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Early Signs of a Pest Infestation

Bugs are sneaky and know how to slip inside a home undetected. Thankfully, they leave behind a few clues to help you detect them. We’ve made a list of some warning signs that will help you catch a pest infestation early.

Early warning signs infographic

Bug Appearance


The sudden arrival of bugs can actually be a warning sign of an impending infestation. Many insects feed on other bugs. If bugs have found their way into your home, it could be because they’ve found a good food source. Ladybugs hanging around could indicate an infestation of mites and whiteflies. If your yard has become a ladybug vacation spot, there’s a good chance you’ll find aphids. Ladybugs love to eat aphids and can consume thousands in their lifetime. Spiders creeping around can also mean pests have invaded. Spiders feed on ants and flies, so you’ll want to keep your eyes open for these bugs and other warning signs.

Unusual Sounds


If you’ve heard strange noises in your house, there’s a chance you have uninvited guests. Pests that move around in your walls are known to make sounds. When termites chew through wood they can produce a soft clicking noise. Tapping noises can be a sign of termites as well. If termites feel threatened, they will hit into the walls of the tunnels to alert members of their colony. There’s a chance you’ll hear buzzing noises when swarming termites are flying. A rustling sound can alert you to a carpenter ant infestation. When these ants move around in the wood, they produce this rustling noise. If you suspect termites are hiding in your walls, contact a pest management professional.

Physical Bug Signs

Ants on watermelon

Sometimes bugs make it easy and reveal themselves. Spotting several pests could mean that more are hidden nearby. Even if you don’t see a bug directly, they leave behind other clues. Finding discarded wings can alert you to an infestation. When swarmer termites and ants mate, they discard their wings. Another warning sign is pest droppings. If you find wood-colored pellets, there’s a good chance termites are close by. Droppings that resemble coffee grounds typically belong to cockroaches. Pest eggs can be an indicator of an impending infestation. If these have time to hatch, you’ll be dealing with a bigger problem. If you notice something that looks similar to salt in your pet’s bed, there’s a chance it could be flea eggs. Cream colored, elongated specks could be bedbug eggs. 

Signs of Nesting

Ant nest

Pests need a nest to live in even if they’ve moved into your home. The nest is where the colony lives and is a place of shelter for the colony. Spotting these in or near the house can forewarn of an impending infestation. Some ant species, like harvester and red imported fire ants, create anthills—mounds of displaced dirt—when tunneling underground. These serve as an entrance to their underground nest. If these hills are in your yard, there’s a good chance ants will find their way into your home. Other insects, like termites and carpenter ants, construct nests in wood. Piles of sawdust can help you identify a carpenter ant problem. Subterranean termites build mud tubes, which you can find on the exterior of your house. Termites use these tunnels to travel into your home. Be on the lookout for wasp nests close to your house. Paper wasps build nests with paper-like material. You’ll be able to identify them by their distinct umbrella shape.   

Home Damage

Girl walking on floor

The condition of your home can alert you to hidden visitors. Termites tunnel into the wood structure of your house. When they do this, they cause damage. Watch where you step. Weak wood may result in creaking noises when stepping on it. A section of flooring that sounds hollow when you walk on it can also indicate termite damage. Termites don’t just stop there. They need moisture to survive and bring it with them into your home. Extra moisture can cause paint to peel and bubble. Damage can be found in places other than your home’s structure as well. Silverfish are known for eating clothing and paper products like books. If you keep finding new holes in your favorite sweater, you’ll want to investigate.  

Outdoor Damage

Black aphids

The outside of your home is just as important as the inside. Damaged wood on the exterior of your house can be a sign of an infestation. Carpenter bees create tunnels in wood and often leave behind round holes. Keep an eye out for holes in window frames, doors, and on your deck. Bugs can also invade your yards and harm your plants. Spotting bugs is always the best way to identify a problem, but there are other warning signs. If you find silk webs on your plants, spider mites could be living close to them. Pay attention to the condition of your plants because damaged plants can be a sign of a pest problem. If you notice your plants are yellowing or have spotted leaves, mites and aphids may be snacking on them.  


No one wants to be blindsided by a pest invasion. Thankfully, there are a few things that will alert you to trouble. It’s important to catch an infestation as early as possible, so don’t ignore any warning signs. If you’re dealing with pests, we want to help. Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.

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