You’ve finally found the perfect home. But before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to check for these ten signs of a pest infestation. From rats and mice to cockroaches and ants, these pests can wreak havoc on your home and your health. With a little diligence, you can ensure your dream home is pest-free.

1. Signs of Nesting and Breeding Grounds

Nest and breeding sites are often the first sign of a pest infestation. These include small piles of sawdust or wood shavings, which may indicate carpenter ants or termites. Cockroaches often leave egg casings, while bedbugs leave small bloodstains on sheets and mattresses. Rats and mice often build small nests out of paper and other materials.

2. Droppings

Another telltale sign of an infestation is droppings. These can be small, hard pellets or much larger, depending on the size of the pest. Cockroach droppings are often small and black, while bedbug droppings are small, red, or brown stains on sheets and mattresses. Rat and mouse droppings are often much larger, and may be found near food sources.

3. Grease Marks and Smears

Rats and mice often leave grease marks and smears along baseboards and walls. These are usually found near food sources and may indicate where rodents are entering and exiting the home.

4. Gnaw Marks

Rats and mice also often leave gnaw marks on wood, food containers, and other materials. These may be small or large, depending on the size of the pest.

5. Burrows

Burrows are another sign of rats and mice, and may be found in gardens, crawlspaces, and other areas of the home. They may also be found in insulation, which can lead to expensive repairs.

6. Fur Patches

Aside from the noise or droppings, little patches of black, brown, white, or grey fur throughout common spaces, particularly in the kitchen, are a dead giveaway of rat activity.

Rodents shed their fur regularly as they mature. Some bite it off during conflicts, while others become trapped and pull it off. However, one thing is certain: you must visit a professional as soon as possible.

7. Sawdust piles

Cockroaches prefer warm environments, so they’re often found in kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-traffic areas. They also often make their homes in empty boxes and bags, which they chew up and use as nesting material.

8. Stains on the Walls and Ceilings

Termites often leave large, light patches on walls and ceilings, which can worsen and become holes over time. These often grow in size and number as the infestation grows.

9. Unusual Odors

Pests, just like people, have their own distinct, recognizable odors. These can help you identify an infestation, even if you don’t see any pests. For example, rats and mice often leave strong odors behind that are difficult to get rid of. Cockroaches, on the other hand, leave a sweet, sickeningly sweet odor that’s impossible to mistake.

10. Ant Trails

Ants also leave their own signs. Ant trails, which consist of small, dark trails of ‘trail pheromone,’ are found behind ants as they move from one place to another.

These trails usually have a stronger smell than the ants themselves and may contain traces of their food. If you see trails, you’re likely to see more ants nearby.


Whether you’re buying or selling a home, an inspection by a pest professional is essential to your peace of mind and your safety. With a complete and thorough inspection, you can identify any issues and take action to make sure your home is safe, clean, and pest-free.

Prowess Pest Control’s mission is to increase the standard of living and the quality of life for clients, employees, and the community through safe, dependable pest control service. Pests are more than a nuisance; they can be a serious risk to your home and family. Our progressive solutions provide customers with a pest-free environment and protect against unwanted invaders inside and outside the home. If you need pest control services in Pelham, AL, get in touch with us! Let us know how we can help.

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