15 Tell-Tale Signs That You’re a Property Has Been Used as an Illegal Meth-Lab


If you’re a property owner and you’ve been renting various homes out for short-stay tenants, this is something that you should certainly read into. In Australia, the amount of people using short-stay accommodation to set up temporary meth-labs is on the rise! It’s a scary statistic, when you consider how dangerous the drug is and how close to home it can be. In this post we’re going to explore 15 signs how to spot a meth lab. Have a read through and if you spot many of these problems in one of your recently vacated properties then you should certainly contact the authorities to be on the safe side.

1 – Bad Smells and Strong Odours

Sure, it’s not unusual for a property to smell after certain tenants have moved out, though if you can smell the following odours rather prominently, this could be a sign: urine, acetone, ammonia and solvents.

2 – Yellow, Sticky Stains on the Walls

If you notice heavy staining on the walls, similar to that of nicotine, then that’s a strong sign. (Particularly if the tenants were only staying for a short period)

3 – Used and Discarded Coffee Filters

Of course, there’s nothing strange about finding coffee filters in a home, everybody loves coffee. However, if you notice an unusual amount and you’re ticking many of the other boxes then this is a sign. Coffee filters can be used as part of the meth production process.

4 – Jars and Rubber Tubing

Such jars might have been used to hold the various chemicals and ingredients used to produce meth.

5 – Baking Dishes

If you notice any discarded baking dishes with a crystal-like residue at the bottom, then it’s likely they were used for baking meth and other crystal-based narcotics.

6 – Burnt Patches in Your Garden

If at this point you’ve ticked off a number of these boxes, then it’s fair to say that they likely weren’t having a BBQ in your garden. So, the burnt patched of grass can be explained by the tenants disposing of toxic and corrosive chemicals.

7 – Layered Liquids

If you come across layered liquids in jars, then you need to contact a Bio Recovery team immediately. Do not attempt to open the jars, don’t even pick them up, they could be incredibly dangerous.

8 – Covered Windows

It’s not unusual for someone to drawer their curtains at night, but to never open them? If the tenants seem to be doing all they can to block them out, then you should treat that as highly suspicious.

9 – Lab Equipment

It’s highly unlikely that any lab equipment was used for anything other than illicit behaviour.

10 – Lots of Excess Packaging

Unless its Christmas, you should treat plenty of excess packaging and boxes as suspicious.

11 – Empty Chemical Drums

Again, there can be no other explanation as to why someone has left empty chemical drums at your property! Treat this as suspicious and contact the authorities immediately.

12 – Regular, Short Visits

If you have witnessed or been informed about many regular and short visits taking place at your property, then this is a tell-tale sign of illicit drug-related activity.

13 – Inaccessible

If you’re unable to gain access to your property, then there’s a good chance that illegal behaviour is going on inside and you should report your suspicions.

14 – Lookouts

If you have witnessed or have been informed about people near your property who is always on the look-out, contact the authorities.

15 – Newly Installed Security Systems

It would be highly unusual for a temporary tenant to invest in a security camera outside the property – not unless they were terribly concerned about their safety. If you spot this, you should treat this as a potential sign of illicit drug related behaviour.


If you spot any of these things and you have your suspicious you should not hesitate to get in contact with the authorities. If they have already left and you stumble upon any of the above, make sure that you get in contact with a bio recovery team as well. Do not attempt to touch anything; lock the property and exit safely and quickly then wait for the relevant parties to arrive.