spot pests in your house or business

Detecting the Presence of Pests in Homes and Commercial Premises

You have a feeling that there are pests present in your home or commercial premises. Good news; there are a number of signs to look out for that will give you a clear answer.
To detect pests you must use all of your senses; you need to be aware of smells, sounds, and visual clues.
On top of this, there are both interior and exterior areas you need to survey and inspect.
The signs listed below are the same for homes and commercial premises because they have the same appeal to pests. They are both insulated places that create waste and have many hiding spaces.

Signs you have pests

It is important to always be looking out for these signs because the sooner you detect a pest, the sooner it can be controlled.


  • Droppings – Droppings are the fecal matter of pests. They are left behind after a pest has been in that area and are a huge sign that you’ve detected the presence of a pest. Most droppings are small and will be seen before being smelt. Fascinatingly, the colour, texture, and size of the droppings can tell you which pest you are dealing with. 
  • Smells – A quick sniff of something not quite right will alert you to the fact there is a creature on your property. Follow that smell and you might be able to find the nest. Each type of pest can have a distinct smell; one might smell of ammonia, the other musty, or even fecal.  
  • Noises – Keep an ear out for a number of noises. Rats will make scratching sounds, mice will make squeaks, cockroaches are distinct because of their scuttling sound, and wasps/bugs will make buzzing sounds. You will be able to detect the presence of birds by their cooing, calls, and wings flapping. Usually, these noises occur at night because lots of pests are nocturnal. 
  • Missing food/nibbled – When you open the cupboards, do you notice any spilt food, like grains, or any bags with holes? These are signs that a pest is present. For example, if you see bites taken out of your fruit then you can suspect rodents. The subject of food and pests is an important one because they carry diseases. They could harm the health of your family or your business could be at risk, especially if it is food production.
  • Nests – Another way to detect the presence of pests is to do a visual search. Check hard to reach and hidden spaces; if you find a bundle of sticks, fabric, and grass in a safe corner, then you can assume it is a nest. Mice and Rat nests look a little different in homes as opposed to outside. Look inside the cracks and holes in the walls and skirting boards. Finding any shredded paper or fabric gives you evidence that rats and mice are nesting there.


  • Area of high probability – The key factor in detecting the presence of a pest, and which one, is your surroundings. Research the area/neighbourhood, even the country, when buying the property. Certain areas are more likely to have pests than others. For example, having a property by the river means you are more likely to encounter mosquitoes, birds, and rats than someone in the suburbs. The environment around your property also gives some insight as to which pests might be prevalent in the area. 
  • Check the exterior – the signs outside mostly utilise visual clues. The property owner needs to be aware of any cracks, holes, or nooks pests could access and make a home. Are you able to see any visible nests or birds flying in and out a hole and disappearing?
  • Damage to electrics – Rodents love to chew through electrical cables. So, if you find a cable with the rubber coating gone and exposed wiring, you have probably detected the presence of a pest. 
  • The Back Lane –  a key feature of town planning in the North East. However, it can pose a problem for pest control. It is crucial to keep your household waste secure and in the correct bin. Do not just leave it in the back lane on the ground. If you find the contents of your rubbish bags all over the street then it is likely the teeth/beak of a rodent or bird has torn it open. 

A little trick to try: Mice actually love peanut butter! They like it more than cheese. It works better in a trap too because cheese is solid and can move about.

Prevention Tips

There are some steps you can take to help prevent a pest infestation. The fewer opportunities you give the pests to find food and warmth, the less appealing your home or commercial premises is to them. 

1) Food – Make sure that there is no food left out, especially not overnight. This will make your property less attractive to the pests because they have nothing to feed on.

2) Property damage – If damage has occurred, it is important to have it repaired as quickly as possible. Leaving open gaps and holes allows pests to enter your home or commercial premises and set up a nest. 

3) Perform routine cleaning – Cleaning your home or commercial premises regularly is vital. It means that you are minimising the chance of infestation. A regular clean ensures that there isn’t stagnant water pooling in corners, there are no sticky surfaces, or food going mouldy under counters. 

Environmentally friendly Pest Control Methods

So, you’ve detected the presence of pests in your home or commercial premises. What should your next step be?

Greenway can help you with the pest infestation issues your home or business is facing, and also with further prevention arrangements. 

Traditional methods of pest control are noxious, using many strong chemicals that are hazardous to health. We carry out our jobs sustainably and have even won an award for our Low Environmental Impact. Therefore, be assured that we can complete any pest control needed in a way that is better for the planet. 

Get in touch with us today to start taking action.

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