What are the signs a home has a pest problem?

The signs of a pest infestation vary and depend mostly on the type of the pest that has infested the property. Most often, in rural areas, people have issues with rodents such as mice, rats and squirrels.

There is plenty of evidence that a home has been overrun by the sneaky rodents, which you can easily notice without making any extra effort.


  • Rodent droppings
  • Holes inside the walls (rats are able to make their way through by chewing even materials such as bricks)
  • Rodent nests
  • Squeaks (usually coming from mice)
  • Scratching noises
  • Footprints
  • Chewed wires
  • Damaged food containers and sacks

As long as you are familiar with rodents behaviour, it’s not difficult to find out that you’re dealing with a rodent infestation.

Subtle indicators potential home buyers should be aware of

The signs listed above are universal and may be added to your list for “things to check before buying a home”. However, there are also other indicators which should be taken into consideration.

Specific things may serve as an indication that a home is prone to being infested. Some of them are:

  • Improperly maintained and rodent-proofed basement
  • Holes in walls that are not filled (potential entry points)
  • Excessive humidity (food attracts rodents but so does humidity)
  • Structural damage to the roof
  • Lofts filled with pet food

Can ALL pest problems be eradicated?

Technically, yes. You can get rid of any pest but not forever. It will come a time when the pest will manage to get inside again and this cannot be fully prevented, even if you proof the property completely.

An example of such properties are homes that are adjacent to commercial properties such as restaurants - rats are attracted by the excessive amount of food and sooner or later infest the nearby properties too.

Another issue with pest eradication is when only a few options are available when traditional methods prove to be inefficient. Most often, people know that bed bugs have infested their bedroom but cannot completely exterminate them with pesticides. When this happens a heat treatment is the only way to exterminate them completely, but extra costs are required for this type of treatment.

Basically, there isn’t such thing such as getting rid of pests forever if your home is in proximity to the pest’s natural environment where it multiplies.

This is why you should very carefully choose a property and should not hesitate to contact pest control professionals for a thorough pest inspection in case there is a concerning evidence of an infestation.

Is there ever a point where you should walk away?

Yes, some rural areas lack the opportunity for biological pest control of rodents and there is no animal species that can control the excessive population of rodents. In this case, either consider raising awareness about it so the government can take measures, or just look for another property.

Summary: Expert advice on treating insect/spider bites and stings

Ticks: Yes, you can get Lyme disease from them. At least it is treatable, but you have to monitor your bites carefully so if there's a problem you can catch it on time and start the treatment right away.

To avoid being bitten by ticks, what one can do is:

  • Avoid places where the bushes and grass are not maintained - cut regularly, sprayed against ticks and fleas.
  • Avoid places where there are many animals. Street dogs/cats/foxes/pigeons even. Ticks and fleas are found in places where animals spend a lot of time.
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves, and don't spend too much time laying on the grass. Even if it's a picnic.
  • If you go hiking - stay on the path, don't go in the grass areas because ticks are most likely to be there and not on the pathway.
  • Buy or DIY an insect repellent spray to put on yourself or your clothes.


Even the dangerous ones that release venom in your body, will only bite you if they feel threatened and attacked. If you leave it be or kill/remove it from your home or just avoid it in the wild, a spider will not come and bite you.

  • Most common species in the USA are the Brown recluse, the Black widow, the Hobo spider, the Brown Widow, Daddy Long Legs spider, the Orb Weaving Spider and a couple more. Most of them release some venom when biting you but not enough to kill a person.
  • One can experience mild symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, headache, pain around the bite, sometimes fever, vomiting, etc. More severe symptoms can be damaged eyesight, weakness, fatigue even short-term memory loss.

To avoid spider bites:

  • Stay away from spiders - when you see one don't go attacking it, and it won't bite you.
  • Be aware - if you're out in the park, you may end up with a spider on you, quickly brush it off of yourself.
  • Remove spider webs around your bed or from your bedroom entirely, so there's no chance one gets in your bed and bite you.

Wasps and Bees

The difference between wasps and bees is that a bee's stinger is barbed and a wasp's stinger is not. That's the reason why bees die after they sting you and a wasp can sting you as much as it wants to.

You can avoid bees and wasps stings by not being a threat to them and stand still if one comes near you. As soon as they sense a threat they will attack. Also, stay away from beehives and wasps nests and you should be safe.

* Hornets, however, are much more aggressive than their cousins and might attack you even if you don't attack first. Hornets can be found not only near plants or their nests but also near trash cans because they would eat human food too. So you should be even more careful and on the lookout.


For mosquitoes, it's true what they say that some people are more appealing than others. They like people who are sweaty, who have been drinking alcohol, and most of all blood type 0.

If your blood type is 0, there's pretty much no point in trying. They will feed on you. In fact, your friends can use you like a mosquito bait so at least they can save themselves.

  • To avoid being bitten however you can try to buy or DIY a mosquito repellent spray with essential oils such as peppermint, lemon, basil, lemongrass, geranium and eucalyptus.
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