Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Bugs in tank

  1. #1
    Jody Humbert's Avatar
    Jody Humbert Guest

    Question Bugs in tank

    I was doing an inspection last week when I walked into a room and viewed a glass tank with a weighted down lid that had to be raised with a pulley system. The tank had an air system that was vented up into the garage attic. The tank had a cover draped over it so I couldn't see inside. I was curious so I pulled the cover back and viewed through the glass. There were a combination of different skulls from smaller animals in the tank. I seen little bugs on the skulls and at the interior. I didn't think anything of it until the selling realtor asked if I had seen the owner's " flesh-eating insect colony." There is a crawl space located under this room and it is sealed. My question for anyone is should I disclose that the house has a flesh-eating bug colony present? The crawlspace is directly below and seems it might be habitable for them. The seller is a scientist and has the proper state and federal permits to keep this colony. I'm wondering if there is any liability on my part if I don't let them know? Is this any of my business and is it outside my scope? Thanks for any comments.

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    What is there to report"

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody Humbert View Post
    My question for anyone is should I disclose that the house has a flesh-eating bug colony present?

    I'm wondering if there is any liability on my part if I don't let them know?

    Is this any of my business and is it outside my scope?
    A) Yes, I would.

    B) Only if some got out and caused a problem, in which case your name would be there with the seller for failing to report it.

    C) Nope, yep and so is most of what home inspectors do.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    "C) Nope, yep and so is most of what home inspectors do."

    I agree with that.

    It's none of your (or the buyers) business.
    If it's none of your business and not in you SOP, and you inform the client, THEN you may have a liability concern.

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 09-30-2010 at 07:21 PM.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    It's none of your (or the buyers) business.
    If it's none of your business and not in you SOP, and you inform the client, THEN you have a may have a liability concern.
    I TOTALLY disagree with that.

    IT IS YOUR JOB to report what you see, and when you see something like that .. IT IS YOUR JOB to advise your client of it.

    That "liability" thing is inspector lore ... you have no liability for reporting what you see ... you have TONS OF LIABILITY for NOT REPORTING what you see and think that maybe your client should know.

    It is then up to your client to decide if it concerns them or not - but as far as "liability" goes, your increased liability is in *not reporting it*.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Jody Humbert's Avatar
    Jody Humbert Guest

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    Thanks everyone. I let them know.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    When he asked " Is it any of my business?"
    I thought you answered " Nope"
    Meaning, too me; no, it's none of your business,


    I'm wondering if there is any liability on my part if I don't let them know?

    B) Only if some got out and caused a problem, in which case your name would be there with the seller for failing to report it.

    I also agree with that, but would add
    Only if some got out and caused a problem AND YOU had knowledge that there is a risk to the buyer.


    The liability I am talking about is if you report something as though it negatively affects the structural or safety aspects of the home.
    Then you should be ready and able to have creditable and acceptable evidence that supports your conclusion.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I also agree with that, but would add
    Only if some got out and caused a problem AND YOU had knowledge that there is a risk to the buyer.
    Some "CAN" get out, and that is worth reporting.

    You DO have knowledge of that risk, thus "there is risk to the buyer". Will you guaranty that none of those insects can or will get out between the time you looked at it and the time the seller removes them? I sure cannot.

    [quote]The liability I am talking about is if you report something as though it negatively affects the structural or safety aspects of the home.[quote]

    You don't think that those insect getting out will negatively affect the safety aspects of the home?

    Then you should be ready and able to have creditable and acceptable evidence that supports your conclusion.
    You have it: Those were reported to be flesh-eating insects, and that he was a scientist, and that he had to have special permission to have them. You don't think that is credible evidence of risk?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    That scientist might be a genius in his field, but he's and idiot for not having moved his colony prior to listing his house.

    That's just plane creepy. I know my wife would not stay in that house and I'm not sure about me!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    Some "CAN" get out

    Can is not the same as did or will

    You don't think that those insect getting out will negatively affect the safety aspects of the home?
    At this time I see no creditable information to report

    Those were reported to be flesh-eating insects, and that he was a scientist, and that he had to have special permission to have them. You don't think that is credible evidence of risk?

