When it comes to pests, you should first know that different pests leave different telltale signs of their presence. Fortunately, the amount of “clues” you see can often help you get a general idea of how severe a pest problem is.
Here are the most common signs of presence for the different pests and where should you check for them:
1. Mice and rats
Both species leave similar signs of the presence and prefer to make their nests close to food sources:
- You can check utility rooms, the attic, and the basement for any clues such as droppings in the corners of those rooms. Additionally, check the kitchen cabinets, cupboards and drawers as well.
- Rodents also leave dirty trails where they frequently pass by, which is near any pipework, near walls and wall cavities.
- Mice and rats both leave gnaw marks on furniture and wood supporting pillars – this is because their teeth grow constantly so they need to file them down. If the homeowner that sells the property has got rid of all the other traces, it will not be the case with this one.
Rats and mice are nocturnal animals, so if you notice any sightings during daylight, it means that the colony is booming. The good news is that mice don’t live alongside rats because the latter preys upon the smaller rodent. So if the property has a rodent problem, at least it’ll be just one type of rodent to deal with. You could check CountryLiving’s ideas on “How to get rid of mice in your home” for more information and how to deal with rodents by yourself!
2. Bed bugs
You can usually find them or traces of them around and on beds and upholstered furniture – that’s because bed bugs live close to a food source (a human being) so that they could feed at night. Check the mattress and the bed frame for actual bugs, dead or alive, their eggs or blackish spots – they leave those after a meal and are actually blood spots. These same places can be checked for any signs of bed bug eggs, which are no bigger than a rice grain and whitish. Bed bug infestations usually take a couple of visits from an exterminator in order to get rid of the entire colony – that’s because he needs to treat the infestation in the different stages. If you happen to have bed bug bites, you can check NetDoctor’s detailed guide on how to recognise and treat them!
Some owners find moles useful because they feed with insects, pests and digging helps them to aerate the soil. However, many believe that the damage caused by moles on their lawns outweighs all the benefits they provide. If there any conical mounds of soil, these would be the entrances that are blocked and are not easily visible. Other traces are irregular paths or ridges on pushed soil caused by tunnelling. It’s good to keep in mind that moles can be potentially dangerous, as one has recently been spotted terrorizing Suffolk countryside!
The key indicator of cockroach infestation is the actual presence of live and dead specimens. You can usually find them beneath the sink area, in countertops, near pipes and in bathrooms and basements. Other indicators of their presence are shell cases and faecal matter and let’s not forget the smell – cockroaches give off a strong, oily scent which only becomes stronger with the growth of the infestation. Luckily, cockroach infestations are easy to deal with – general property fumigation is enough to solve the problem with the entire population. So, one of the most efficient ways to protect yourself and your family is to contact a professional cockroach exterminator. They know the best solution to eliminate unbeatable pests.
Check the woodwork around the property and look for tiny holes in the wood’s surface – wood-boring beetles leave openings surrounded with sawdust when they’re exiting the timber. The problem with woodworms is that if you see holes, it means that the infestation has already spread because adult beetles get to the surface only to find a mate and close the cycle so there will already be some damage to the timber.
Can all pest problems be eradicated?
Most of them, yes. Woodworm problems, in particular, can be hard to deal with and if the infestation is severe and the structure of the building has already been compromised, you’ll need to replace the wood. A woodworm specialist will tell if there’s something that can be done about it in terms of treatment.