Whether you own your home or you are buying a new one, keeping an eye open for infestations is critical to ensuring a house remains clean and safe. There are many signs that suggest an infestation, and learning to read those signs will not only tell you when but also for what you might need pest control.
The following is a list of telltale signs that you likely need pest control in your home.
Active Or Dead Pests And Their Associated Droppings
This is probably the most obvious, but it is always good to stay vigilant. Finding live or dead pests in your home is a surefire way of knowing what sort of infestation you have, and learning to identify various types of animals or bugs can go a long way to helping your pest control service of choice get right to business. Dead bugs will likely be found in basements and window ledges, whereas animals will tend to hide in dark and infrequently traveled areas.
Each pest will also have a different type of dropping that they leave behind, and it might be worth your while to research what they look like. Egg cases and dark or red spots are also indications that you might have an infestation.
Holes, Nesting Sites, And Gnaw Marks
You might find small holes in the walls or floors where rodents like to congregate. Mice and rats tend to like to use existing holes and spaces to their advantage and will move in whenever possible. If not, they might use areas of low traffic to build their nests, which will include anything even remotely considered soft for nesting material. Look for gnaw marks or holes created when these creatures chew through things in the search for these materials or food, and be especially vigilant with regards to electrical wires, as their soft casings can sometimes be mistaken for nesting materials. Left unchecked, these can be severe fire hazards.
It’s also probable that pests could enter the home from the outside. Look for burrows in weedy areas around the property, or if pests are nesting in nearby unkempt garbage areas near your home. Water and gas pipes could also act as natural homes for unwanted critters. Check for damage to plants or lawns, and ant hills among pavement cracks or along fence lines.
Tracks Or Grease Marks
Many rodents run along the same paths every day, and this can result in leaving behind tracks in their path. You may find tracks in the dustier areas of your house, as they leave them behind when running through it. Rats can also run along the walls, and leave grease behind from their feet. If you suspect you have a rat or mouse infestation and have an idea of where they might be travelling, sprinkling a little bit of flour in their path will cause them to make footprints, and could give you the confirmation you need.
Smells And Noises
Many pests have a telltale smell associated with them, and if you can catch a whiff, they will likely point to which pest you might have. Many experts will tell you that bed bugs have a sweet, musty odour. Mice will have a musty urine smell, while rats tend to smell like ammonia. Roaches have an “oily” smell, like soy sauce mixed with fecal matter. Any garbage smell you might be producing is also very bad, as this is a magnet to invite nearby pests into your home.
On top of smells, you might be able to hear your unwelcome guests. You should be able to hear the sound of rodents and large bugs moving under the floorboards or in the walls. Scratching, gnawing, or squeaking noises are also giveaways for rodents.
Termites And Carpenter Ants
This class of critter deserves its own special recognition, as they are extremely damaging pests that love to feast on all the wood in your home. Carpenter ants are far more likely than termites to appear in Canadian homes, but it is always a good idea to be on the lookout for both. While termites tend to eat wood, carpenter ants tend to excavate it and leave behind piles of shavings next to the holes they create. Both can cause serious structural damage if left untreated, and may render your home unsafe if left for long enough.
Wood damaged by termites and carpenter ants have a hollow sound when knocked on, as the insides will have been hollowed out by their nesting and eating. These creatures may also like to live within your walls, so keeping your eyes open for any ants on the outside or a subtle scratching or scrabbling noise within your walls can help you catch these critters early.
Previous Owners And Neighbours
It never hurts to hear from others and their experiences. Previous owners or tenants might be able to tell you about their experiences and provide valuable information about any potential infestations. They may also have left behind various pest control products in garages or under sinks, which may indicate they either had an infestation or were actively handling one, and what type you might be dealing with. Neighbours are also a good resource to determine if they had any issues on their property, as houses in close proximity can be affected by similar types of infestations. Removing the pests entirely might involve a coordinated effort between you and your neighbours to ensure pests are controlled on every property nearby.
If you aren’t sure or need advice on pest control, it is always best to contact your local professionals. They are well-equipped to deal with a variety of pests, and chances are they have seen a lot more telltale signs that can help you identify and deal with your pests quickly and effectively.