, some of them up to a year, because they don't use calories to heat their bodies. My guess is that the bugs came in with a materials delivery from either an infested warehouse or a lumber yard.

Oh yeah, and once food is available, theyll multiply like crazy!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 7 years ago

You're right, what are they eating? They don't just hang around for nothing.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 7 years ago

Great post Jay.  It's funny that the critter posted for you right on the quarter!  This is the message I send to my people too.  Just because it's new construction doesn't mean it's perfect.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 7 years ago

Ewwww.   That's nasty, especially in new construction, and the fact that it was so big is worrisome.  There have to be a bunch of other big guys running around in the walls somewhere.....

They definitely need some bug-be-gone treatments.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) over 7 years ago

Is it possible it flew in overnight? Sometimes they are attracted to light.  Or someone dragged it in by transfer? Just being over analytic. I wonder...if we can be sure it is just due to a food source?

Nonetheless, I worked for builders and the subcontractors often eat and sometimes leave their food trash behind.  Some smoke after the drywall is in and that smell hangs around too.

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) over 7 years ago

Jay, If you can see them during daylight hours, you can bet they are partying with all their friends all through the night and there are scores and scores of them! Yikes!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Red Rock Real Estate) over 7 years ago

It is a good thing you saw them and were able to give the buyers a heads up. Now they can address the issue before it becomes a major problem.

Posted by Ymeki Stevens (Keller Williams Realty Partners) over 7 years ago

Very nice...just what the buyers of a brand new house want, a roach infestation.

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) over 7 years ago

Don't roaches deserve to "buy" new construction?  Why are these poor creatures delegated to the fixer-uppers or poorly maintained homes?  Seriously though, ugh.

Posted by Virtual Realty Consultants, Making the American Dream a Reality (Virtual Realty Consultants LLC) over 7 years ago

Great advice..."don't assume that since it is new construction you can't already have problems with animalia." Thank you for reminding me.

Posted by Karl Hess, on The Jersey Shore (Keller Williams Shore Properties) over 7 years ago
what a shame AR does not have a "Like" button. There are some great responses here. So what did the buyer have to say?
Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Central Maryland (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Jay:  GREAT post!  Such timely info and advice as new constructions gears back up across the US!  Congrats on yet another Feature.  I'll be re-blogging today ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 7 years ago

New construction or old construction ... nobody ever wants to see roaches!!  And, this particular roach didn't even run and hide from you ... in fact, it seems mighty comfortable, don't you think?  Maybe this roach is the construction company's mascot, or the workers are feeding it daily like a lost pet :)

Or, as you say, a food source has been left inside the walls ... wow!

Posted by Carie Shapiro (North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate) over 7 years ago
Gross! I still have nightmares about a 100 year old apartment I once lived in where the roaches were totally immune to roach bombs!! But new construction? Never in a million years would I have believed that if you didn't take the picture!
Posted by Jayne Esposito, SRES, GREEN (Coldwell Banker ) over 7 years ago

Interesting blog! Lets just hope the roach wondered in and couldn't find his way out. Maybe there are crumbs from the builders or it was in search of water. Either way glad you got there and took care of it before the buyers did.

Posted by Marilyn Wier, Your League City & Surrounding Areas REALTOR! (RE/MAX Space Center) over 7 years ago

One criteria I impart to my clients for choosing a builder is one that demands a clean jobsite - nothing left behind at the end of the day that would attract guys like your roach there!

Posted by Shelley Rowton, ABR, RSPS - (512) 507-5779 MoveToRealty of Austin (Move To Realty) over 7 years ago

Those critters are another thing that is not very common in Seattle.  I hear stories of them being around---but not like in other parts of the country where they apparntly rule the roost on occasion :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

Not much more to say than gross - but I can't say I'm shocked.  Those buggers just seem to find a way to infiltrate.

Posted by Chris Hayes, Your Shreveport/Bossier Real Estate Partner (Keller Williams Realty Northwest LA) over 7 years ago

Thanks for posting this.  One more thing to look for at pre-drywall inspection.  I've also heard of some very strange things being left in the walls.  I can only guess this is the work of immature and disgruntled workers.  But I can tell you that in Texas, these large roaches will come inside seeking water.  And they usually are a lone invader.  Even in very clean homes.  They live in trees and among leaves, and they like dampness.

