Pest identification

If your home or property suddenly has a pest problem it can be tricky to identify the species that are causing the issue. Whether it’s an insect infestation, rodent problem or something else it is important to carry out a correct identification before knowing how to proceed with treatment.

When it comes to rodents there are some easier ways to determine what is behind the problem. Squirrels often require larger holes in order to gain access to roof spaces, lofts and voids so any roofline items such as soffit boards, roof tiles and chimney pots often show signs of being broken or displaced. Internally squirrels will gather up or disturb the insulation in loft spaces to create a “nest”.

Rats and mice are often trickier for amateur identification as they aren’t usually seen by the resident until after the droppings and other common signs you have a rodent infestation are present. Young rats can also sometimes be misidentified as mice.

Insect identification is much more complex

Cockroaches and bed bugs are fairly easily distinguished from each other and have some characteristic traits that help to identify them. However, if you are simply showing signs of being bitten it isn’t necessarily only bed bugs. Fleas are very common and can cause bites to humans and animals, but there are other insects and even non-pest factors that can present with bites or marks on the skin.
Clothes or carpet moths are usually evident by the effect they have once the larvae feed on natural fibres around the home leaving threadbare carpets or holes in clothes.

Wasps and bees are often misidentified as one another, especially if you are attempting to carry out identification from the ground looking up at them flying in and out of a roof or chimney area of your property. It is easier for a professional to identify from a distance as they have a different flight pattern to one another. When they are at ground level it is easier to tell a bumblebee from a common wasp but if you are in any doubt be cautious as wasps and hornets can be aggressive if they feel threatened.

There is a vast number of species of insect and far too many to list individually, but treatment can vary from spiders to beetles, to mites, to ants and many more. Taking a good photograph with an object for reference of scale is a good option, collecting a sample to be sent to an entomologist is a scientific approach that can be necessary, and sometimes a pest identification survey is ideal.

Larger species identification

Moles are often easy to spot from the characteristic “hills” that they create by disturbing the earth below.

Foxes and badgers create large, obvious holes in the ground much larger than rats would make.

Though all of the above is a generic guide of some common signs for identification each species can behave differently and to accurately identify a pest it is often a good idea to ask the advice of a professional. Accurate identification can make the difference between a treatment process working or not, and whether treatment can legally be carried out or not. If you are unsure at AMS Pest Control we offer a pest identification service.

Think you might have a pest issue but not sure what it is? Get in touch and we will be happy to help.