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Be a Pest Detective this January

Be a Pest Detective this January

Putting away your holiday decorations is an opportunity for you to be a pest detective. Read on to find out how!

If you’re like me, your home is currently a sea of boxes – some left over from Christmas presents and others from the attic and garage waiting to return decorations to storage. Those attic and garage boxes may offer valuable insight into developing pest problems in your home. Before you fill these boxes with decorations, take some time to thoroughly search for clues. 

Does the outside of the box have any chew marks or holes? This may indicate a mouse problem. Mice may use the chewed cardboard to make bedding. Mice may have established their home in another box or location in the attic or garage, so don’t mistake an absence of mouse feces inside the box as an indication that your home is mouse-free. 

Carefully look along any leftover tape on the box. Often, pests become trapped in the adhesive. A few stray insects or spiders aren’t anything to worry about. Finding large numbers of the same type of insect is a problematic, as is the discovery of any mouse feces. 

Search the inside of the box. A flashlight may be useful here. Be sure to lift the cardboard flaps in the bottom the box. This sheltered area offers a protected hiding place for insects such as cockroaches. Look for insects, living or dead. This area of the box may also collect mouse feces if mice had gotten into the box via a hole or open top.  

So, what should you do if you find evidence of a mouse or insect problem? Go to the box’s usual storage location and look for other clues. Are there living or dead insects visible in this location? Remember that one or two dead or living insects may not indicate a problem. Additionally, finding large numbers of dead insects may not indicate an active problem; this may, however, indicate that you once had a problem and may be at risk again once temperatures warm. Do you see large amounts of mouse feces or other chewed boxes? If so, there may be mice hiding out of sight. Whether you find evidence of an insect or mouse infestation, give us a call. We’ll look at the evidence and help you make an informed decision about your control options.