In 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported that the average U.S. home can have as many as 100 kinds of bugs living there. Thankfully, most of these bugs don’t cause us any harm and mostly go unnoticed by us. Nor do we need to do anything about them.
There are times when certain bugs and other pests become unwelcome guests, and you’ll need to know what to do, which we cover in this blog post. A great time for spotting a hidden nest or outbreak is just before you move to another house.
Read on to learn when to call pest control professionals and when you don’t need to.
1. You See Termites
Termites are small insects that people see in flying swarms during mating season. At other times of the year, they are more likely found by seeing evidence of their presence.
The most obvious of these are termite droppings which look like little piles of sawdust. These can get found inside or outside your home.
Another is mud tubes which vary from light to dark brown which Termites build as a way to travel from their burrow in the ground to their source of food – the building!
You may also find their wings lying around since they discard them once they find a place to nest.
Termites can cause serious damage to the structure of your home. They do this by eating away at wood which causes it to hollow out or blister.
2. You Find Rodent Droppings
Rodents procreate quickly. So if you find their excrement in your home, it is time to call the exterminator. The shape and size of their droppings can vary, but here is a description of the more common ones.
Mouse droppings look like black sesame seeds or basmati rice. Rat droppings are shiny and black and can be up to 3/4 of an inch long. Mole pellet droppings are most often brown in color.
3. You Hear Them
People often report hearing small rodents and animals moving around inside the walls and attics of their homes. The sound may be scurrying noises as they move around. Or they can make scratching noises.
While rats talk to each other at a frequency humans can’t hear, mice can sometimes get heard chirping or squeaking to each other.
4. You Find a Hive or Nest
Wasps build their nests out of the chewed up wood pulp. Their nests look like someone rolled sheets of paper around to create a swirl pattern.
If you find a wasp hive or nest on your property, especially near a high foot traffic area, that’s when to call an exterminator. Wasps can be aggressive and swarm.
If you find a bee nest, there are reasons for keeping it and getting rid of it. If you have a large garden and the beehive isn’t in a high traffic area, you may opt to keep it since the bees will help pollinate your plants. However, if a bee allergy is a concern, you may need to get rid of the bees or have them relocated elsewhere.
5. You Find Damaged Wires
Rodents chewing through wires causes 25% of the fires which are listed as having an unknown cause.
Rodents such as mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, and moles are all known for wreaking havoc on electrical wires by chewing through them. So if you see wires that have gotten damaged, now is the answer to when should you call pest control.
6. You Have Bites
Fleas, bed bugs, and spiders are all common pests that can bite humans.
You can control fleas by using flea medication on pets if you have them. But sometimes the conditions are right, and the flea population can become unmanageable. This can require calling in a pest control professional.
Bed bugs usually bite people in a line as they travel across their bodies while asleep. Their bites get red and usually very itchy. Bed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of and often require the services of a pest control contractor.
Spiders do bite humans, very occasionally, but they also eat a lot of bugs that people prefer not to have in their homes. So, unless the spider population is large or the spider is poisonous, you may not need to call an exterminator.
7. You Find Evidence of Cockroaches
Since cockroaches are most active at night, finding a live one moving about may not be your first clue to their presence. Roaches leave evidence of their presence by leaving behind their shed skin and droppings. Their droppings resemble coffee grounds or black pepper.
Cockroaches multiply quickly so you may also find their eggs. Their eggs are pill-shaped and vary in color from light brown to black.
Cockroaches also produce a musty smell that gets stronger over time as their population grows larger. This is in part due to the number of live roaches but is also due to the roaches that have died.
8. You See Ants
There are two more common types of ants you may find inside your house. House ants are little black ants. Carpenter ants are larger, up to 1/2 inch long.
House ants can be a real nuisance by getting into your food or your pet’s water and food dishes. Usually, you can persuade them to stay outdoors by keeping surfaces clean and storing food in airtight containers.
Carpenter ants can be more destructive. They come in looking to eat damp wood around your windows and structural parts of your home.
A pest control specialist can help locate where the ant colony lives. Once discovered, they can take steps to try to eradicate them.
9. You Notice Unpleasant Odors
As noted above, many rodents and pests can be detected by their smell while they are alive. But they also leave odours behind when they urinate, defecate, and after they die.
While these smells are unpleasant to you, or worse, they can be very attractive to other pests and animals. This is another reason to have pests dealt with quickly and if you’re considering selling up, you’ll want to make sure there are no hidden surprises for prospective buyers viewing your home to buy it!
Now Is When to Call Pest Control
If you see signs of any of the above rodents or pests inside your home, don’t delay while wondering when to call pest control. The longer these pests have to get established, the harder it will be to get rid of them and the more damage they will cause to your health and home.