Signs That You May Have a Pest Problem


Seeing a mouse scurrying across the floor or a huge cockroach scaling the kitchen wall is a sure sign that you have a pest problem. However, most pests are shy and do not let themselves get discovered this easily. If unexplainable events are occurring in your living or working environment, you may have pests lurking about. But you should find out what these pests are before you call the mice exterminator for a termite problem. Here are some signs to help you confirm a pest problem and identify the type of pest.

Follow Your Nose

Strange odors in your home are a sure sign that something suspicious is going on. Different pests leave behind different smell signatures and experts can often identify pests based on the odors they emit. For instance, cockroaches have an odor that smells somewhat like oil, rats leave behind the smell of ammonia or urine, and mice smell slightly mustier. If you walk into a room that smells musty and sweet, you may have an infestation of bed bugs. However, if the air smells musty and stale, there may be termites about. If a part of your room does not smell right, be sure to look closer.

Have a Listen

Pests in your home may make themselves heard before they are seen. Small, strange noises can occur throughout the day, but most rodents and bugs are more active at night. You may hear scurrying, scratching, squeaking, or buzzing noises as your unwanted guests make their way inside your walls or under your floors. You may also hear items such as garbage bags or bits of paper being shuffled around. These sounds are generally the most discernable in attics or basements, which are prime real estate for pests. Try turning off all your noise-making appliances and sitting in silence in the evening. You may hear faint sounds of movement or activity that indicate the presence of pests.

Ew, is that Poo?

If pests are feeding, they will be pooping. However, not all droppings are as easy to spot as the large and smelly droppings of rodents. For instance, the droppings of cockroaches can look like coffee grounds or black sesame seeds. If these pests are leaving their droppings in the kitchen, you may be vacuuming or sweeping them up without a second thought. Check the insides of drawers and cupboards as well as behind furniture and under trash cans. If you find an accumulation of droppings there, you may have a bug problem. Another sign to look out for is sawdust or tiny brown pellets—these indicate that you have a termite infestation. Never handle pest droppings with your bare hands as they can carry dangerous pathogens.

Seek Out Damage

When your pests run out of easy meals, they can start causing damage to items in your home. The most obvious sign would be finding bite marks or holes in your packages of rice or ramen where pests have attempted to get to the food inside. Larger pests like mice and rats need to gnaw on things constantly to wear their teeth down. You may find bite marks on furniture or walls and even find holes in your insulation and pipes. Sudden frayed or faulty wiring is another indicator that somebody has been wreaking havoc with their teeth. If you have termites in your home, you may notice what looks like tracks running through your wood. Your wooden structures or floors may be saggy and soft or appear hollow on the inside.

No New Roommates

A human living environment is warm and cozy and perfect for moving into, especially as temperatures dip outdoors. Look behind your large appliances in the kitchen or laundry and in dark, out-of-the-way nooks and crannies to see if any pests have built their nests there. A rodent’s nest does not look like a bird’s nest but is a collection of dry material such as paper, leaves, and small pieces of fabric. If you discover such items missing from your trash or surroundings, there may be pests collecting them for nesting. Whether you find birds nesting in your attic or rodents nesting in your crawlspace, do not try to evict them on your own. Frightened animals may bite or scratch, and they can carry serious diseases.

What to Do If You Have a Pest Problem

Keeping your environment as clean and neat as possible is the best way to avoid a pest problem. However, if you already have pests, you can get rid of them by removing the sources of their food and nesting materials. Vacuum up any crumbs or dirt on the floor and in corners and make sure you keep food in sealed containers that cannot be broken into. You should also repair any holes or cracks in the walls and floors so that pests cannot enter the building easily.

If your pest problem is persistent, you may want to contact a professional pest control company for assistance. They can eliminate your pest problem with specialized equipment and techniques that are safe to use around people and pets. A professional exterminator will also be able to give you tips and advice on things you can do to prevent future infestations in your home. With some professional help, you will be rid of your pest problem in no time.