In Arizona, plenty of naturally occurring wildlife can become pesky pests once they’ve invaded our homes. From scorpions and spiders to termites and roaches, rodents, and everywhere in between, Arizona is essentially a playground of potential pests.
With all of these insects and rodents coexisting with Arizona residents, how can you tell if your home requires pest control? Here at Insectek, we’ve drawn up six indications that your home has crossed the line from coexistence to infestation.
1. You’re Finding Droppings Throughout Your Home
A major indication of a pest infestation is finding droppings throughout your home. Pests that typically leave noticeable droppings within an area of infestation are:
• Rodents, such as mice and rats
Mice and rat droppings are small pellets measuring 1/8 to ¼” inch long. They’re typically darker in color, and are noticeable by their strong odor. Rodent droppings are known to carry bacteria and disease, so if you’re finding similar sized and smelling pellets, immediately call a professional.
Termite droppings are similar to rodent droppings in that they also feature a pungent odor. Termite droppings are small, grain-sized pellets that vary in shade depending on their diet. Roach droppings, on the other hand, typically do not smell. They are shaped like small black or brown colored cylindrical pellets, and often resemble a substance like coffee grounds.
2. You’re Noticing Bite Marks in Food Sources
Pests, especially rodents, will leave bite marks in the areas they have been digging into around your food sources. Check garbage bins, cabinets, cardboard boxes, and pantries for signs of rodent activity. Insects such as ants and cockroaches will also gravitate towards food sources, and can be spotted by their intrusion on food supplies.
Likewise, pests such as termites that utilize your home’s foundation as their food source will cause warping or buckling in the area they have nested. Though this doesn’t technically count as a “bite mark,” they will leave noticeable evidence in the areas they’ve been feeding.
3. Wings and Exoskeletons are Scattered Like Dirty Laundry
Many winged insects will leave behind their wings or exoskeletons once they’ve shed or molted. Winged ants are notorious for dropping wings, as are termites and crickets. In particular, termite wings are unique because from a distance their opalescent finish is reminiscent of a fish scale.
Pests such as ticks shed their exoskeletons upwards of three times throughout the life cycle of an infestation. Evidence of a dried exoskeleton is a telltale sign that your home has become privy to an infestation.
4. You’ve Spotted Signs of Reproduction
The ideal situation for an infestation would be to be able to get it under control before the pest in question breeds. Insects can lay dozens to hundreds of eggs at a time. Rodents like a brown rat can mate as many as 500 times during a six-hour period – unchecked, brown rats can produce up to 2,000 spawn in a year.
Be on guard for signs of reproduction in even the unlikeliest of places. For example, mosquitoes will deposit eggs on the surface of stagnant water. Locations such as fish tanks, birdbaths, or flower vases make for excellent breeding ground for these pests.
If you’re spotting signs of reproduction, now is the best time to call in a pest control specialist.
5. Your Pets Are Acting Irregularly
Your pets are members of your family, and chances are they’ll sense when something is awry. More often than not, your cats will be on constant alert if they sense rodent activity in your home. The same goes for roaches and crickets, which are larger and easier for pests to spot and hunt.
If you’re suffering from a tick infestation, you’ll notice your dogs constantly itching or unable to stay still. Ticks make their homes on your dogs, feed, then jump off to complete the molting process. Once they’ve molted, they will jump back onto your dog to feed. If you’re noticing your dogs acting strange, it could be that pests have made them their next target.
6. You’re Spotting Pests Multiple Times a Day
Though this may seem obvious, your home definitely requires pest control if you’re spotting intruders daily, or multiple times a day. Whether this means ants are trooping across counters or tabletops or mice are scurrying through your living room, if you’re seeing them, call a pest removal service immediately.
How to Keep Your Mind at Ease
If you’ve read one of the above six instances and recognized it as true, contact a pest control specialist as soon as possible. Whether you’re located in the Metropolitan Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler and Gilbert areas, the specialists at Insectek are ready to banish pests from your home.