Pest Infestation

How to Recognize a Pest Infestation

How do you know if you need an exterminator in St. Charles? Should you call when you see a bug, or wait until you see a lot of bugs? In general, if you see a spider or two, there is no need to panic, unless it’s in the closet or under the sink. In those locations, you may have reclusive spiders such as the Brown Recluse or Black Widow, and you should call an exterminator right away. However, spiders are predatory, and Wolf Spiders and “Daddy Longlegs” will be out in the open, looking for mosquitoes and flies. But, any bug, including spiders, can reach infestation proportions within a few weeks. The same is true of larger pests, such as bats, squirrels, and even larger mammals such as raccoons and opossum. Here are some pointers for how to recognize pest infestation.

Larger Animals

Mammals such as squirrels, bats, mice, and raccoons can inhabit your attic and reproduce without your knowledge, until the problem is so severe that it does permanent damage to your home. With mammals, noise and odor are your first warning. Listen for scrabbling sounds in the attic. If your children, for instance, say there is something in the ceiling over their bed, believe them. It could catch a population of bats before it becomes a full-fledged infestation. An exterminator can inspect these areas and often find the access points. Live traps can remove much of the infestation and treat the accompanying parasites.

All of these animals carry parasites, both internally and externally. Their feces will often have worms in it, and they carry lice and ticks in their fur. Some bats even carry rabies, although they are immune to it themselves. The urine and feces can be a breeding ground for diseases. Some people consider a single little squirrel to be no problem, but keep in mind that their number one job on this planet is to procreate, and they’ll do it in your attic. 

Look for stains on the ceiling as an indicator of heavy infestation. The urine will soak into the insulation and down into the gyp board of the ceiling. It will also run down the inside of the walls. Some animals will also nest in the walls, so while your ceiling is clear, the walls may be showing unexplained moisture. Not all damage to the inside of your home is due to a roof leak – it could be evidence of pests in your walls or attic.


Insects will leave “dirt” behind. It is actually their feces. In fact, this is often the first real evidence of bed bug infestation – the feces on the mattress or sheets will look rusty because of the blood the bugs sucked out of their victim. 

Carpenter ants will leave little piles of sawdust at the place they enter. They burrow through the wood, pulling the sawdust out to make room for their tunnels. 

It may be harder to identify a termite infestation until it is too late. However, if you have small black ants in the house, you probably have termites. Ants eat protein, and termites are very nourishing to ants. You’ll be more likely to see the ants in “wet” areas such as the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen. The ants are not after the sugar in the toothpaste left over on your toothbrush, they are looking for termites that feed on water-damaged drywall. 

Most pests leave a trail. The trail may be a slender thread of bare ground across the lawn, or “pills” in the pantry. If you see evidence of some kind of pest in your home, call an exterminator. Pest control is affordable, and can rid your home of dangerous insects and other pests.

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