Originally Posted by RachelS
We have been trying to solve this issue for a solid four years now.....I want out for the sake of my sanity, for my children and the health of my marriage......... we will do everything possible to help the issue in the most positive way.
I am so sorry for what you are going through. What state do you live in?
The ethical issue may seem grey because the bugs don't do any actual harm. However, to the extent that they thrive on moisture they do tend to suggest that you have some sort of water problem. Which is a huge issue for most buyers these days because that can lead to mold problems.
While it may depend upon the jurisdiction you live in, arguably the previous seller had a duty to disclose something that was not readily discoverable by inspection (because of the time of year). Not only because the bugs hint at a moisture problem but also because people don't like to live with bugs, it creeps them out. And that alone may amount to a "material defect", requiring disclosure, because it affects the value of the property. The mere fact that you want to get out is evidence of that, notwithstanding your husband's attitude.
Again, I'm not familiar with your jurisdiction, but I think it's likely that you may have recovered some damages from the Seller and or their agent if you had made a claim in a timely fashion. My guess is that 4 years is too late but you may want to check with an attorney ASAP just to make sure.
Even if the Statute of Limitations hasn't run out yet you still have the problem of proving how long the infestation has existed, unless you have concrete evidence such as a pest inspection dating back to the first bug season you were living there.
Aside from the ethical issue, I don't think you have the option of not disclosing this since --to use a phrase coined during the Reagan administration-- you don't seem to have "plausible deniability". Especially if you have consulted with any pest inspectors since there would be a paper trail.
If I'm correct then I think you need to take a hard look at the transaction costs involved with the sale of one home and the purchase of another, especially when you factor in any price adjustment to your home due to the bugs. My guess is that you would be much better off taking that money and using it to tackle the bug problem more aggressively.
I would start with checking the grading of the property and making sure it slopes away from the house, removing any mulch or dense vegetation near the house, fixing downspouts, checking the plumbing for any leaks, checking the roof, siding and windows, for any leaks, etc. Hire an inspector with a moisture meter if necessary.
Some of the info from other posters suggests that a spring may be the source of the problem. You may want to check with your neighbors or the town to see if there is one on your property. You may need to build one or more dry wells or some french drains.
I wish I had an easier suggestion.
Good luck and please keep us posted.