How to Identify What Kind of Pest Infestation You Are Dealing With

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Most pests come into your house for one simple reason: you’re not doing enough to keep your house clean and free of food particles. Most pests are motivated by the constant search for food, and if your house becomes a reliable source, you’ll soon be dealing with a full blown infestation. But since these pests all have similar goals, it can sometimes be difficult to determine exactly what kind of pest problem you have, especially if you don’t happen to catch the pests in action. Here are some telltale signs for each kind of pest, so you can figure out who your uninvited houseguests are.


Ants are one of the easiest pests to identify, because they are the least shy of the bunch. Most people discover they have an ant problem when they see a trail of them marching back and forth between some food item. However, there might be rare occasions where their food source is hidden or you don’t happen to see them when they feed. If you find stray ants randomly around the house, they probably aren’t alone. You likely have a greater concentration of ants somewhere close by.


Unlike ants, cockroaches like to operate in the dark and remain hidden most of the time. If you do end up seeing a cockroach, it will likely scurry away quickly – and it means there are dozens more hidden out of sight. Cockroaches will also leave behind their feces, which resembles black pepper or coffee grounds. The amount of feces you find is a good indicator of how bad the infestation is. You’ll likely also come across the occasional dead cockroach around the home.


If you live near open fields or grassland, or in a rural area, mice can be a very common problem. They also remain hidden most of the time, but they definitely leave behind signs of their presence. If you find inexplicable small holes in food packaging, these are likely bite marks from a mouse trying to eat. You could also find mice droppings around your home, which are small pellets that resemble dark grains of rice.


Termites are the most reclusive of all pests, and you aren’t likely to ever see a termite within the living areas of your home. That’s because they operate out of sight, feasting on wood within the walls and roof of your home. However, termites often leave behind piles of discarded wings, or mud tubes, which are exactly what they sound like: little tubes of mud that termites use for protection. These tubes are usually found near the home’s foundation or in crawl spaces.

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