Every home is vulnerable to pests like insects and rodents. Even newly constructed homes aren’t pest-proof. And of course, older homes tend to have more issues when it comes to keeping out unwanted critters.
Insects and rodents aren’t just creepy crawlies. Some can cause structural damage to your home, contribute to health problems and allergies, and damage food, clothing, and other valuable possessions.
Despite what many people think, home pest control isn’t a one-time project. Keeping pests away requires regular, preventive maintenance. Today, let’s look at how you can create a year-round home pest control plan. We’ll also talk about the common pests to be on the lookout for if you live in the Portland or Vancouver area.
Common Local Pests & The Problems They Cause
Norway Rats & Roof Rats
The Norway Rat and the Roof Rat are the two most common rodents in the Portland and Vancouver area. Rats eat a lot and produce a lot of waste. Their droppings and urine can stain and damage furniture, clothes, and even wood floors. A more serious concern, however, is the fact that these rats can carry Typhus, Salmonella, and Jaundice, which can be passed along to humans.
Rats are sneaky and nocturnal, meaning you might not see them until it’s too late. Rats and mice can chew through wood, walls, any type of plastic and even concrete to make nests and find food.
The key to controlling and eliminating rat infestations is frequent inspections of the exterior of your home. Even the largest rats can squeeze through an opening about the size of a penny! And mice can fit through a hole as small as a dime. So it’s important to seal even the smallest holes near the roof, eaves, doors, and foundation– as well as areas around pipes and electrical wiring.
Small Black Ants
These small black ants are the bane of many homeowners’ existence. They’re tiny and can get into a home through the smallest space. They’re voracious and will seek out the tiniest pieces of food or bits of sugar. And they’re tough to get rid of.
To fight ants, treat the inside of your home as a deterrent. Then create a perimeter around your house that the ants won’t want to cross.
Even then, regular treatments are needed to keep these little pests at bay. Today’s products break down within 90 days or less so regular reapplication every 3 months maintains that constant barrier against reentry and a recurring infestation.
When carpenter ants live in the forest, they’re great for the environment. They chew up and break down old and fallen trees, allowing new trees to take their place. But when carpenter ants get into your home, they can cause serious structural damage.
Carpenter ants prefer moist wood, so waterproofing your home can be a good preventive measure. If there is an infestation, it must be eliminated to prevent further damage.
For the most part, the spiders in our area aren’t particularly poisonous and they can actually help keep other pests at bay! But some spider bites really hurt and can be serious if not treated properly.
The use of eco-friendly pest control products can eliminate spiders inside your home and can also create an effective perimeter barrier along the exterior of your home.
Your Year-Round Home Pest Control
Spring & Early Summer
When making a year-round home pest control plan, one of the keys is to stop pests from entering your home in the first place. The best time to do this is in the spring or early summer when many rodents and insects are becoming active after colder weather.
During this time of year, you’ll want to:
- Inspect the exterior of your home for signs of infestations and areas that need attention
- Keep an eye out for signs of pest activity inside your home to catch infestations early
- Have a licensed pest-control professional treat the foundation, roofline, and areas around doors and windows
In our area, the hottest summer months have high levels of insect and rodent activity. Pests are actively searching out and collecting food to get them through the winter. They’ll also be looking for places to nest or start a colony that are protected from the elements.
During this time of year, you’ll want to:
- Continue treating the exterior of your home to prevent pests from entering your house
- Inspect your yard, patio, play structures and other outdoor furniture for signs of insect life
As the weather cools during the end of summer and early fall months, some pests will become more active– especially young rodents. Wasps and ants can multiply quickly during the summer, leading to huge colonies that need attention during the fall.
Here’s what to do during autumn:
- Keep a sharp eye out for insect and rodent life inside your home.
- Continue treating the exterior of your home to reinforce the perimeter barrier you created earlier in the year
- Watch for spiders and ants which will start to show up in larger numbers
- When you take your sweaters and winter clothes out of storage, look for moth damage
During the coldest winter months, pests will be looking to take shelter inside of your home. Rats and mice will stay active all winter, while wasps and other bugs will stay dormant until the spring.
Because insects tend to be less active during the winter, it’s especially important to:
- Thoroughly clean any outdoor furniture or yard toys before storing them in your attic or garage
- Watch for signs of rodent activity, including urine and droppings
- Treat the interior of your home to prevent against insect activity once the weather starts to warm up again
Your Home Can Be Pest Free. Worry Free. All Year Long.
Creating (and sticking to) a year-round home pest control plan might sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. A little work each season will go a long way towards keeping your home insect- and rodent-free.
At EcoCare Pest Solutions, we can help. Our Eco-Shield program is designed to include seasonal treatments and provide year-round home pest control against the most common pests in the area. We’ll come as often as needed to take care of any pests that might show up.
We only use eco-friendly pest control products that are safe for people and pets. You won’t even have to leave your home while we work! If you’re interested in learning more about how our year-round pest control program can protect your home and your family, contact us today.