Finding out you have signs of pests in and around your property is never a good sign, and it’s even harder when you can’t identify what pests are causing the problems. However, landlords and tenants will be glad to know that you don’t necessarily need to identify the pest itself in order to know what you’re dealing with.

Pests leave multiple signs to look out for, most notably their droppings. You can learn more about identifying pests by the droppings using the official Pest Droppings Identification Guide.

We’re going to be looking at the common pests that can cause problems to your property from the inside and out. Knowing how to identify them will help speed the removal process along, as your pest control professional won’t have to spend time looking for traces of the pest to identify them and come up with a removal plan.

Interior

Mice

Fortunately, mice don’t pose too much of a threat to our properties in the same way as rats. Mice only enter our properties for warmth, food and a place to raise their young. They are shy creatures that prefer to hunt and gather food during the night. This is why it can be tough to spot them.

Mice can be identified by their 3-8cm bodies and their brown/grey colourings. As it’s rare to spot a mouse in the day, look out for their droppings, they’re usually in the corners of quieter rooms (bedrooms, usually). They are small and pellet-shaped. There may also be gnaw marks on skirting boards and dug-up carpet. You will want to inform your pest control professional as soon as you spot a mouse as they are known to breed very quickly, and this is when they become big problem.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be quite difficult to spot by their appearance because they’re so small. People can live with bed bugs for weeks, sometimes even months before noticing a problem.

Bed bugs can be identified by smears on bedding, blood droplets and skin carcases. Bed bugs cause a number of hygiene issues and can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you’re suffering from a large infestation, pest control services are advised.

Cockroaches

Definitely one of the worst pests to spot. Cockroaches aren’t as shy as other pests, meaning you’re likely to spot them if you have an infestation. They usually nest where there’s food and shelter, the back of cupboards, floorboards, shelves and within any cracks or fissures within the property.

They can be identified by the 3-inch long bodies and their brown/orange/red bodies. They also have wings, but many cannot fly. Keeping your property clean and sealing up any cracks or gaps will stop them entering from outside in search of food.

Exterior

Foxes

While they aren’t viewed as the most invasive pests, foxes do cause issues, specifically regarding you rubbish and especially if you have small pets or farm animals that live outside. Foxes are notorious for ripping open big bags, which invites other pests such as birds, rats, mice and insects into your property. Foxes also have a habit of harassing pets and farm animals in your garden.

They can be identified by their orange/brown fur coats and they usually travel alone at night. They’re very shy animals, and it’s extremely rare to see one during daylight. Ensure your gardens are secure and your bins are shut to deter them.

Birds

The main problem that comes with birds are their droppings. Bird droppings can cause serious damage to the exterior of your property due to the chemicals within the droppings (especially pigeon’s). Additionally, once birds have nested, you will require pest control experts to remove the nest(s) safely and effectively.

Bird identification is simple, but notable birds to be aware of are: pigeons, seagulls and magpies (these cause the most damage).

Wasps

Although on their own, they’re nothing more than a small disturbance, when their nest is discovered, they can become very dangerous. In no circumstances should a landlord or tenant attempt to remove a wasp’s nest as they will defend it aggressively and this can cause serious injury.

Spotting a wasp’s nest is usually fairly simple, as they’re quite big and the noise is very recognisable. They usually nest on the underside of properties, gutters, rooflines, sheds and sometimes tall trees and cracks in the property’s exterior.

Interior and Exterior

Some pests are just as happy causing disruptions to the exterior of your property as well as the interior.

Rats

Arguably the most invasive and dangerous pest for landlords and tenants. Rats bring a host of problems with them, specifically their ability to carry and spread disease and bacteria, their breeding capabilities and how they can easily enter properties.

Rats can be identified by their 30-50cm bodies and their long tails (8-15cm). While they are known to be very social creatures, they prefer to keep to themselves, meaning they will nest out of immediate sight. They are also able to live in very harsh conditions. Lookout for their droppings, gnaw marks and dug-up carpet (they use this to build their nests).

Contact your pest control expert immediately if you spot a rat, as it may be a sign of a nest.

Ants

Ants begin their colonies outside but usually enter our properties in search of food for their nest. While ant hills won’t cause much a problem in your garden, if they have nested in cracks or gaps in your property’s exterior walls, this is will become an issue.

Ants in your property are usually found in cupboards and areas where you store food. While a few ants may not seem like a problem, it may indicate a nest is nearby, and it’s advised you locate that nest and contact your pest control professional. Their nests (known as ant hills) are characterised by their hill shape and are usually found in quieter areas of your garden.

Woodlice

Woodlice are attracted to damp areas, and while they’re usually found living within logs and mossy areas, they do occasionally find their way into our homes. If you do have woodlice in your house, it’s likely you have damp, as that’s the main reason they would be there. Be sure to perform a thorough damp check of your property and then call a pest control professional.

They can be identified by their small, grey oval shells. They’re about 1cm long and usually travel in large groups.

Landlords and tenants must remain vigilant regarding pest infestations around the property. If left neglected, pest problems can end up causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. Pest control is a very important factor to address for landlords, tenants and the real estate industry in general. Proper inspection should be carried out to ensure the premises is pest-free.