Is Moisture in Your Building Attracting Pests?

Water is a necessity of life and just like every other being on this planet, pests – including rodents and insects – need it to survive. As such, a build-up of excessive moisture in your commercial building can attract many pests of a variety of species, which only an effective pest control plan will be able to rectify.

Moisture problems and pest problems go hand in hand and often one of the best pest control methods for dealing with an infestation of any kind is to address the moisture levels in your building. High humidity levels can be a source of excessive moisture. So too, of course, can localised problems such as leaky pipes under sinks and toilets. Clogged gutters, also, can result in pools of water around your building, which will soon attract pests looking for a drink. Damp problems can occur due to leaky guttering, damaged roof tiles or lead flashing and it’s only with the appearance of a damp patch on a wall that you may become aware of it – by which time many pests will have already set up residence.

Pest infestations are of course absolutely unacceptable for businesses. Everything from your reputation to your profits and potential law suits are at stake. As such, moisture control is not only essential for effective pest control, but also control over the future of your business and so must be taken extremely seriously.

But what pests in particular should you be concerned about when it comes to dealing with moisture in your commercial building? Let’s take a look at some of the most likely and troublesome culprits.


There are four species of cockroach most commonly found in the UK. These are the German cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, the American cockroach and the Brown Banded cockroach. They can survive in almost any environment, from heating ducts to refuse tips to drains.

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Though they prefer to stay hidden, there are signs to look out for that point towards a cockroach infestation. In moist environments, cockroach droppings – which are usually small, round and dark – are soft and appear as short irregular smears on surfaces and floors. You may also notice a strange smell lingering in your building, as well as shed skins and egg casings.

Cockroaches are a serious problem for businesses, as they are carriers of diseases such as salmonella and E. coli and many people are allergic to the proteins found in their exoskeletons and faeces.

Moisture is one of the key elements that attract cockroaches to a building and a professional pest control company will be able to help you get both problems under control.


Silverfish thrive in conditions with high humidity and will usually be found in dark, damp areas, though they can survive in most environments. Their presence may indicate a leak in plumbing, or that your business’ building has become too humid, creating ideal conditions for silverfish to flourish.

Though silverfish are not directly hazardous to human health, they are nonetheless highly destructive and robust pest control measures must be taken to deal with them effectively. They feed on carbohydrates and in large numbers will cause untold damage to plaster walls, books, papers and any other items in your building that contain starch or cellulose.

Signs of silverfish include droppings, shed skins, yellow stains and other damage to clothing, books and wallpaper. You may also notice the creatures themselves. They are teardrop shaped and have scales that are silver-blue in colour. Silverfish are wingless, have two antennae and their wiggling motions resemble those of a fish.

Pharaoh Ants

The most common ant species to invade moist buildings is the pharaoh ant. Unlike other ant species, the pharaoh ant builds multiple nests, each with a separate queen within a single colony. They prefer warm, humid areas with access to water and can be a big problem due to their nesting behaviour.

As a nest grows, worker ants will branch off to form a new satellite nest. As multiple nests are formed with fast-growing colonies, infestations can spread rapidly and be difficult to control.

Pharaoh ants are pale yellow in colour and have darker red and black markings on their abdomens. They are becoming increasingly common in large buildings with central heating, such as high-rise blocks of flats and hospitals, where they pose a threat to public health. Any signs of a pharaoh ant infestation should trigger pest control action to be taken immediately.


A build-up of moisture is a big attraction for rats, though it is commonly overlooked as a source of a rodent problem. Business owners may take great care to keep their refuse areas clean and tidy, ensure all food is sealed as well as other pest control precautions, yet still they find rats are a problem. Often, it’s because there is a good source of moisture somewhere, which rats, of course, need to survive.

Mice don’t need free water to drink as they are normally able to obtain sufficient moisture from their food. That said, a thirsty mouse will seek out water wherever it can and if moisture in your building begins to attract just one or two and it turns out to be a hospitable environment, a mouse problem can ensue.

Signs of rodent infestation again include droppings, which will be scattered randomly wherever the creatures travel. You also need to look out for grease marks along walls, floors and skirting boards. You may also hear scratching noises between partition walls, under floorboards and in ceilings. Gnawing damage is also sure fire sign, as are footprints and tail prints in dusty environments. And if you see a mouse or a rat – either alive or dead – your building may be suffering from an infestation and the pest control professionals must be called in without delay.

Safeguard Pest Control

Pests need water to survive and excessive moisture in your commercial building can quickly lead to problems which only professional pest control specialists can relieve.

With over 30 years’ experience designing and executing bespoke pest control solutions for a wide range of commercial clients, Safeguard Pest Control has the knowledge and expertise to tackle infestations in all types of property. Get in touch today to organise a free site survey.

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