Posted by Kate McQueen, Tailored service for your real estate needs! (Realty Associates Texas) over 7 years ago

Needed one good exterminator and a 1 year exterminator service paid for by the builder.  Not quite as big as the roaches we had living in Japan but not a welcome guest in any home.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago


I gotta go with Athina on this one.  Your write up indicates one roach, not plural.  I grew up in Miami where the American Cockroach (we called them palmetto bugs versus the smaller "german" roach, both are cockroaches) is a common site.  By your picture this appears to be a palmetto bug.  The really fun thing about this particular roach is that it flies.  If you want to see a real sight, have a room full of guests when this critter takes off across the room from a drape.  The palmetto bug is also a fast runner and can scurry across a room in quick order.  These critters live in the plants and trees outside and typically don't come indoors unless it's cold outside, they happen upon a food source, or are unknowingly brought in (either on materials or someone's clothing).  He could have also crawled/flew in when the door was open.  Also, how's the seal under the door, any gaps that he could have come through?

Being that your write up is about a new house and a single bug, I gotta believe he found his way in through an open door or was transported in with materials.  Typically in an vacant or new home where no one is living yet, the tell-tale sign of a palmetto bug investation is numerous dead roaches on the floors.  So, I'd bet there isn't a problem yet, but as every realtor knows, as soon as you make a definitive statement... watch out.

Posted by John Laney, John Laney (THE RIVER'S TEAM) over 7 years ago

How nice of him to stand on your quarter - just like an actor.


Scott W Johnson


Marindependent Insurance Services

Posted by Scott W. Johnson, Insurance Broker-Agent (Marindependent Insurance Services LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, I built my house and every evening my family would go over to clean up after the workers of that day. Like you said, I didn't want any garbage being sealed up in my foundation or walls. At the time, my kids thought I was being silly. I should let them read this post and see what they think.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 7 years ago

I think I'm gonna be sick. That is a giant big daddy roach for sure. I think he likes you. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) over 7 years ago

He's a big one!  I haven't seen a roach in a long, long time.  I guess I should count myself lucky on this one, as a real estate agent.  

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) over 7 years ago

Jay, very interesting find.  I wonde rwhat caused them to appear in new construction.  Did they get there via a workers lunch bag, or were they just roaming around.  Very interesting none the less.

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) over 7 years ago
I remember when I had a new addition put on my previous home. It was disgusting the amount of debris left behind by the workers. I was young and ignorant. I would never put up with that now, and would insist that the general contractor educate his crew about what is and isn't appropriate. The sad past is, that some folks aren't there to know that the de IRS has been left behind, leading to these types of unpleasant situations.
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Jay, In downtown Seattle we had these roaches that had been sprayed so many times I think they were immune to everything. They were even bigger that your friend there.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I Jay, interesting blog...Thanks for sharing with us in AR land.

Posted by Ronald DiLalla, No. Orange Cty Real Estate (Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824) over 7 years ago

One of the many reasons clients need an inspection on new construction purchases.

Posted by Vanessa Saunders, From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York (Global Property Systems Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Roaches don't freak me out because I was raised in NYC. Having said that, who needs them in new construction or anywhere? Often, you'll see silver fish coming out of the insulation in new construction. Those are way smaller but just as annoying. Bug-free houses are best.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 7 years ago

Thanks Jay. You had to go and remind me of a really awful apartment I lived in once in a previous life! Ugh!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 7 years ago

When I first moved to Hawaii way back when, I remember seeing one in the hallway about 2+ inches long. I took a spray can and gave it a good spritz. Well, this cockroad started to run at a fast clip down the hallway, right at me! Never having seen one before, and not realizing that this is what they do AND IT WASN'T PERSONAL, I thought it was about to attack me! Pretty funny. Have never forgotten it.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 7 years ago

Just like others have mentioned, I'm thinking of the ones that live outside, even where no humans live. We lived in SC and had roaches in our apartment, I was so glad I was getting away from them into our new home.  But even before the home was finished, I noticed roaches (Palmetto bugs) on the tree trunks.  Started making my plans to move away from SC ASAP.

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 7 years ago

Jay - Not good to have roaches in new construction but maybe a good spraying will clean things up. Of course the food will still be there...

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 7 years ago

Sometimes the new construction is right over the roaches current living spaces-they just move on up.

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) over 7 years ago

Wow! That's an eye-opener post. I never would have thought about roaches in a new construction. I have a client getting ready to start building. I'll keep this post in mind during construction and walk-through. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Jill Winchel, We make it easy. You make it home. (Royal Shell Real Estate - The Koffman Group ) over 7 years ago

The whole idea of food or wrappers getting sealed up in walls and then attracting roaches gives me the creeps-you are so right Jay, don't assume anything because anything is possible!

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) over 7 years ago

I am more paranoid about new construction than older homes. The way they put them up today it is all about the money and profit. We have changed a lot. Just look at an older home compared to a new one and notice the character difference.  Made with love.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 7 years ago

Most builders in my neck of the woods will not agree to an inspection.  Even if they do, I wonder how any items identified by the inspector are resolved.  I'd be interested if you have any suggestions in this regard.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 7 years ago



Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 7 years ago

Thats a baby by Florida standards. Sounds like it is time for pest control.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max By The Sea) over 7 years ago

I'm sure the buyer appreciates you showing up early enough to find this creepy guy.  They probably figured they'd be the first occupants.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 7 years ago

That's a scary thought that there might be rotting food inside the walls!

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) over 7 years ago

Interesting post. Absolutely hate these; however, the largest roaches I have seen were on a military base in Hawaii. These were huge 2 inch plus roaches - AND THEY COULD FLY - like little birds - all through the kitchens. But really, Jay, who 'woulda think' - in new construction?!?

Posted by Jane Chaulklin-Schott, TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836 (TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766) over 7 years ago
That is not a pleasant sight. Hopefully the situation will be addressed before start to move into the units.
Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 7 years ago
Thanks for sharing. Yes, old or new construction, buyers should be encouraged to follow-through with all inspections.
Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) over 7 years ago

Dee - I'm glad I didn't get there early enough to be greeted by the alligator!

Mark - I have never seen that!  When they do it here I will let you know.

Fernando - I pointed my hand at him and hummed.

Andrew - that was quite the food source!  So, apparently, is this condo!

Clint - I got an email from him last night saying that the builder is putting off settlement because this isn't the only unit and the building needs to be treated!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Dwight - I don't know where they go from here!  But they have to handle it!

Richie - my client told me that this isn't the only unit they were found in!

It is Wayne.  The builder took it seriously too.  So did my clients!

Susan - likely since they invented walls!  That trooper was matter of fact!

No doubt Harry.  I don't know how you treat a building this size though.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Richard - I don't know how they got here, but they ARE here!  And this is not the only unit I hear.

Lyn - maybe the spectacular views from this fourth floor interior bathroom?

A&J - he walked right over to it!  Maybe he was hoping it was food.

Kat - I hear treatment is in the works, but I don't know what the builder will do.

Athina - who knows.  But they have been found in many of the units.  I think they are in the walls.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Wanda - they happen fast too!  I hope this isn't ongoing for the buyers.

Ymeki - if it isn't already a major problem!  They have been seen in many units I now hear.

Marc - someone has to win the lottery!

Gen - they do deserve to live in nice places!  Inside and outside the walls.

You're welcome Karl.  I have seen all kinds of animalia in all kinds of houses!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

You would be surprised to see what goes behind those walls before they cover it up with drywall.

Posted by Edward & Celia Maddox, EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD (The Celtic Connection Realty) over 7 years ago

They aren't please Ellie!  And the builder has put off settlement until this problem is handled.  It's in more than one unit now.

Thanks Gene.  I am not sure this is common, but for all I know it is!

There is definitely a food source Carie.  And it looks pretty well preserved for middle age, don't you think?  ;>)

Hence the photo Jayne!  Nobody would have believed me, as to its presence or size!

Marilyn - they just cleaned the place, so the crumbs shouldn't be there!  Maybe that's another problem!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Shelley - I don't know what the builder's rules are regardling cleanliness.  But there is something to eat here!

Charlie - you should have been in my college dorm in Maryland!  This little punk would have been beaten up there!

Chris - which is why they have been around for so long apparently!

Of course, Kate.  But it's been raining so much here lately they have probably come in to get dry!

Cindy - my client says the builder is taking it seriously because they have been found all over the building (14 units).  I would come every three weeks for a while!


Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I doubt my clients want to go with so much supposition John!  We don't use the word palmetto bug here, but that is just another name for roach according to my pest-company friend.  This is an interior bathroom on the fourth floor, with everything closed.  He just didn't fly or wander in!  My cleint emailed me to say settlement is postponed because roaches are found all over the building and the builder is going to treat the whole building.

It was my flair as I hoisted the camera and encouraged him with shot after shot Scott.  He gave me many different poses.

Tammie - trash on a job site is a big deal.  And dead fish intentionally left inside the walls.  I have heard that one too.

Scott - not as big as the ones at my college!  I threw a Western Civ book on a roach once, and he crawled out from underneath!

Judi - you are lucky!  These creatures are gross!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Gary - I don't know many people who carry roaches in a bag lunch!  And not this big!

Karen - that is a sign of disrespect and an uncaring attitude.  Clean up after yourselves!

Don - see my comment above to Scott!  They get big here!

You're welcome Ronald.  I'll be around for a while longer.

Vanessa - this is a new reason for new construction, but a valid one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jill - silverfish are common here too, and, as you say, in the insulation!

Tom - we lived in that same apartment long ago too!

Hella - that's a brave roach!  And they usually run away!

Great Joetta!  It must be disconcerting to see them making their plans!

That, Tom, is the problem!  And this is not the only unit with the problem, I understand.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Michelle - you'd think that digging with big machines would disturb their habitat!

Jill - they have to be invited by something, typically food!

Joanna - not just wrappers but food!  Unfinished sandwiches and the like.

There is little professionalism anymore Jimmy.  I agree.

Joan - make the inspection desires known from the start of the contract, with specific times mentioned.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Happy to make your day Sharon!

They get pretty big here too Bill!  Especially at my college!

Lloyd - apparently I am not the only one to see these guys.  Just the latest!

Gerard - there likely is in every house out there!

Jane - it's the flying aspect that is most disconcerting!  Especially when they are that size!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

The builder has postponed settlement to deal with it Wayne!

Ralph - I am doing a lot of them on new construction, and in the pre-drywall stage.

E&C - I have been doing this a long time and doubt I would be surprised!  I have seen some odd things!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Never thought about all the "stuff" that gets walled up inside the drywall - very good post - even if a bit yuck!

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 7 years ago

I always knew about new construction sites being a mess but never thought about them leaving it behind the walls.  This gives me an extra thing to look for and possibly explains why some new construction homes have a distinctive smell!  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Brenda J. Andrew, Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX (ULTIMA REAL ESTATE) over 7 years ago

That is ugly. Who takes care of this? The developer and the buyer when he/she is the owner?

In Florida these little ugly guys a common in vacant homes and I except them when I do interior BPO's. But in new construction - do not know.

Posted by Andrea HoffDomin, - in Real Estate always on your side! (Florida Dream Homes Realty) over 7 years ago

I had this problem when I lived in Tucson. We had a bathroom that wasn't being used very often and when the traps dried out these huge roaches would come up from the city sewer system. The city came out and bombed the sewers and as our family grew we started using the shower in the bath more often. Never saw them again. Maybe same type of thing?

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

Wow, Jay, that is seriously gross! Glad you caught it, and on film, no less.

Posted by Jenn Morson, Licensed Referral Agent and ASP - Team Woda (Metro Referrals) over 7 years ago

*shudder* Ugh...roaches.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) over 7 years ago


As shocked as anyone would be to find roaches in new construction, they shouldn't be.  As you mentioned, roaches need water and a food source.  If a source of water is nearby and you have the soil movement of new construction, you will most likely have disrupted their habitat and even though there might not be an evident food source, it's possible that at some time during construction, something was left long enough to have attracted them.  Lastly, there is the chance that one of the workers brought them in along with their equipment.  Often times roaches can travel in boxes and suitcases and infest a previously clean location.  Based on having found a live roach you could request through discolsure, insist that the entire premises be fumigated prior to occupany.


Posted by Anthony Rollins, The Adam Butler Team (Keller Williams Realty-Overland Park) over 7 years ago

That is awful.  And you are right......they need food and water, just like we do.  Almost makes you want to be at the house when the drywall is hung.  Also, check around the foundation for trash, especially wood pieces, before they backfill.  If you don't, you are inviting termites to your house!

