Are you living with unwanted guests? It is not uncommon for a stray cockroach or rat to make its way into a home. This can be easily handled when dealt with quickly. But what about when pests breed and multiply, taking up residence in your home?
In order to address a pest infestation, homeowners first need to know the subtle signs of a pest infestations. Termites, rats, cockroaches, bed bugs or other pests can take over a residence and lead to potential structural damage and health complications. Even in desirable City Centre homes, infestations can be a dealbreaker for home buyers.
Learn what to look for when it comes to signs of a pest problem in your home.
Signs of Termites
Termites can destroy the structural integrity of a home. Termites consume wood and can eat their way through support beams and other wooden structures of a home. Not only can the structure become infested, but antiques, furniture and other wooden items can also harbor and become a meal for termites. Homeowners may be able to see the shed wings of termites and their excrement that resembles sawdust. Other signs of an infestation include visible holes and sagging floors. In addition, if you tap on wood and it sounds hollow, you may have stumbled upon a termite infestation. Termites can be difficult to exterminate but it needs to be done as an infestation can reduce home value and cause safety issues in the structure of the house. This is tough enough for homeowners, but anyone trying to sell may find it difficult to get offers if these issues aren't fixed.
Signs of Rats and Rodents
A home with a rodent problem can be an unsafe home. Rats chew and gnaw on things. In addition to creating holes in floors and walls or around the property, rats can chew on electrical wires. This tendency can lead to electrical issues in a home and potentially a dangerous situation for all residing within. Deal with signs of a rat infestation to protect your home and your family.
Signs of Other Pests
In addition to termites and rats, cockroaches, bed bugs and other pests can make your home theirs. Signs of an infestation may be found in the bathroom and kitchen, in addition to the basement and attic space. Look for:
- Dead bugs inside the home. If there are many bugs of the same type you may have an infestation. Common places to find dead bugs are on window ledges and in the basement.
- Pest droppings. Learn what different types of droppings look like and recognize signs of bed bugs and roach egg cases. Some droppings and other forms of evidence are almost invisible to the naked eye.
- Nesting. Rodents, such as mice and rats, will create nests out of available materials. A red flag would be shredded paper. Then look behind appliances, inside cabinets and in nooks and small crannies in the home with a flashlight for potential nests.
- Smells. Pests give off certain smells. In fact, specific smells may indicate the presence of a type of pest. A sweet and musty odor is associated with bed bugs. A musty, urine smell is common to mice. An oily smell similar to soy sauce is related to cockroaches.
- Grease tracks and marks. Mice and rats leave tracks along the routes they take regularly. Dark grease marks may be found along the walls. Footprints, urine trails and fecal droppings through a dust path may also indicate the presence of rats or mice.
Getting Rid of Pests
When it comes to pest remediation, one of the best ways to keep unwelcome guests away is to prevent them from getting comfortable by making the home unappealing. With crickets, this can mean taking out the trash regularly so it doesn’t build up and attract them or keeping a dehumidifier in the basement to prevent pests who like dark, moist places.
However, prevention isn’t always possible or successful, so what do homeowners do when the pests are already in the home? Here are some different strategies homeowners can use for helping get rid of the pests who have already gotten settled in:
- Set out traps. There is a wide variety of different pest traps available for homeowners to buy that target different pests. If the home has pets living in it, be sure that the traps are pet-safe.
- Use a cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with a drop of dish soap to trap fruit flies.
- Keep the home clean in order to take as many appealing places to live away from pests as possible.
- Seal entry points to the home by using mesh or chicken wire for larger creatures or caulking for insects.
These DIY pest remediation ideas can be helpful for small outbreaks, but if the insect problem or rodent problem becomes an insect infestation or rodent infestation, it’s time to call a professional exterminator.
The Well-informed Homeowner
There are many signs related to a pest infestation. While a homeowner may not see visible signs, they may smell odors or hear sounds that could indicate unwanted company. In order to reduce the likelihood of attracting pests, keep the smell of garbage to a minimum. Check outdoors for nearby breeding grounds, damaged patches of lawn and burrows in weedy spots near the property and garbage areas. Tenants and homeowners may also speak with neighbors about any issues they may be having to help identify which type of pests may be likely to the area. Call a professional exterminator at the first sign of a pest infestation in or near your property.