Where an EHP surveys a community and finds some of the conditions listed below, it is likely that some pests will be found in the community.

  • Faeces or dead animals lying around
  • Septic tanks and leach drains with lids broken or missing
  • Pools of water caused by leaking taps
  • Overflowing effluent drains
  • Objects such as old tyres and other water-holding containers left lying around which could collect water
  • Rubbish, including food scraps, left lying around
  • Blocked and/or unclean toilets
  • Grass growing in sewage lagoons
Homes with:
  • food left uncovered in kitchens
  • unclean tables and bench tops
  • unclean cupboards and shelves
  • unclean kitchen floors
Fig.  5.17: Some places where pests live.
Fig. 5.17: Some places where pests live

4.1 Signs that there are pests in a house

It is easy to know when flies and mosquitoes are in a house because they usually annoy people and are easy to see.

Where houses are not properly cleaned, there can be significant number of cockroaches, which can be often seen during the day. Large cockroach infestations can produce a sickly smell and leave much faecal material around.

Rats and mice usually hide during the day and are rarely seen, unless in large numbers.

Listed below are some of the signs which show that pests are around.

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Signs of cockroaches include:

  • lots of little black droppings
  • a sweet, sickly smell
  • dead cockroaches
  • empty egg cases
  • chewed labels and paper

Signs of rats and mice include:

  • teeth marks and damage from chewing
  • rat and mice droppings
  • greasy smears from the rats' fur mark their runways
  • rat and mice holes
  • running, chewing or scratching noises

Signs of bed bugs include:

  • dark blood spots on bedding
  • adult bed bugs hiding in the seams of mattresses, bed frames, etc.
  • small white clusters of eggs sticking to the mattress seams
  • people complaining of being bitten
Fig.  5.18: House mouse and rat droppings (faeces)
Fig. 5.18: House mouse and rat droppings (faeces).