There’s a saying that prevention is better than the cure and it’s certainly true in the pest control world. First things first: what are some of the signs of the most common pests that may be present in your home?
Droppings are the easiest indicator to find when determining if you are coexisting with rodents. Rats and mice leave a lot of droppings everywhere they go. These droppings will be black in colour, and shiny when new indicating fresh or more recent activity.
For mice, droppings are the size and shape of a grain of rice with rat droppings being 3-4 times larger. Sometimes, if rodents are eating your pet’s food, their dropping will instead appear light brown in colour.
The most likely places to discover these sneaky droppings are in the roof space, hot water cupboard, pantry and kitchen cabinets, under the oven, and behind the fridge. Cupboard’s and roof spaces provide a safe place to live and build nests for rodents.
While pantry’s and ovens will provide food sources, some fridges supply a safe warm place to live in the motor compartment, and a water source when they have a collection tray built in. For those with keen eyes you will see where rodents have gnawed holes in walls at ground level and chewed carpet under doors to make better access (often chewing the bottom of the door frame). The hotspots of activity are the same as those above. The smell of rodent urine will be strong in these areas. Heavy infestations can be smelt as soon as you walk in the front door of a house.
You will find ants outside trailing in and out of houses, most commonly on foundation walls near corners of your house. These trails are worker ants collecting food and bringing it back to feed the queen and growing ants inside the colony.
Inside your house they will leave a build-up of black grit comprised of body parts from other insects and bugs they have been eating. This grit will look a bit like sand but is a lot lighter and can be blown away with a soft breath. You will find this grit on windowsills, in the corners of rooms, and on top of furniture. The busy worker ants will drop this waste from points like recessed light fittings or gaps around joinery.
Spiders are easily located and identified by their webs which can be found outside. Mostly around windows, exterior lights and in crevices in cladding.
When inside they may be higher up in the corner of rooms or near light fittings. Some will nest in darker spots like cupboards and drawers. Some spiders, like whitetails which are a nomadic spider don’t live in webs. These spiders will roam hunting other spiders, and as such can be much harder to find. However, whitetail spiders will build a scrappy wispy looking web around objects or in dark spots when they ready to have offspring.
Flies are a very visible pest in summer.
During winter months the only sign of flies may be old spotting where they have left feces on the walls, ceiling, door frames, light fittings and smoke detectors. This can also lead to setting them off spuriously at 3 o’clock in the morning. This spotting will appear as clusters of small pin head sized brown dots.
The old saying. “if you have spiders, you won’t have flies” is not necessarily true. Often spiders simply can’t eat the flies fast enough to keep up with the breeding rates of most fly species.
Carpet moths will leave bald patches ranging in size from a few centimetres to 30 or 40 centimetres, in older wool carpet close to the walls away from foot traffic and behind or under furniture. When they morph into adult moths, their empty small white cocoons about 10mm in length can be found hanging from high points in a room (often on curtains or cornices).
The adult moths are Brown and white and are 15-20mm in length generally in areas close to a food source for their future generation. Carpet moths lay eggs in the same carpet as they started life in. This can mean that their spread through a property is quite slow and may take several years to cover all rooms of a house.
For other pest like Cockroaches, Fleas, Silverfish, millipedes, and wood lice it can be a harder to find signs. Often the only sign is seeing the pest itself, or being an unsuspecting victim of its bite.
The good news is all these pests are treatable and can be effectively eliminated from your home. This is achieved with the right approach and preventive measures, including good advice on how to make your home undesirable for their return.
Like most things in life prevention is always preferable, either way, the people at Combat Pest Control are here to help you enjoy a pest free home with our friendly advice and service.