Signs of an Infestation
Treating a problem starts with identifying what exactly the problem is. So how will you know if there’s nothing to worry about or if you already have a potential invasion in your hands?
Here’s a general guide to the most common household pests and the signs of their infestation:
- Presence of live cockroaches. Cockroaches like moist and dark places. You might see them wandering around at night, but if you see them active in your home during the day, there’s a greater likelihood that you already have a problem. You’ll most likely find them behind or under large appliances, under floor drains, in wall cracks and in particular: the bathrooms, laundry areas and kitchen.
- Cockroach faeces. Bigger roaches produce long, oval droppings while small roaches produce droppings that look like dust or pepper.
- Skin from moulting. Cockroach nymphs moult and shed their skins several times before growing into adults. Skin from roach nymphs around your house means roaches are breeding in your home.
- Unpleasant smell. Cockroaches leave a musty odour which you’ll notice in and around your home particularly in the areas where they settle.
- Presence of live ants. Groups of ants swarming around your home indicate the presence of a colony nearby.
- Ant trail. Trails of ants from and into your home will lead other ants.
- Ant nest. The nest may look like soil or dirt. This is usually found in dark, quiet locations like inside walls.
- Spider webs. Seeing spider webs in your home is one of the sure signs of a spider infestation. Different spiders spin different webs, some look round while others resemble cones. Some species may live in burrows though instead of webs.
- Dark, isolated areas. Spiders like to hide in the dark, whether in your house or garden. In your home, you may find them inside walls, the basement, the attic, closets and storage areas.
- Other insects. Ants, flies and other insects are potential food sources for spiders and they will likely settle in a home that has more insects.
- Presence of live silverfish. These little insects have two thin antennae with a tail-like body and three long bristles on their rear end. You might find them on the floor, sink or bathtub since they like moisture and the dark.
- Damage to your clothes and boxes. Paper and damp clothing are their preferred food sources. In some homes, storage boxes were found to be harbouring silverfish.
- Silverfish faeces. Their droppings are tiny and look like black pepper.
- Fleas on your pet dog or cat. These tiny pests are reddish brown and can be found lodged in your pet’s fur, particularly the hind legs of your dog and the head and neck of your cat.
- Flea faeces on your pet. The droppings from adult fleas look like black pepper. You can use a flea comb when grooming your pet to check for fleas and droppings.
- Flea faeces on your carpet. Aside from your pet, fleas may also take up residence in your pet’s bed, your carpet or your rug.
- Presence of carpet beetles. You might see adult carpet beetles or their larvae (which look similar to the adults) crawling on windows and other surfaces. They also like flying close to lights.
- Damage to your clothes and carpet. Carpet beetles feed on animal and plant-based products. Patches on your clothes and especially your carpet that look like they’ve been chewed through are likely from them.
- Skin from moulting. Carpet beetle larvae moult and shed their skins. If you find their skin lying around your home, expect to see the adults soon.
- Presence of several wasps. If you see more than just a few wasps around your property, there is a good possibility that there’s a wasp nest close by.
- Wasp nest. It’s important to locate and identify a wasp nest to exterminate them. A wasp nest looks like it’s made of paper and can be found in spaces in the walls or roof, sheds, and garages. It may be small or big, the bigger it is indicating that the wasps have bred and increased in number. The easiest way to find a wasp nest is to discreetly watch and track the wasps as they fly around.
- Rodents excrete numerous droppings. They may be small and dark for mice, but slightly bigger for rats.
- Grease marks. Rodents constantly brush against the wall as they follow their regular routes searching for food. The grease and dirt on their fur leave smears and marks on the walls.
- Sounds of scratching. You may hear scratching noises as rodents run around or chew on walls and other items. The sounds will usually come from the walls, floor or ceiling.
- Rodents will build their nests with shredded material like paper or fabric. These nests often contain their young. Rats and mice prefer building their nests in the walls, ceilings, cupboards, under the floors, and behind or under large appliances.
- Dusty areas will clearly show footprints and tracks from rodents.
The sooner you can figure out which little intruder is hiding in your property, the sooner you can reclaim your pest-free home.