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Hearing noises inside the walls or ceiling of your home can be stressful and is enough to keep you awake, wondering, “What if it crawls out when I am asleep?” It's easy to create several unpleasant scenarios when you’re dealing with the unknown.
To shed some light on what it is that you may be hearing, we’ve compiled a list of the most common pests that are often found hiding inside the wall and ceiling voids of homes.
Rats, mice, chipmunks, squirrels, and bats are probably the most audible when it comes to noisy pests. Rats prefer upper floors, mice gravitate to basements and lower levels, chipmunks and squirrels usually hide out in attics that are accessed from open vents or windows, and bats will fly up into the eaves, peaks, and attics of homes. While all of them squeak, screech, or chatter, only the rodents will gnaw and scratch. Rats, mice, and bats tend to be more active at night because they are nocturnal. They make sounds while they are active, then go silent once they have settled in.
Honey bees, hornets, and wasps prefer to build their nests in their natural habitat, allowing easy access to a food source, such as pollen, nectar, or insects. However, they have been known to seek shelter in homes, building nests in attics, under eaves, and in wall voids, which can result in damage to insulation and drywall.
If you suspect stinging pests are living in the walls of your home, disturb the nest by tapping on the wall a little. As activity increases, you should hear a buzzing or tapping sound. In addition to a buzzing noise, you may also notice slight staining on the wall. This could be the result of honey seeping through. Honey bee nests can become especially large and may require drywall removal to access the nest, remove the bees, and thoroughly clean any and all traces of honeycomb to prevent a future re-infestation or secondary pest infestation.
Termites, carpenter bees, and carpenter ants are all wood-boring insects and can damage the structure of your home if left untreated. Although you may not be able to hear them, you can hear the result of their work: hollow-sounding wood. Termites eat through wood, carpenter bees drill through wood to build their nest, and carpenter ant colonies thrive in soft, water-logged wood such as siding, decking, or roofing that has been damaged by water.
What these three pests have in common is that they can all cause costly damage to your home before you ever know of their presence. If you notice small piles of sawdust on the ground or shed wings, that is a likely sign that carpenter ants are present. Termites also leave behind shed wings. Subterranean termites build mud tubes running from the ground up. Carpenter bees will bore a perfectly round hole into wood, leaving behind a pile of sawdust. If the nest is close to a wall, you may be able to hear a buzzing or vibrating sound when the nest is active.
Asian lady beetles, stink bugs, and boxelder bugs (a.k.a. occasional invaders) are considered to be nuisance pests. They often invade homes in the fall to avoid cold winters, then emerge in the spring, sometimes in masses, when temperatures get warm. And, although they are not known to cause extensive damage to your home, they can leave behind excrement stains on your ceiling, walls, furniture, drapes, carpeting, windows, etc.
In some instances, Asian lady beetles have been known to trigger allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory issues. TIP: Avoid applying treatments to your home once these occasional fall invaders have moved in. Instead, vacuum them up as needed. In the spring, they will retreat back to their natural habitat, this is a good time to caulk and seal up cracks and crevices to prevent them from invading again in the fall. The only sound you’ll hear from these nuisance pests is the sound of them hitting the inside of your windows as they come out of hiding to absorb the warmth of the sun.
A homeowner’s worst nightmare is discovering they’re living with pests, such as stinging pests, termites, or rodents. Not only can some pests become a health hazard, but they can also cause costly structural damage to your property, which is often not covered by insurance.
Professional pest management services can greatly reduce the amount of time, stress, and money you may spend trying DIY pest control solutions. This is why Ehrlich offers a free initial pest inspection for homeowners. If you hear strange sounds coming from your walls and suspect pest activity, contact Ehrlich right away and talk to one of our knowledgeable pest control experts.