Posted by Woody Edwards, A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone! (First Choice Realty, Inc) over 7 years ago

First thing for here in Corpus Christi, Tx. That is a teenager. I've seen them sneak their way into buildings as big as a silver dollar. Yep!  And I can tell you, I've seen fast food deposits of cups wrappers and bags in the new construction with half eaten sandwiches that have been there from the previous day. I pointed out to one of the workers a drink cup was left near an electrical box. You could see the straw sticking out of the outlet. Guess they thought they would get away with it. I called the builder and told them about it. He acted like it was no big deal. Sometimes the workers just use whatever they think will work as a waste basket. Come on there are usually dumpsters out front.  Lazy a** ** can't walk a few feet. Who wants to eat around all that dust. I'd rather eat outside. Just as hot outside as inside depending on what phase of construction it's under. But that is how the roaches get there.

Posted by Theresa Akin (CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP) over 7 years ago

He wasn't posing, he was laying claim to the quarter.

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) over 7 years ago

I'm with Athina and Jay on this, as well.  When I first moved to Georgia from up north, I met one of these guys crawling along my porch railing the first night.  I swear it was the size of a small Toyota.  Concerned that I'd moved into a roach motel, I called the Department of Agriculture the next day.  The gentlemen came out to the house and explained that they generally live in the trees that surround my house.  He said they are attracted to light and will fly in via open doors and windows or vents but, thankfully, they won't survive long indoors. In the twenty years I've since lived here, I've found that the few times I do encounter them they are usually dead or dying . . . certainly if I get to them fast enough! I wouldn't be concerned about an infestation of the big guys as much as I would be if I saw the little "German" roaches. Still, they all creep me out! 

Posted by Deborah Lee Switts, You have a Good Friend in the Mortgage Business! (Good Friend Mortgage) over 7 years ago

Interesting and informative. I learned something new about insects and construction maintenance.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 7 years ago

Oh my.  What a horrible situation.  Thanks for sharing your post (and words of wisdom).

Posted by Gretchen Bradley (Realty Source Inc.) over 7 years ago

I think home inspections in new homes is just as important as in existing properties. Oh My----Your roache picture is not appealing to anyone moving into that home.


Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) over 7 years ago

Lise - the trash is in there!  Believe me!

Brenda - it's a thought we all should have at every new construction!

Andrea - I am sure the builder does.  But don't know how or the time frame.

Marshall - I would expect the traps have not had opportunity to dry out, especially with cleaning just the day before.  And they have been found in more units than this one.

Jenn - well I did, on "film," as you say!  Digital film?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Suzanne - c'mon, man up!  So to speak...

Anthony - my client emailed me to say they were found in many units and the builder postponed settlement to take care of it all.  I think the walls are full of food...

Woody - there are more termites in front of this building than there are people in the world.  One colony has as many as 50 billion.

They get big here too Theresa!  I threw a Western Civ book on one in college, in Maryland, and he crawled out from underneath!

Rafi - he does look a bit proud, huh?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

My client and I were hit by a very strong curry odor when we opened the door to a vacant home yesterday.  We were greeted by this little guy's cousins who looked like they were trying to escape through the front door we had just opened - maybe the odor was too strong for the roaches!

Posted by Michael J. O'Connor, Eastvale - 951-847-4883 (Diamond Ridge Realty) over 7 years ago

This is a new neighborhood Deborah, no trees yet.  They are very small.  This is the fourth floor, and being new construction everything is closed up.  But they got in somehow!

Always glad to contribute to that Kimo!

Gretchen - it has gotten a lot of attention!  Bugs are bad!

Betty - the buyers were amused and mortified, at the same time!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Michael - or they were late for work.  At the house next door...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

You just identified one of my pet peeves ... construction workers leaving behind their garbage. I can't tell you how many inspectors have produced photos of McDonald's wrappers in the crawlspace of a house. Why, why, why can't they clean up after themselves?

