How Can I Tell If I Have a Pest Infestation?

Signs You Have a Pest Infestation

Every pest infestation leaves behind some sign of the pest’s presence. Look for grime or other buildups on walls, smeared droppings, or bite damage on fabric and paper. See if you can smell strange odors in your basement, attic, or crawlspace. Check pest-prone areas consistently to look for changes.

If you can learn to identify pest infestations quickly, you can take action to remove them sooner. The sooner you can remove pest infestations, the lower the chance that they’ll do permanent damage… or spread. If you’re worried you have a pest infestation, look for any of the following four signs. The sooner you find evidence like this, the sooner you can take the next steps:

Old wall with smudged buildup in the lower corner - Signs you have a pest infestation

Grimy Buildup

Whatever pest infestation you have, they’re making a mess somewhere. Bugs, rodents, spiders, and beetles all prefer dark, enclosed, humid places, so start your search in the basement or attic. Look high-and-low, in corners, under furniture, along the edges of the walls, and near window frames. You might find grease stains, crumbs or other food remains, dirt smudges or even discarded hair.

Rodents, in particular, tend to familiarize themselves with set routes and then stick to them, so look for trails of grease or grime where their bodies may have rubbed off against the walls. If your floors or sills are dusty, look for trails left behind by pests moving around. Early signs like these are often subtle, so look closely, be patient, and believe yourself. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Clump of rat hair - signs you have a pest infestation

Droppings

It turns outs pests don’t practice great hygiene. There’s a reason they’re called “pests”, after all, and it isn’t because they’re fun to have around. Pests leave behind their waste just like everything else. Look for small droppings around the same pest-attractive areas you search for less conclusive evidence.

The type of dropping you may find will help you determine the kind of infestation you have. Rodent droppings are spindly or conical and solid. They’ll be small and may not look or smell like much of anything. Insect droppings are even smaller, but may also include shed or discarded skin, wings, or body parts. It’s tough to be a bug. Obviously, spiders make webs to catch prey. They tend to know their stuff when it comes to pest-catching, so anywhere you find webs, look for ways other pests may be getting in nearby.

Woman wearing clothes pin on her nose so she won't have to smell - signs you have a pest infestation

Smells

Pests can produce a wide variety of smells, and pretty much all of them are unpleasant. All kinds of pests, including ants, beetles, rodents, or other bugs often carry off food to enjoy in a secluded place. The problem is, sometimes they don’t finish their meal and it begins to rot. If you smell rotting food and you can’t find it, it could be that a pest carried a piece of fruit into your walls.

Pests may also bite through food packaging in an attempt to get at its contents, breaking an airtight seal and exposing perishable foods. If you smell particularly foul odors, it’s possible that your pests are dying in their hiding places or walls and then rotting. Of course, their droppings often smell, too. If you’ve got a strange scent in your house that you can’t quite place, and it’s definitely not pleasant, an infestation could be the problem.

Torn fabric - signs you have a pest infestation

Fabric Damage

Unfortunately, moths aren’t the only pests who damage fabric and clothing. Different kinds of beetles, ants, rodents and bugs also feed on or at least chew through vulnerable fabric. Look for small holes or tears on clothing, drapes, carpeting, furniture, and any other fabric-based stuff you may have. It may not seem particularly appealing to us, but pests don’t mind the taste of underwear one bit.

When we say “fabric damage,” we don’t just mean bite marks, either. Like anything else they’re around, pests can make fabric dirty. Look for smudges of dirt, grease, grime, or droppings on your fabric. These dirty patches may be very small, but they could get big too. Look at freshly washed and dried clothing especially. See if your fresh laundry gets dirty or damaged before you even have a chance to wear it.

 

If you find any of these four signs during your inspection, give us a call. We’ll use the info you helpfully provide to figure exactly what kinds of pest infestation you’re dealing with, where they’re coming from, and how we can keep them out. We know we can take care of your problem quickly and effectively, because we’ve done it countless times before. Happy hunting!

Ants Awareness – Annoying Trail Blazers

Ants top the chart when it comes to being the number one annoying nuisance pest in Michigan and across the entire country for that matter. According to a survey from the National Pest Management Association, more than half of consumers list ants as their top pest concern.

Ants are a persistent bunch and are aggressive foragers when in pursuit of food and water. They typically find their sustenance “oasis” on the exterior of your home along sidewalks, under stones and in landscape beds. However, if the great outdoors can’t offer them what they want ants will blaze a trail for your front, back or side door.

Ant Awareness – which ones are a problem?

The most commonly encountered ant species in Michigan and the ones Griffin Pest Solutions receives the most calls on are the carpenter and pavement ant. Michiganders may also encounter the acrobat, thief, pavement, and odorous house ant trying to set up shop in their yard or home.

While all the above mentioned ants species are annoying with a capitol “A”, the carpenter ant presents a threat to the structural integrity of your home. Carpenter ants excavate wood – they do not eat it – in order to build their nests; this “hollowing” can compromise the structural soundness of the wood.

Where do you find most ants?

On the exterior of your home carpenter ants – which are 1/8 to ½ inch long and black in color – nest in hollow trees and stumps. Indoors you can find them setting up shop in enclosed spaces that are consistently damp or wet.

Carpenter ants are attracted to excessive moisture conditions around windows, doors, showers, bathtubs, dishwashers, leaky pipes and drains, and under leaky roof shingles or roof vents. They have also been found in dry areas such as hollow-core doors and false beams, and foam insulation.

The pavement and other ants we mentioned earlier are typically found in kitchens, pantries, closets and bathrooms. This reinforces the fact that pests, ants included, are attracted to easy access to food and water sources. On the outside these ants are commonly found on driveways, patios, sidewalks along with flower and shrub beds.

What can you do about these ants?

Although ants can be difficult to control once they have entered a home, the following preventative measures will help you keep ants from bugging you:

• Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately
• Store garbage in sealed containers and remove from the home frequently
• Keep food packages closed or sealed and store products in air-tight containers
• Avoid leaving food on counters or pet food bowls on the floor for long periods of time
• Repair holes or gaps in window and door screens
• Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes
• Store firewood away from the house
• Keep tree branches and shrubbery well-trimmed and away from the house
• Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows
• Visit http://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/ants/ for additional ant awareness tips and info

Now that you’ve got “ant awareness”, you’re next step is “ant protection”.  If you have questions or concerns about ants in and around your home, call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888-547-4334 or callcenter@https://www.griffinpest.com/ for more information. You can also get an instant, no obligation estimate online at www.https://www.griffinpest.com/.