Dealing with a full-blown pest infestation in your home or business can be a nightmare and will almost always require you to hire a pest control company. Some pests can also spread diseases or do damage to any structure. That’s why it’s important that you take steps to prevent infestations and also know how to spot the signs of the most common types of pest infestations.

Termite Infestations

Termites are one of the most serious pest infestations. They eat wood, which means they can cause major structural damage to a home or commercial property if the infestation is left unchecked. Termite infestations can be extremely difficult to spot since termites often end up living in wall studs and floor joists that are hidden from view. Nonetheless, you’ll usually see at least some signs if there is an extensive infestation. This includes holes or maze-like patterns in the wood around doors and windows, wood that sounds hollow, creaking or buckling floorboards, pinholes in drywall or discolored drywall. You may also see mounds of termite droppings, which look quite similar to piles of fine salt.

The best way to prevent a termite infestation is to take steps to make sure they’re not attracted to your building and also to create a barrier that prevents them from getting inside. It’s a good idea to make sure there are no trees or shrubs too close to the building since any type of wood can attract termites, and they may end up migrating inside. This is also why you should never have any type of wood such as firewood, branch piles, etc. near the building.

Creating a barrier mostly involves sealing up any potential entry points in the exterior structure of the building. This includes any cracks or gaps in the foundation and exterior walls as well as around where a gas line enters the structure. You can also apply a chemical termite barrier around the entire perimeter, which is generally the most effective option for keeping termites away. However, the various pesticides used in this type of barrier can pose a risk to people and pets if the barrier isn’t applied properly. That’s why the process should only ever be done by an experienced pest control company.

Ant Infestations

There are a number of different ant species that are prone to infesting buildings in Arizona. Some of the worst are southern fire ants and harvester ants since both species have extremely painful bites that can cause severe allergic reactions. Fire ants can also be extremely aggressive and will often swarm and bite en masse. Carpenter ant infestations are also serious since they can bore deep into any wood in a building to build their nests, which can cause major damage, just like termites.

Ant infestations are usually fairly easy to spot since you’ll suddenly start seeing lots of ants in your kitchen or elsewhere in the home. Making sure to keep your kitchen clean and not leave food out will help to prevent some species from being attracted to your home. As with termites, it’s also important to try and seal up any potential entry points into the building. Finding and sealing up the entryways the ants are using is also one of the most important steps for overcoming an infestation.

Rodent Infestations

Mice and rat infestations are fairly common since these rodents often get inside buildings in search of any potential food source. That’s another reason you should never leave food out and make sure to keep food sealed up in containers. Leaving pet food out all the time is also a bad idea. As with other infestations, it’s also important that the exterior of the building is well sealed to help prevent rodents from gaining entry. This is partly why having a dog door isn’t always a great idea since it allows rodents easy access to your home.

Mice and rat infestations are also fairly easy issues to identify since you’ll usually see them scurrying around, especially at night. In many cases, you will also be able to hear them scurrying around inside walls and ceilings. Seeing black rodent droppings on floors, counters and other surfaces is also a sure sign that they’re in your home.

Just because you see one or two mice in your house or notice signs of their presence doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with an infestation. You may be able to fix the issue just by putting out mouse traps. That said, rodents reproduce very quickly, which means the problem will almost always get worse if you don’t take immediate action.

Cockroach Infestations

Cockroaches are also a serious problem since they are extremely unsanitary. They can spread various types of dangerous bacteria including E. coli and salmonella. The exoskeletons they shed and the feces they leave behind also tend to trigger allergy reactions or even asthma attacks.

The reason that cockroaches can spread bacteria is that they’re attracted to food, which means they can contaminate the food in your house when they eat it. That’s why it’s important to properly seal all of the food in your home and never leave any unopened food out. Making sure to keep your home clean also helps to keep cockroaches away since they are more attracted to dirty environments.

It’s quite easy to tell when cockroaches are present. They mostly come out at dark, and you’ll then see them scurry away to hide when you turn the lights on. The fact that they’re attracted to food means that the kitchen is where you’re most likely to see them. Just because you see a few cockroaches inside doesn’t necessarily indicate an infestation. Only some species actually nest and breed indoors and others just occasionally or accidentally get inside.

Some signs that you likely are dealing with an infestation are if you see reddish or brownish streaks or smears on surfaces, piles of droppings resembling coffee grounds and bits of cockroach exoskeletons or shells. If you have lots of cockroaches in your building, you may also start noticing an odd musty or oily smell.

Bed Bug Infestations

Bed bugs are especially nasty since they feed on the blood of humans and other animals and breed so quickly that they can spread throughout an entire building in a very short time. They’re also the pest that’s hardest to get rid of. It usually takes multiple treatments to finally get rid of bed bugs. Even though the treatment should kill all of the live bed bugs, it’s often extremely difficult to get rid of all of the bed bug eggs in a home. That means you’ll end up with more in the home as soon as the eggs hatch. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to totally prevent bed bug infestations since they are found in so many places and are notorious for catching rides to other places inside bags and on clothing.

The first sign that will usually tell you your home has bed bugs is when you start noticing small, itchy red lumps on your body when you wake up in the morning. You’ll also often see tiny black specks of feces on your sheets. Bed bugs also sometimes vomit up the remains of the last blood they fed on, which is why you may also see red or rusty colored spots on sheets and other places where they’re hiding.

If you suspect your home has bed bugs, you’ll want to check for them in the places they like to hide when not feeding. This includes all around the edges and seams of your mattress, any cracks or joints in the bed frame, around couch and chair cushions, the undersides of furniture, etc.

If you see any bed bugs, you need to contact a pest control company immediately before the infestation gets much worse. Waiting can also lead to the bed bugs hitching a ride with your guests and infesting their homes.

If you need help from an experienced pest control company in the Phoenix or Tucson areas, Green Home Pest Control is the one to turn to. We can take care of any type of infestation, and we only ever use the safest pest control methods available. Whether it’s ants, bed bugs, mice, cockroaches, termites or any other type of pest, contact us to get the expert help and support you need.

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