Home Pest Control
To help combat typical invaders, know the unique signs of their presence:
• Gnaw marks on food packaging 1 • Droppings in drawers, cupboards or under the sink1 • Nesting material, such as shredded paper or fabric1 • Stale or musty smells1 • Sounds of movement within walls or ceilings2 • Holes in walls and floors that create entry points1 • Tracks left inside on dusty surfaces or outside in mud or dirt2 • “Runways,” or worn-down grass paths leading to your house2
• Droppings that look like coffee grounds • Leather-like egg cases • Shed skins • Stains along cracks • Sour smells
• Sawdust-like piles near woodwork • Woodwork, like windowsills, that darken, blister or sound hollow • Elongated pellet-shaped droppings • Mud-like tunnels the width of a pencil or greater along outside walls and in crawl spaces
• Droppings • Feathers • Nesting, such as woven fibrous materials • Eggs • Sounds of activity in your attic
• Rough and crumbly droppings, known as guano6 • A strong musty odor5 • High-pitched clicks and scratching noises in your ceiling and walls, especially at dusk and dawn6 • Smudge marks on seams, cracks and other openings6
1Identify and Prevent Rodent Infestations, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2018. 2Are You Attracting Rats and Mice to Your Yard?, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, 2019. 3Cockroaches: Prevention and Control, County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health, 2019. 4Questions and Answers About Termites, State of California Department of Consumer Affairs Structural Pest Control Board, 2019. 5Pest Control in Food Establishments, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2019. 6Management of House Bats, Montana Department of Agriculture, 2019.
Even the most attentive homeowners can find themselves suddenly with an unwelcome pest infestation. After all, they’re a natural part of our environment.1 These uninvited guests – be they of the winged, tailed or multi-legged variety – require your swift attention, because if left unchecked, they can cause damage to your home.2 For example, rodents are known to chew through not only insulation but also electrical wires.3 And termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage nationwide each year.2
Gradual pest damage and pest removal isn’t usually covered by homeowners insurance because home pest control is expected to be part of regular exterior home maintenance, prevention and detection.4 Generally, the language in a standard homeowners insurance policy will specifically exclude insects and rodents from the coverage. However, there are some animal antics that may be covered.
Your best safeguard against an infestation is to catch the invaders before they become an issue.1 These critters don’t need much of an opening; many pests can sneak through holes and cracks as small as a half-inch wide.5 It’s a matter of training your eye for the signs – big and small, inside and outside – that pests are trying to make inroads to the comforts of your home. If an infestation does take hold before you recognize the signs, be sure to hire a professional pest control company to remediate the problem.