Prevention is key to successful pest control, but even the most conscientious homeowner can run into a pest infestation. In that case, early intervention becomes the next best thing, and knowing the signs of a pest infestation is exactly how you avoid having a small issue become a major problem.
Signs of different pests can look similar to the untrained eye. Certain common signs of a pest infestation can come from several different species that require different approaches for control and removal. Identifying the signs can help you declare whether you may have a pest infestation but doesn’t necessarily guarantee which pest that may be if you haven’t spotted the culprit itself.
Knowledge is power. Not only should you know what the signs of pest infestation are, but you should also know who to call when you see the signs in your home.
How To Identify a Pest Infestation
Certain pest infestations, such as ants, are pretty easy to identify. You’ll see ants, and you’ll probably see quite a few of them if they’ve established a colony in or around your home. That one is fairly straightforward.
Others may not make themselves known as quickly—like rodents, for example. When their method of survival involves remaining hidden from predators and scavenging for food when the coast is clear, they’re especially good at avoiding you. Finding and identifying them can be tricky.
Therefore, you may not know whether you have a mischievous mouse, a rambunctious rat, or a voracious vole on your hands. Still, based on the common signs of a rodent infestation, you can make an educated guess that you might have a visiting critter making itself at home.
Knowing these signs can help you decide when it’s time to call in the professionals. Common and uncommon signs of pest infestation include:
- Urine stains
- Damage to property
- Nesting material
- Scratching sounds
- Foul odor
- Hollow wood
- Dead or discolored grass patches
- Holes in wood
Droppings and Urine Stains
Since everything and everybody poops, just finding droppings in your home doesn’t automatically mean it’s a mouse. However, obvious droppings and urine stains do most likely indicate that you have an interior rodent problem. Being larger creatures, they leave behind larger pieces of evidence you’re more likely to notice.
If you’re finding what looks like spilled pepper or coffee grounds, it could be the droppings from a German cockroach infestation. Meanwhile, termite droppings tend to look like piles of sawdust, given their wood-eating nature.
Damage to Property, Nesting Materials, Scratching Noises
Pests and critters can cause all sorts of damage to your property, but the most obvious signs of damage are probably from a rodent.
Rodents such as mice are going to use whatever they can find to build their nests. They’ll gnaw wood, paper, cloth, and more, causing damage to your belongings and structure. Additionally, while they transport this material to their nest, some may be dropped or abandoned along the way, which you’ll later find.
Mice and other rodents are going to find small, secluded areas to build these nests, and they’ll likely try to live near a dependable food source. They may choose the attic, wall voids, or crawl spaces of your home.
Furthermore, rodents are nocturnal creatures. In the quiet of the night, if you hear scratching noises or other sounds of rummaging or movement, you might have a furry creature nearby.
Many pest infestations are smelly, but they don’t all have the same odor.
Roaches smell oily, but you’re only going to be able to detect the smell when they’ve grown large in number. Dead cockroaches also have a particularly acidic smell, to make matters worse.
Bedbug infestations have a distinctively sweet smell with a bit of acidity, that’s akin to raspberries.
Stink bugs can smell differently from person to person. The stink is most commonly compared to the scent of cilantro, but it’s also acrid like burned rubber.
Mice and rat infestations leave behind a pungent, ammonia-like smell similar to that of urine and decay. Wonderful, isn’t it?
Whether you discover it by accident or through routine home inspections, a hollow sound in your wood is one of the major signs of termites. However, termites aren’t the only wood-boring insect out there. Carpenter ants can look and behave similarly to termites, but treating one is much easier than treating the other.
Still, when it comes to identifying termites in your home, you should always call the professionals. DIY termite treatments are highly dangerous to your health and that of your family, and certain species or large colonies can be incredibly difficult to remove.
Dead, Discolored Grass Patches
If you’re seeing dead, discolored patches of grass in your lawn, it may not be an issue with the health of the grass itself. Instead, you might have a mole problem. A mole problem can also be a symptom of another pest problem, as moles come where there’s food, and their diet includes insects.
In addition to dead patches, you might see raised ridges, surface tunnels, or unexplained mounds of dirt. A mole barrier service can be the best solution for mole prevention.
Holes in Wood
A distinct sign of carpenter bee activity is half-inch holes in your wood, particularly that of your fence, deck, or home’s structure. One or two holes here and there might not be worth worrying about, but a carpenter bee may choose to tunnel deeper into structures, which can cause structural damage and wood rot.
What To Do When You Have a Pest Infestation
When you see one or several of these indicators in your home, which is a sign of a pest infestation, your next step is to contact your local pest control company.
An expert eye, such as one from a Greenix Pest Control service professional, will be able to accurately diagnose your home’s pest infestation and prescribe the most effective pest control treatment.
We service several areas across the United States, always bringing with us our characteristically premier service and lasting results.
Contact your nearest Greenix Pest Control team today, and we promise to bring our satisfaction guarantee for your residential pest control!