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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Hidden Signs of Pest Infestations to Check for

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When it comes to pest infestations, some universal signs are easily recognised, even if you’re not a professional. Others are quite well hidden and frequently confused with many other issues you might have in your property. 

So for your convenience, we have gathered the hidden signs of infestations of the most common pests – fleas, mice and termites. You will learn what to look out for and how to correctly identify the pest that is bothering you so that you can save your home in time. 

Signs of a flea infestation 

Fleas can be very dangerous, not only for your pet. And for the people who don’t have pets and think they are safe, think again! Fleas can come into your home even if you don’t have a furry friend. They can come through pests that come searching for food in your home, or if you’ve recently moved into a rented property, they are just “a present” from the last tenants. In any case, you should always be on the lookout, and here are some very important signs to keep an eye on. 

Dark and light flecks 

The light flecks are the eggs of the fleas and can only be noticed against a dark background. The dark flecks are the dirt that they leave, and you can often find them around the bedding of your animal and their toys. 

Excessive scratching 

This will probably be the first thing you will notice if you have pets with fleas. They will be constantly irritated, they will start biting and licking themselves more often than not, and of course, scratching themselves all the time. Keep an eye out for any of those signs on your pet – it’s most likely trying to tell you something! 

Many flea bites 

You will probably start noticing bites both on you and your pet. The bite itself is a very light, quick sting that you most likely won’t feel at all. However, the red itchy area that appears afterwards can be quite annoying. The bites usually appear around the ankle area and your feet – the places closest to the ground. 

Another thing you should pay attention to is the fact that flea bites look a lot like many other insect bites. You might mistake them for a mosquito, for example. However, if it’s during the winter, it’s implausible that a mosquito has bitten you, and it’s probably fleas. 

Loss of fur

If you get to this stage, it might be too late as it usually doesn’t start until the infestation is severe and has spread everywhere. Immediately seek an effective treatment method and make sure that this allergic reaction doesn’t get even worse than it already is. 

Signs of a mouse infestation 

Mice are a widespread pest that is able of doing a lot of structural damage to your property in a very short amount of time. There are apparent signs, and there are more hidden ones. You need to be able to recognise either of them. Here is what you should look out for. 

Droppings and footprints

We will start with the obvious signs since there are still many people who cannot recognise them. Their footprint tracks are most visible in very dusty areas, typically basements, attics, lofts, behind and inside your kitchen cabinets, under the bed, etc. If you’re a person without a single dusty place in your home, but you still have doubts, just sprinkle some flour around and look for tiny footprints on the next day. 

The droppings are around 3 to 5 mm in diameter, moist and dark in the beginning, slowly turning dry and grey with time. Mice can produce up to 80 of them per night, and they are usually found around the food source of their choice. 

Chewed wires, insulation and furniture 

If it’s your first time dealing with mice, you probably won’t expect the amount of structural damage they can do. This is why oftentimes people don’t notice an infestation until it’s too late. Mice will use any material and location to make their nests, and they are really persistent when looking for food. To get what they want, they will chew through insulation, wires, walls, furniture, and much more. The materials they can use to build the nests include but are not limited to old clothes, cardboard, plastic, documents, magazines, books, any fabric, etc. In summary, nothing is safe from their little teeth. 

Scratching at night

This is the time where the little rascals are the most active. At night, you will hear sounds of scratching from the walls, lofts, false ceilings, attics and cabinets. 

Mouse smell 

This is a very pungent odour that is a mixture of droppings, pee and ammonia. Mice urinate a lot, and somewhat lucky for humans, they do it close to their nest. This means that the stronger the smell is – the closer you are to their nest. 

Signs of a termite infestation 

Termites are another pest that can easily ruin your life with all the property damage that it does. Thankfully, they leave a lot of evidence around them to spot the infestation on time and prevent any serious devastation. Here we will focus more on the less obvious signs that don’t include seeing actual termites, their faeces or discarded wings. 

Banging noise

Like mice, termites are very loud when they are working and eating, but they also have another particular sound used to alert members of the colony in case of danger. What you might hear are low clicking noises, most likely coming from the walls. This is actually the termites banging their heads against the walls. Crazy, we know. Thing is, they don’t care about the noise they produce. The vibrations are the ones notifying the rest of the termites. 

Hollow wooden furniture 

As you probably know, termites eat wood. It’s just their thing. And the bigger part of their menu includes your favourite wooden furniture. However, they are very smart about it. You won’t see any damage to the top layer of paint on your table, for example. Termites will start by creating tiny tunnel entries in areas you can’t see and dig the insides until the timber is almost entirely hollow. If you have any doubts, just knock on the piece of wood, and if the sound is hollow and papery, then you have termites. 

Mud tubes 

Similar in appearance to the ones wasps make, mud tubes from termites can actually spread across the entire territory of your home, starting from the exterior, through the foundations, wood beams, until they reach the inside of the house, including crawl spaces and attics. 

Hard to open doors and windows

One of the biggest problems with termites is that they dig through everything and, in that process, increase the levels of moisture in your home. This makes the wood warp thus, the windows are tough to open and close properly, as well as the doors. If you have this problem, you might have to deal with an active termite infestation or a serious plumbing problem that should also be addressed, if needed. 

Conclusion 

Pest infestations are certainly no joke, and our advice is that you always take it seriously and, more importantly – on time. If you notice any of those signs or even see the pests we’ve mentioned, make sure to conduct a home inspection and contact a professional pest control company as they will be able to take care of your problem in the most efficient way possible. DIY methods might work in the beginning stages (and even that is not guaranteed), but if the numbers are too great, you will certainly need Pest Control Frankston expert help.