Do you need a Smoke/Vapor Test?

Insects and rodents do not always use the front door when they let themselves into your home.

A complete structural inspection should always accompany pest or rodent infestations to properly identify the points of entry. Rodents can take many avenues to enter your home or business only requiring a space as small as ¼" in order to access a structure. Rodents can burrow underneath structures, enter through the roof by access through mature vegetation touching the structure, gain access to interior walls through a/c high pressure lines, come in through open doors and can enter through the sewer system when bath traps are allowed to dry out or through broken/open stack pipes.


If a structure experiences rodent activity, it is imperative that the access areas be sealed to prevent further rodent activity. As rodents do not have bladders, they are leaving urine trails signaling other rodents that the structure is a safe haven. If rodents are free to come and go from a structure as they please (through access points that were not identified), interior trapping will not correct the problem. All access points must be properly sealed with appropriate materials. A rodent specialist is your best option. A specialist understands the foraging habits and the behavior resistance patterns of these animals. It is always necessary to review every potential point of entry or the problem could continue indefinitely.


Rodents are known to develop behavior resistance. These highly intelligent creatures pay attention to their surroundings. They run in areas that they know are safe. Trap placement is a crucial part of a successful trapping session. NEVER USE BAITS FOR INTERIOR RODENT ISSUES. Bait products for rodents are for exterior use only and should never be used for an interior problem. Once a rodent has ingested the baits, it's time is limited. If baits are used on the interior, a rodent can ingest it and fall into the wall void where it will be left to decompose. At that point, the decomposition odor will penetrate through the walls and into the structure. This is not an ideal situation and can be easily avoided if baits are only used on the exterior of the structure. Baits should only be used once the structure has been completely evaluated and deemed as sealed.


PestShield will always exhaust all sources to rid a structure of these nuisance pests. Starting with the structural evaluation and determining whether or not the structure is sealed, then interior traps will be set and monitored until no further activity. If activity continues beyond an average trapping session period, PestShield will recommend a Vapor Test to be performed as the possibility exists for inaccessible sewer lines and vent detachments. These measures must be completed in order to continue trapping, due to rodent behavior resistance. Taking these steps will ensure successful infestation elimination.

When it comes time to perform a smoke/vapor test, PestShield has developed a relationship with local plumbing companies to get the job done timely and professionally. PestShield has successfully relied on these local companies to assist in resolving rodent and roach issues that could not be resolved through all other avenues taken. 

Once the vapor test reveals the problem area, video detection and other sensing equipment is used to pinpoint the exact location. The compromised pipe can then be accessed and repaired with minimal structural disruption.

Another Problem Solved!

A recent job illustrates how a Vapor Test can save you a lot of frustration and money over time. Homeowners in Sarasota have had an intermittent problem with rats in the attic space of a home they purchased in 2010. In the last couple of months, the problem had gotten much worse with up to 6 rats per week being trapped in the attic. PestShield evaluated the exterior of the structure and found it to be properly sealed. The bath traps were also full. The next logical step was to have a vapor test performed.

PestShield recruited and local plumbing company and in less than an hour the access point was determined. The previous homeowners failed to complete a DIY home project. They had removed a wet bar and capped off the drain lines properly, but simply placed duct tape over the PVC drain line and proceeded to drywall over the area revealing nothing to the new homeowners. Rodents can chew through lead. A little piece of duct tape is certainly not enough to seal a pipe to keep them out. Without PestShield and SPT, the homeowners would not have known about an open drain pipe behind the living room wall. A four year problem has now been concluded.

If you have a roach or rodent problem that has persisted and no one has been able to resolve, please give us a call.