Dealing with a pest infestation in your living space can be concerning, both for the safety of those who live there and for the structural damage that certain pests can cause. Termites cause an average of $5 billion in damage per year, while cockroaches and rodents can carry and spread diseases. By keeping an eye out for the common warning signs of an infestation, you can potentially reduce the extent of damage caused by pests.
Most types of pests also produce unpleasant odors. You could start to smell rotting or decaying food left behind by insects or rodents that don’t quite finish a meal. If you notice that the food in your home tends to rot or go stale faster, this can also be caused by an infestation of pests as they bite through packaging or gnaw on food items when you’re not around.
Pest droppings may also produce stale odors, and if any of these bothersome creatures dies behind the walls, you’ll notice a particularly foul odor. If you catch a whiff of something unpleasant that you can’t pinpoint, the pests in your home could be to blame.
Pests leave behind waste, and each type of pest will have a different-looking dropping. Rodent droppings are conical or spindly and more solid, while insect droppings are smaller and harder to see. Insects may also leave behind body parts and wings, so keep an eye out for these items in the house. The droppings left behind by pests can be hazardous to your health, particularly when left by rodents or cockroaches that may carry diseases.
Damage to Furniture or Structure
If you notice that the fabric upholstery of your furniture has stains, holes, or claw marks, rodents could be to blame. Many pests cause irreparable damage to various fabrics, including upholstery, curtains, and linens, so watch for signs of this type of damage to know whether you might have an infestation.
Pests can also cause structural damage, which is especially worrisome for the safety of your home. Termites tend to be the worst culprits, gnawing wood and boring holes in your home’s frame, your outdoor deck, or other components made of wood. You could also notice signs of basement bugs, which include the species that thrive in a dark, damp atmosphere.
Excess Dirt and Grime
Pests tend to leave behind more dirt and grime than is usually present in a well-maintained home, so you may notice an increase. Smudges of dirt on the walls or greasy spots can pop up when rodents rub against the walls and furniture as they move through the house. Pests may also carry food and crumbs through the house, leaving these items behind as they go. Certain pests will also leave behind hair. Rodents also tend to run the same routes, so you’ll often see trails in a particular area.
Pests are good at hiding in dark, rarely accessed places and staying out of sight. By watching for these seemingly minor warning signs, you can be aware of a potential issue in your home and take action before it becomes a more serious problem.