In some cases, there are obvious signs of a pest problem. For example, if you see a mouse scurrying across the floor or termites crawling all over the wooden beams in your basement, it’s pretty clear there’s an issue that needs to be addressed. But sometimes it isn’t so obvious.
You may hear odd noises in the middle of the night or notice unexplained damage to your baseboards. Or maybe there’s an odd smell in your pantry that you can’t identify. If you have a pest problem in your home, it’s important to find out what’s going on before the issue gets worse.
Here are 8 uncommon signs which could indicate a pest problem that you shouldn’t ignore.
Small droppings are one of the telltale signs you’re dealing with unwanted pests in your home. But sometimes these droppings aren’t as obvious as you might think. Depending on the type of infestation and the age of the droppings, you might mistake them for clumps of dirt. They can also break apart over time and turn into smaller granules, making them much harder to identify.
2. Grease and dirt buildup
Many pests, including mice, rats, and certain insects tend to follow familiar routes when traveling through an enclosed area. This will often leave behind a sticky or greasy residue. For example, rats often scurry along walls, which can leave behind dark grease marks.
Cockroaches also have been observed to leave behind brown marks on walls and other surfaces, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. When you’re dealing with an infestation, you’ll often see excess dirt or grime building up, especially in smaller corners or narrow spaces that are easy for the pests to hide in.
3. Unusual smells or noises
Pests may give off certain detectable smells, which experts can often identify. But if you’ve never dealt with a pest problem before, you may not know what to sniff for. Mice tend to leave behind a musty smell reminiscent of urine, while rats are known to smell like ammonia. Cockroaches often give off an oily scent, and experts say bed bugs sometimes smell sweet or musty. If you smell something strange in your basement, crawl space, kitchen, or other area of your home, don’t ignore it.
Small, strange noises can also indicate the presence of pests, especially in the middle of the night when the house is quiet. Sounds of scratching, gnawing, squeaking, or scurrying all indicate you may have a problem with mice or rats. Large bugs can also sometimes be audible if other noises are eliminated, and generally sound like a faint buzz or white noise.
4. Damaged fabrics and furniture
If you notice fabrics developing unexplained holes or tears, it could very well be pests wreaking havoc. Many small pests are attracted to soft surfaces and will leave noticeable damage in rugs, couches, clothing, and more. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for damaged wood on your walls, floors, and furniture. They may have marks or loose shavings that can be explained by termites, carpenter ants, and other pests.
Mice, rats, and other rodents are known to make nests out of whatever is available to them, and if you look carefully, you may be able to find evidence of these nests. Search the small, hidden nooks and crannies in your home with a flashlight. Common nesting areas for rats and mice include:
- Behind kitchen or laundry appliances
- Inside drawers and cabinets
- In sheds and barns
- Behind sofas and other large furniture items
- Other dark, small, and hidden areas
6. Woodpeckers on your property
While it’s usually nice to see birds flying around your yard, if you start to see an increase in the number of woodpeckers hanging around, it could be a sign of an infestation. Woodpeckers prey on insects, meaning that if your home is a hotspot for six-legged creatures, hungry birds will start to hang around for easy access.
While holes in the wall are a more well-known sign of pests, many homeowners don’t look for evidence of pests chewing or gnawing. Rats will gnaw on just about anything available to them, so keep an eye out for chewed-up baseboards, electrical wires, upholstery, window sills, old newspapers or magazines, cardboard boxes, or even drywall. Raccoons, squirrels, and other larger pests are also known to chew through wood and other materials.
8. Tracks in carpeting or outdoor areas
Although some pests are light enough that they leave very little evidence, others may leave behind grease marks, foot tracks, a trail of droppings, or small pieces of food. If you notice tracks or a trail of fragments or grease, it’s important not to clean it up until you’ve followed the trail to see where pests may be entering and exiting the area.
Do you have a pest problem? EcoCare is here to help!
Dealing with a pest infestation can be frustrating, especially if you’re not sure exactly what type of pest you’re dealing with, or how extensive the problem might be. At EcoCare, we identify and eliminate pest infestations with an effective, eco-friendly approach that doesn’t require traditional toxic materials, keeping the people and pets in your home safe.
Our team of licensed professionals can help you rid your home of pests and prevent future infestations. Contact us to ask any questions you have and set up a free inspection today!