It does not matter if you have an interest in renting an apartment or buying a home, you must make the effort to check for signs of a pest infestation before moving in. It is quite common for a tenant and a potential buyer to overlook this necessary step when searching for a residence. The last thing you want to do is to choose a home in which you share living space with one or more pests. A pest infestation could result in safety and health hazards. Additionally, it could result in costly and inconvenient repairs in the future. Continue reading to learn how to identify a pest infestation today so that you avoid problems tomorrow.
Identifying a Pest Infestation Inside of a Residence
You may think that taking a look around an apartment, house, or other type of residence is enough to identify a pest infestation, but it is not. It takes more than the use of your sight. You should utilize all of your senses to detect a possible infestation. Follow the steps outlined below to identify a pest infestation inside of a residence:
- It is important to understand that different pests have their own associated odors. You should smell around the residence. If you smell a musty odor, it could indicate the presence of roaches and/or rodents. If you observe a fungus type of smell, it could indicate the presence of termites. A sweet but musty smell could point to a bed bug infestation. In short, if something smells off, it likely is.
- Next, use your hearing. You should listen for gnawing sounds, scraping, pattering sounds, and other types of noises. While it is obvious that certain pests – such as rodents – will make sounds while inside of a home or apartment, other pests – such as termites and carpenter ants – are known to also make noises. Simply go into each room alone and focus on what you are able to hear within that room.
- You may use your sense of touch to determine if there are chew holes, gnaw marks, and other signs that pests may be present. Examples include chew holes in baseboards, grease marks, footprints on flooring, and similar signs. If you rub your hand across areas in the structure and they get a grease-like substance on them or you feel areas that have been gnawed through or burrowed through, you likely have pests in the structure.
- Next, use your sight to observe for signs of a pest infestation. You should look for signs of deceased bugs, molting and shedding, pest droppings, hair, spots, the presence of pest control products, the presence of pest control traps, eggs and/or signs of nesting, tunneling caused by termites, and other signs of an infestation.
- Finally, you should consult with the seller, previous residents, and the neighbors to determine if there is a pest issue in the structure. According to law, if you are interested in purchasing a home, the seller is under a legal obligation to disclose any recent type of infestation with the home. Landlords are not legally obligated to state whether or not there has been any infestations, but there are ways to find out. You could make an inquiry to those that live around the property, or even consult local pest control companies to determine if they have ever treated the home.
Identifying a Pest Infestation Outside of a Residence
According to professionals in the pest control industry, it is much easier to identify the possible pest infestation outside of a home than it is inside of the home – unless the infestation is significant. If you want to know what is really going on with a home – be it an apartment or a single-family home – you will want to look in the yard and at the exterior of the building in the entire perimeter of the structure. Use the following tips to determine if there is a pest issue on the property:
- Look around the yard to determine if there are ant hills or there are termite hills. Ant hills are simply a mound of dirt with a crater-like hole situated in the middle of the mound. A termite hill is large and include chimney structures with holes on the top side. If you see either of these types of hills in the yard, it is likely that the associated pest is in or around the home.
- If the property or the land surrounding the property is cluttered, dirty, etc. it is likely that there are pests present – particularly rodents, such as mice and rats. If water is sitting nearby and there are water or gas lines, you may find that the residence is detrimentally impacted by a wide assortment of pests.
- Next, you will want to see if there are holes present that moles make. These look like mini volcanoes. There may be tunneling nearby. While moles are typically only outdoor pests, they have the capability of completely destroying the lawn. In addition to the destruction of the lawn, the holes and tunnels that are created by moles may result in a safety hazard to you and your pets. In some instances, trips and falls may occur because of the mole holes. In addition to this, moles have predators that prey on them. These include dogs, coyotes, barn owls, and snakes. This means that if you have a mole population, you are likely to – eventually – end up with a problem with one of the creatures that prey on moles.
What are the Signs of a Roach Infestation?
Many signs could indicate a roach infestation. These include:
- skin that has been shed
- the presence of eggs
- roach droppings
- smear marks across floors, counters, and walls
- a strong odor
- the presence of dead insects and living insects
- the presence of property damage
If roaches are present, clean thoroughly and place traps and other treatments. Reach out to a pest control company for additional assistance.
What are the Signs of an Ant Infestation?
The most common signs of an ant infestation are ant piles and the presence of colonies. You may find that there are wood shavings present and discarded wings. If you have ants, seal up all cracks and other openings in the walls. Deep clean and remove access to any food source.
What are the Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation?
If you have bed bugs, the following signs will be present:
- The development of red bumps that itch on your body
- Stains on bedding and furniture that look like rust
- Small, white eggs
- The bedroom and other areas where the infestation is present will smell sweet and a bit on the musty side
- Your bedding and mattress may have blood spots
- There will likely be small black dropping and spots
In most instances, you may wash items affected by bed bugs at a very hot temperature in order to eliminate the infestation. If this does not work, you will need the bed bug treatment offered by professional pest control companies. In most instances, it is a treatment that utilizes high heat to clear the infestation. Bed bugs are typically very difficult to eliminate without the help of a professional.
What are the Signs of a Rodent Infestation?
Rodent infestations typically leave behind droppings, urine trails, and pieces of their nests. You will surely smell a very foul odor and observe gnaw marks – particularly on electrical wiring.
You may hear scratching noises and if you have cats or dogs in the home, you may find that – at night – they appear to hear or see something.
Rodents cause health hazards and damage and must be dealt with immediately. It is best to opt for professional services to completely eliminate rodents from the home as quickly as possible.
What are the Signs of a Spider Infestation?
Spider infestations are easy to spot. They include webs, sightings, the presence of other insects, and even mysterious bites on the skin. To eliminate spiders, you may use insecticides and spider catchers. Glue traps are also effective. If you find that spiders still abound after treatment, contact a pest control company for assistance.
Infestations May be Treated
If you are in search of a residence – be it a rental or a home for purchase – you should always determine if the structure is negatively impacted by pests. In most instances, the infestation may be cleared successfully prior to move in. In other instances, you may want to avoid investing in the property because of the damage that may be done – such as the case with termite infestations.
If you have your heart set on an apartment or on buying a certain house, we here at All Pest can assist you. First, we can inspect the home. Second, if there is an infestation, we can treat that infestation so that it is eliminated prior to move in. To learn more, contact us today by calling the following number: 765-259-0043