While most Texans recognize that a slight presence of pests may be simply a part of life, the ability to realize when a nuisance has turned into an infestation is critical. A significant difference exists between the random presence of a pest or two and a significant problem. These warning signs will give you the insight you need to determine if you have a growing infestation that needs to be handled immediately.
1. Bite Marks
One of the most disturbing signs of a pest infestation in when you find bite marks on your children or yourself. Bites might concentrate around the ankles if they are pet fleas, or on the neck, arms and other exposed skin if bed bugs have been acquired. Ideally these signs should lead to the immediate response of contacting a professional house pest control service.
2. Pest Droppings
The easiest way to discover that you are already in need of pest control is finding the droppings that insects and rodents leave behind. If you find something, doing research on what types of droppings are left by which pests will help to narrow down the source and understand exactly what to do about it.
3. Sounds and Odors
Although somewhat understated, insects and rodents do have a tendency to give off scents that are indicative of their presence. Rats tend to have an ammonia-like smell while mice have a urine scent that is musty. Some professionals have learned to detect the musty, sweet scent of bed bugs as well as the oily, pungent odor of roaches. Of course, certain pests also can be heard when they are actively, particularly at night when everything is quiet. Listen for scratching around the walls, scurrying under appliances or cabinets, and the tapping of little feet.
4. Chew Marks and Holes
Hole in walls, floor, or other spots around your home may mean that you’ve got a rodent problem, as rates especially are known for their gnawing habits. Nest areas or burrows in the garbage or weeds near the house are also a bad sign. Rats can chew through electrical wires and other critical parts of your home so dealing with this immediately is critical.
5. Dead Pests Indoors
It may be that you stumble upon bug carcasses in window sills and corners, but it can also be helpful to go looking for them behind furniture or other hidden places. If many dead bugs of the same kind are found in your home, you may be dealing with an infestation.
6. Tracks or Grease Marks
Rodents such as mice and rats tend are creatures of habit and tend to create paths when they run along the walls. Urine trails, droppings, or even footprints leaving a pathway of grease through dusty areas are certainly signs of possible infestations.
7. Nesting Materials
Mice and rats have a tendency to create little nest homes out of whatever they can find such as shredded paper, or other such material. Check inside cabinets, behind appliances, and in other hidden areas with a flashlight to find evidence of these types of nesting materials.
8. Structural Damage
This is likely to happen more slowly over time, but rodents can be extremely damaging to property creating cracks, holes, tunnels, and nests in walls, attics, cellars, and other nooks. To be aware of termite damage, watch for mud tubes or sagging wood.
9. Mole Mounds
Although the small volcano-looking mounds above a mole hole in your yard might be alarming, the presence of moles can also indicate that you have a problem with grubs or other insects. As moles go looking for their next meal, they create a mess of your lawn. Getting rid of the insect problem is crucial to getting the moles to go elsewhere to search for lunch.
10. Ant Hills
Piles of grainy dirt with a tiny hole in the top are signs that you have ants on your property. These may appear around sidewalks, on the driveway, or in the lawn and their occupants may be seen busily heading in or out of the anthill as they work to search for food. Eventually these ants outside of your house may see fit to migrate inside unless you have a house pest control program in place.
While many of these signs of pest infestations may be fairly hidden, a professional year ‘round pest control program offers inspection and treatment services to help identify and eliminate many of these difficulties before they get out of hand. If you do notice such signs of infestation, contact your local pest control agency to take care of the problem and turn your home into a healthy house again.