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 7 years ago

Jay, as someone who has sold many new homes, this does not surprise me at all.  In fact, I have seen things worse than roaches left behind.  Even some little "presents" left by the trades-people.  I won't get specific... but you can guess.  Ewwww.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 7 years ago

The only time you see roaches up here is when someone moves in from another state.  I guess you may be able to find them in major cities.  I don't know why you don't find them here.  The climate doesn't get too cold.  The first ones I ever saw was in San Diega, California at the chow hall at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot

Posted by Roger Stensland, Let's Move! (Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound) over 7 years ago

Ugh - I'm glad I live where they don't. We had them in a rental house once - some tenants brought them in. It was a royal (expensive) pain to get rid of them. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 7 years ago

Around here I refer to them a Brentwood Sink Lobsters.  We had container gardens at one point.  Those were a source of problem for us in this regard.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Roaches are the State Animal here in Alabama....haaaaaa. They ARE everywhere, new and old construction.

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (Travis Realty) over 7 years ago

Cynthia - the answer is because it isn't important to them!  Every day we seem to find the time to do what is most important to us.

I hear you Karen Anne.  On pre-drywall inspections I have seen everything - nasty and otherwise - but never before a live roach in a new fourth-floor condo!

Roger - my son is stationed now at Quantico and I will let him know that!

Marte - and they are here for some reason and the builder is very interested in removing them!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Gene - do you eat the tails with drawn butter?

Travis - they likely could be most places!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

They came in from the outside in search of warmth, peace and tranquility.

Posted by Bernadette James, Broker-Associate, Keller Williams Realty SW (Serving Sugar Land, Missouri City, Richmond and Pearland) over 7 years ago
Hi jay that post reminded us of a rental we had 30+ years ago. We would come home turn the lights on and close our eyes to give the roaches time to hide! Lol
Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 7 years ago

Bernadette - they made enough people mad that I don't think they will find much tranquility!

Yummie Bob!  That sounds like my dorm room at college.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, We have a lot of those big bugs here. They normally live outside and only come in when the temperature drops or it is very dry. I have been told by exterminators that once a month treatment outside will keep them out. If you miss a month they will be right back. You are a little far north to see a lot of them. These are very different from the everyday day roach. 

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 7 years ago

I live in a rural area in Illinois; we call those wood roaches.  You see them outside at dusk flying in groups. We usually get them in the house in the June-July time frame.  

Posted by Mary Marshall (Jim Maloof Realtor) over 7 years ago

I can tell you that the roach most likely had nothing to do with it being new construction.  I agree with John (#45) and Bill (#66), especially in Florida.  Construction workers build the home and those workers do eat.  Occasionally, a crumb or two will fall on the floor or when they are done eating, they throw whats left in a trash can and they don't take the trash can home with them.  Roaches or in Florida, as we call them, palmetto bugs love to hibernate in cool, damp and dark places, particularly in cardboard boxes.  A lot of materials will come in cardboard boxes and when they get damp (possibly from the morning dew), it creates a home for those roaches and they will breed there.  One of the things I have learned about Florida, do not store anything in your garage in a cardboard box.  With the dampness, the boxes become magnets for roaches.  I don't think one roach is cause for concern, but if there were 30-40, then you might have a problem.

Posted by Deleted Account over 7 years ago

Tom - my friend at Eco-Pro, a local pest guy, says this is your basic German roach.  They get very large here, as I remember especially from college!  Like Lenn early in the comments, I have never seen one in new construction, and that's a couple of inspections! 

You're kidding about us not seeing a lot of them, right?  This house had between one and two million roaches!  That's what attracted all the black widows!


This unit is on the fourth floor Mary, with no trees around.  He didn't fly in!  Roaches were apparently found in many of the units.

William - we aren't in Florida!  And I see trash during pre-drywall inspections you wouldn't believe, a tad more than a crumb or two!  The roaches were found in many units, and this is unusual enough in new construction that the builder postponed my client's settlement to treat all the units in this building (14 units).

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay - I learned in my pesticide course that roaches and many other creepy little guys are transported into homes via boxes, bags, clothes, packages and other means. It's possible one of the trades people brought them in. Roaches can survive harsh conditions, and when they set up camp they produce a large army.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

Grrrrros....the multi leggeds got to move in before the 2 legged owners !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 7 years ago

Who knows Eric.  And it doesn't matter how they got in - the builder has had to respond to many people who freaked upon seeing them, postponing settlement after deciding to treat all the units.  Being already there is most disconcerting I think!

Righ S&D!  At least let people move their own food in!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments