German Cockroachs and egg casings on a cockroach trap

Unfortunately, there is often an entire diversity of life found within our own indoor habitats. If you start to suspect pest activity in your home, keep in mind the below eight tips to look for, before it gets out of hand.


1. Droppings - Rodent droppings are a good indicator that you have rats or mice in your house. If this is the case, you must deal with it immediately. This means deciding how to eliminate and then following the proper ways to clean and disinfect. Rodent droppings, urine and saliva can potentially be dangerous to your health. Hantavirus, for instance, is an airborne illness for which there is no vaccine. Hantavirus is caused by stirring up air and particles which have been contaminated by rodents.

 

Below are some tips on handling rodent excrement: 

  • Start by ventilating the area well. Open windows and doors for an hour to let the fresh air in, prior to clean-up.
  • Do not touch anything with your bare hands. Use gloves, eye protection, and a face mask for protection.
  • Avoid touching your face while cleaning up. Ensure that you wash your hands well after cleaning. All clothing should be laundered afterward.
  • Pick-up any rodent droppings using a paper towel. Do not sweep as this will cause particles to go airborne. HEPA vacuums are excellent for this type of clean-up, as they have the necessary filtration.
  • Spray and wipe contaminated surfaces with a household disinfectant such as Safeblend Sanitol Disinfectant or Saniblend Ready-To-Use Lemon Disinfectant.

     

    2. Look and listen - If you think you have rodents or wildlife, chances are, you are going to see or hear activity late at night. Listen for gnawing, scratching, scurrying, fluttering, thumping, and squeaking in ceilings, chimneys, attics, walls, kitchen cupboards, pantries, and other areas where food may be present.



    3. Bites - Bed bugs love a good blood meal. This may be evident by any small red, swollen bites that appear on your arms, legs, and face. Check your bed and bedding. Bed bugs will leave rust-like stains on sheets and mattresses. Bed bugs also leave black fecal spots in the places where they hide, such as under loose wallpaper and wall hangings, on furniture, in electrical outlets and more evident places like bed frames and on the seams of mattresses and box springs.



    4. Live Bugs - Use a flashlight to inspect cracks and crevices for active pests. Live bugs often hide away from people but do leave evidence of their existence and are often seen during times when we are sleeping.

    • Carpenter ants may leave little piles of sawdust.
    • Cockroaches will leave feces, egg casings and exoskeletons.
    • Cobwebs are typically the first sign of spiders. Infestations of spiders is a sign that your home has a good food source of insects and other bugs.
    • Fruit flies are attracted to moist, overripe, and fermenting fruit. They easily hitch rides on the fruit you bring home from the grocery store.
    • Moths are often seen fluttering around at night. They are drawn to bright lights, such as the glow of a TV or a lamp.
    • Bed Bugs stay close to feeding areas. Check for live bugs along the seams of your mattress and on bed frames and headboards.

     

    5. Dead Bugs - Finding dead bugs is an indicator that there are more bugs around. Look in common areas such as window ledges, basements, attics, damp, and dark areas, around cracks, and behind furniture.



    6. Bad Odours - Cockroaches emit chemicals to communicate with other cockroaches about shelter, food, and water. If you notice an old musty or moldy scent, you may have an infestation. Cockroaches have been known to trigger asthma and cause allergy symptoms. Be sure to check cupboards, cabinets, pantries, and near any plumbing fixtures for activity. Roaches mostly come out at night. If you see them during daylight hours, it could indicate a large infestation.



    7. Tracks and Markings - If you think your issue is rats or mice, look closely for sebum or grease marks that can appear along walls and other spaces that rodents travel. Sebum is a smelly mix of oil and dirt, found on rodent fur. The darker the sebum trails, the more rodents you may have. It is important that sebum be cleaned as soon as possible as they could attract more rodents. 



    8. Home Damage - Use an inspection mirror to inspect in areas that are not easily accessible. Pay attention to any pest-rotted or infested wood, gnawing marks, chewed wiring and damaged insulation. Home damage is a serious matter. The damages caused by pests can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs and impact the health of your home and family. 

    With regular inspection, knowing the right tools for elimination, general upkeep, and cleaning, you can keep pests at bay.   


    Read More:

    DIY Inspection At Home
    About Rats and Mice
    How to Get Rid of Ants
    About Cockroaches
    About Bed Bugs
    When To Call a Professional

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