In today’s do-it-yourself world of “how to” online articles and YouTube videos, it can be difficult to determine when you’re in over your head. Calling in an expert has a price tag attached. But so can doing it yourself. Each store-bought remedy costs money, and multiple applications can drive up the cost. And while you’re waiting for the latest home pest control solution to do its job (or show that it’s not working as expected), the pests can be causing significant and costly damage to your home or harming your family.
One of the best skills any do-it-yourselfer can learn – whether it’s in pest control or plumbing – is how to identify when it’s time to call in a professional. Here are five signs that it’s time to put down the pesticide, pick up the phone, and call pest control experts.
Sign #1: Property Damage
Has something been gnawing on your furniture, rugs, clothing, or walls? Are there pencil-thin tunnels running along your walls? Have you encountered any chewed-upon wiring? These are all signs of pest-inflicted property damage.
What is the cost of letting pests go uncontrolled? If you’re lucky, it’s nothing more than tossing out a favorite sweater chewed up by a mouse. At the other end of the scale, it could be your house. Rodent-gnawed wires are a known cause of electrical fires. Termite and carpenter ant damage can make the very structure of your house unsafe.
Sign #2: Droppings and Urine
If you’ve noticed rodent droppings or wet urine spots in your kitchen or pantry – or anywhere else in the house — you probably have mice or rats. Cockroach droppings are smaller and look like ground pepper. Both are health concerns for the people and pets in your house, and because these pests can carry deadly diseases, they are problems you will want to put behind you as quickly as possible. A pest control professional can make sure these pests are evicted and their illness-inducing leavings are removed.
Sign #3: Scratching and Rustling Sounds
The good news about those scratching and rustling sounds you hear is that, unless you are living in a horror movie, they probably aren’t ghosts. The bad news? Pests have invaded your home, and you need to do something about them. If you’re lying in bed at night and hear scampering across your ceiling or along the walls, you have rodents in the house. If you hear rustling coming from inside the walls, there are probably destructive carpenter ants or termites living there.
Sign #4: Pest Sightings
There’s an old adage that for every cockroach you see, there are 100 more living in the walls. The numbers may not be correct, but if you see any household pest – like a mouse, rat, cockroach, termite, or even the rarely seen bed bug – there are probably more nearby. In fact, you’re most likely to see some pests – like cockroaches and termites – when infestations have grown so large that some colony members have been forced out of the overflowing nest.
Sign #5: Rodents of Unusual Size
While mice and rats are the most common home invaders, larger rodents, like squirrels, can find their way into your home. When trapped, these frightened animals can cause significant damage to both your house and to you. Pest control professionals are both educated and equipped to properly deal with these occasional invaders.