    Is that evidence or rumor?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  11. #11
    Steve Lowery's Avatar
    Steve Lowery Guest

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    Those flesh eating insects only feed on dead things. I'm getting the impression that some of you are thinking that if a bug escapes you'll find Fifi in a corner devoured, or perhaps one of the children.

    I bet that batch of skulls stinks like hell though. Who wouldn't write up the smell?


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    I do not think that the bugs would have made it in my report. Why? Well for starters, I'm not a bug expert!

    What is the difference if a person has a sealed aquarium with flesh eating bugs and an aquarium with pythons or other snakes that could also get out and make a new home in the home? Y'all remember that child that was killed by a python in FL a few months back?

    What about "bed bugs" and the simple fact that they have become so much of a problem throughout the country? Do we as home inspectors have a duty to inspect and report on them?

    The list can on and on and on...... At what point do we have to draw the line?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    Potential health or safety issue.

    Not informing client of presence may lead to client being put at risk of having to remove item abandoned by present owner. Also, possible cost or cleanup if improperly removed prior to settlement.

    As a buyer: I would like to know of the presence and have to option to include in the contract that the seller is liable for proper removal and/or disposal prior to settlement. I would not like to cleanup nor have to deal with potential bug infestation.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    Assuming the file name you posted is in fact the property address pending sale in Columbia City, and you've now broadcast the condition and photo on the WWW, by virtue of the file name being the property address....

    You NOW may have not only a duty to disclose to your client, but may have "issues" with the seller/Dentist/Scientist/Occupant for having snooped, photographed, and published on the WWW his private property and activities/project, and civil liability/torts.

    DO NOT post photos on the www or IN with property addressess, client names, owner's names, MLS numbers in their file names!!!!

    RENAME your photos before posting!

    DO NOT DISCLOSE private party information to the world wide web!!!

    You can delete the file you uploaded by revisiting your post using the edit mode and the upload file feature - using that same pop-up box, simply use the center section and mark the file previously uploaded for DELETION.

    If you chose to upload a replacement file, RENAME the photo, or make a copy of what you have on your hard drive and give it a DIFFERENT FILE NAME, BEFORE YOU UPLOAD THE NEWLY NAMED FILE TO the WWW!!!!

    Even should you feel immune to possible negative consequences which might be faced as a result of such activities; IMO, it APPEARS VERY UNPROFESSIONAL to be disclosing such identifying information to the WWW, especially that of a seller's/occupants private home activites and one in which a sale is pending (tortious interferrance, publication of aleged false information, etc.). Esp. in the market conditons which exist today, and for a seller with property on the market for some time and 2 mo.s post price reduction, and under contract!

    As far as flesh-eating insects - many insects and "infestations" will feed on dead tissue, fly maggots and certain beetles for example are often used to debris and clean remains to expose nice clean skelletons/skulls.

    Certain ants attack/eat and bot fly larva/maggots can infest/infect and eat living tissue. Some of our returning armed forces have suffered from burrowing parasitic insects and bot fly (egg/larval) infections.

    If a colony of bot flies or army ants, or some other ? otherwise undesireable insect colony is present, it would seem prudent for full disclosure by the seller and your discovery being reported to your client, most likely to suggest and/or refer to an entomologist/health expert and/or pest control specialist. There are also a host of parasites which for example feed on blood and tissues of their living hosts.

    IIRC there is a good extension/outreach program via Perdue and State Universities - with good entomologist, and public health support.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-01-2010 at 11:04 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Bugs in tank

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    DO NOT post photos on the www or IN with property addressess, client names, owner's names, MLS numbers in their file names!!!!

    RENAME your photos before posting!

    H. G.,

    EXCELLENT CATCH!

    I did not even look at the file name, sometimes I do and sometimes I do not, but you are correct, change the file name to something generic, such as what is show in the photo.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •