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Help! A Squirrel Got Into My House: What to Do Next

Your heart sinks as you realize: a squirrel has made its way into your house. You’re minding your own business at home, perhaps enjoying a quiet afternoon, when suddenly you hear the unmistakable sound of tiny feet scurrying across your ceiling. Panic may set in, but fear not!

Here’s what you need to do next:

1. Stay Calm: While it’s understandable to feel alarmed, maintaining a sense of calm is essential. Panicking may only exacerbate the situation and make it more difficult to address.

2. Locate the Entry Point: Your priority should be to identify how the squirrel gained access to your home. Inspect the exterior of your house for any gaps, holes, or openings that the squirrel may have used to enter.

3. Secure Pets and Children: If you have pets or young children, ensure their safety by keeping them away from the area where the squirrel is located. Squirrels can be unpredictable and may become aggressive if they feel threatened.

4. Call a Professional: Handling a squirrel infestation on your own can be challenging and potentially hazardous. It’s best to enlist the help of a professional wildlife removal service. They have the expertise, tools, and experience to safely and effectively remove the squirrel from your home.

5. Minimize Disturbance: While waiting for the professionals to arrive, try to minimize noise and disturbances in the area where the squirrel is located. Avoid startling or cornering the squirrel, as this may provoke it to lash out or cause further damage.

6. Assess Damage: Once the squirrel has been removed, assess any damage it may have caused to your home. Squirrels can wreak havoc on insulation, wiring, and structural materials, so it’s essential to address any repairs promptly.

7. Prevent Future Infestations: Take proactive measures to prevent future squirrel infestations by sealing off potential entry points around your home. Trim tree branches away from your house, repair damaged vents or screens, and secure garbage bins to deter squirrels from accessing your property.

Why would a squirrel come into someone’s house? 

A squirrel would come into someone’s house primarily for warmth.

They have fur and those nice coats but rodents tend to lose heat pretty rapidly.  If you don’t have a place to feel safe during the winter or to store food, come spring you may not survive. And so, they’re coming in there for warmth, for security, and for a place to store food.

Remember, if a squirrel gets into your house, swift action is key. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help to safely remove the intruder and mitigate any damage to your home. With the right approach, you can quickly resolve the situation and restore peace to your household.

Squirrels: How to Remove Them

Feeling frantic because a furry acrobat has taken up unexpected residence in your home? Don’t despair! EcoCare Pest Control is here to help. While this blog post offers valuable tips for coaxing the critter out safely, for a more visual demonstration, check out our informative video “Squirrels: How to Remove Them.” This video provides step-by-step instructions on humane eviction methods, from creating a one-way escape route to utilizing exclusion techniques to prevent future intrusions.

With a combination of our expert advice and the clear visuals in the video, you’ll be well-equipped to address your squirrel situation with confidence. Contact EcoCare now!

EcoCare’s Guide to Battling Rodents in Portland and Vancouver

Pest control is a field that requires not just skill but a genuine interest in the creatures it aims to manage. This is a story about Jimmy, a dedicated pest control specialist with a focus on rodents. His journey into the world of pest control began uniquely, driven by both a childhood curiosity and a passion for solving problems in innovative ways.

From Childhood Curiosity to Professional Expertise

Jimmy’s professional career in pest control was driven by his love for the outdoors and problem-solving. The presence of rodents is a universal issue, affecting locations worldwide, except perhaps the most extreme environments like Antarctica.

For nearly a decade, Jimmy has been with EcoCare, a company that values hands-on problem-solving and provides the opportunity to make a tangible difference in people’s lives. Unlike the monotony of a traditional 9-to-5 job, pest control offers dynamic challenges with each new day. The work involves not just identifying infestations but understanding the story behind them—from entry points to the reasons behind a rodent’s presence.

Working in pest control, particularly with EcoCare, has allowed Jimmy to address unique problems daily. His role goes beyond just eliminating pests; it’s about creating a narrative, identifying how and why an infestation began, and devising a plan to end it effectively. It’s this level of engagement and responsibility that makes the job so rewarding.

What has kept Jimmy loyal to EcoCare over the years is the sense of family and community within the company. From the supportive office staff to the shared values and mutual respect among colleagues, EcoCare embodies a culture of care and altruism that’s rare in today’s corporate world.

Tackling Rodent Problems in Home

Rodents are a common issue in many households, not just in Portland but across the country. These uninvited guests can cause a significant amount of damage and stress. Understanding the types of rodents you might encounter, their habits, and how to detect their presence is essential for every homeowner.

In Portland, as in many parts of the United States, the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) reigns as the most prevalent rodent. This species is adaptable and can be found in urban and suburban settings alike. However, it’s not the only rodent that might visit your home. Roof rats (Rattus rattus) and various mice species, including the house mouse and deer mouse, are also common.

Distinguishing between a mouse and a rat, especially when they are young, can be challenging. Adult specimens are easier to differentiate, but the younglings can look strikingly similar. Look out for size differences in the head and feet – baby rats have disproportionately large heads and feet compared to their bodies, unlike their mouse counterparts, which appear more proportionate. Additionally, rats have distinct coloring, which can help in telling them apart from mice.

Signs of Rodent Activity in Your Home

Sounds and Smells: The earliest signs of a rodent infestation are often auditory. You might hear noises like gnawing or scratching, particularly at night, as most rodents are nocturnal. A distinct odor is another giveaway; rodents leave behind urine droplets that can accumulate and produce a noticeable smell, signaling their presence.

Physical Evidence: Finding droppings or physical damage, such as chewed wires or furniture, is a clear indicator of rodents. These pests need to gnaw continuously to keep their teeth from overgrowing, which can lead to significant damage to your home.

Understanding Roof Rats and Squirrels

Roof rats and squirrels, while often seen as mere pests, play significant roles in our urban ecosystem. Their presence, though sometimes unwelcome, sparks important discussions about humane control methods and coexistence.

Roof Rats: Roof rats, known for their agility and preference for high places, lead secretive lives. They’re most active at night, seeking shelter in nests that resemble those of birds or squirrels. These nests, often found in trees or dense greenery, provide safety from predators. Despite common misconceptions, roof rats aren’t inherently aggressive. They prefer to avoid human interaction, only showing aggression when cornered with no escape route.

Squirrels: Squirrels, with their playful antics and acrobatic skills, are a common sight in many neighborhoods. However, their charm quickly fades when they make their way into our homes, seeking warmth and nesting materials. These incursions can lead to significant damage, as squirrels don’t shy away from gnawing on insulation, wiring, and drywall. Immediate intervention by professionals is advised to mitigate damage and safely remove these furry intruders.

Discouraging Unwanted Visitors: The idea that ultrasonic emitters or peppermint oil can deter these rodents is more myth than fact. Real deterrence comes from modifying the habitat around your home. This includes securing food sources like bird feeders and pet food, and minimizing nesting opportunities by keeping the yard tidy and free of debris.

Embracing Humane Rodent Control: Humane rodent control is about understanding and respect. By acknowledging the natural behaviors and needs of these creatures, we can devise strategies that keep them out of our homes while allowing them to thrive in their natural habitat. This approach benefits both humans and wildlife, fostering a harmonious coexistence.

Secret Lives of Norway Rats and Mice

Norway rats, a term that may mislead you into picturing these creatures roaming the Norwegian countryside, are in fact more commonly found beneath our feet, in the underground realms of sewers and burrows. Despite their name, these rats are not exclusive to Norway. In an interesting twist, Norwegians refer to them as the Swedish rat.

One of the more unsettling abilities of the Norway rat is their capacity to navigate through sewer lines and, given the opportunity, up through our toilets. This might sound like a scene from a horror movie, but it’s a surprisingly common occurrence if there’s a breach in the sewer line. However, there’s no need to panic. Solutions such as fixing the sewer line and installing one-way flaps can prevent these unwanted visits. The design of plumbing, specifically the P-trap, usually keeps odors and, one would hope, rats out of our homes.

While some pests are seasonal, mice make themselves known throughout the year, with their presence more noticeable during the colder months. This increase in visibility is due to their search for warmth and shelter, which often leads them into our homes. It’s crucial to recognize that even a single mouse can signal the start of an infestation. Mice reproduce rapidly, with a pair potentially leading to a population explosion in a matter of weeks.

Discovering rodents in your home can be distressing, but it’s important to remain calm and act promptly. Rodent infestations can lead to significant damage and pose health risks, making immediate action crucial. Professional pest control services are often the best solution, but there are also steps you can take yourself. Inspecting your home for entry points and sealing them can help prevent rodents from making your home theirs.

Key Entry Points for Mice in Homes

Mice, with their small size and nimble nature, can find their way into homes through surprisingly small openings. Understanding where these critters are most likely to enter can help homeowners fortify their defenses against unwelcome guests. Three primary entry points have been identified:

  1. Garage Door Gaps: The small spaces below the garage door seal are often overlooked, yet they provide a perfect entry point for mice. Regular inspections for signs of chewing or gaps can help identify potential vulnerabilities.
  2. Damaged Vent Screens: Vents around the foundation of a house are essential for air circulation but can also serve as entryways for mice if the screens are damaged.
  3. Basement and Crawl Space Gaps: Areas under front or rear porches that are inaccessible for regular checks are attractive hiding spots for mice. These gaps leading into basements or crawl spaces can be crucial points of entry for these pests.

By keeping an eye on these areas and taking preventive measures, homeowners can significantly reduce the likelihood of a mouse infestation.

Unveiling Vancouver’s Most Common Mouse

Vancouver, a city known for its lush landscapes and urban sophistication, is also home to various wildlife, including mice. While the house mouse has long been considered the most common type in this area, recent observations suggest a change in this urban wildlife dynamic. The Western deer mouse, a species not as commonly associated with urban environments, is now believed to be more prevalent in Vancouver than its house mouse counterpart.

When it comes to managing pests, including the now prevalent Western deer mouse, residents of Vancouver and nearby Portland have a clear favorite: EcoCare Pest Control. Known for their effective and environmentally friendly approaches, EcoCare stands out as a trusted partner for homeowners looking to protect their spaces from unwanted visitors. Their reputation in the community is a testament to their commitment to quality service and effective pest management solutions.

Conclusion

In this extensive conversation with Jimmy, a pest control specialist with a focus on rodents and a nine-year tenure at EcoCare, he provides a comprehensive look into the world of pest management, particularly regarding rodents. Jimmy’s initial intrigue with rodents began at a young age and has evolved into a professional passion for understanding and managing these creatures, citing their adaptability and prolific nature as key areas of interest. His expertise is not just limited to the technical aspects of pest control but also extends to the environmental and humane considerations of managing rodent populations. 

Jimmy emphasizes the importance of habitat modification over the use of traps and baits as a primary strategy, advocating for a more informed and humane approach to pest management. His dedication to his work is evident through his detailed knowledge of rodents, their behaviors, and the various strategies for their management, underscoring his commitment to solving pest issues while also considering the well-being of the animals involved.

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Rethinking Rodent Control: Top 5 Alternatives and Strategies

This guide explores a range of alternative rodent control methods that are not only effective but also create a more sustainable and harmonious environment for both humans and wildlife. Rodents, those furry (or sometimes scaly) little trespassers, can quickly turn a dream home into a nightmare. Droppings, chewed wires, and the constant pitter-patter of tiny feet – these unwelcome guests not only cause property damage but also pose health risks. Traditionally, snap traps and poison baits have been the go-to solutions for rodent control. However, these methods raise concerns about safety, environmental impact, and effectiveness.

Rodents: Signs of Infestation, How to Find Them & Get Rid of Them

Here at EcoCare Pest Control, we believe in a smarter approach – one that focuses on long-term prevention and eco-friendly solutions.

Let’s delve into the world beyond the bait trap and discover how to create a rodent-resistant haven for your home:

1. Making Your Home Uninviting: Habitat Modification

Think of your property as a potential rodent resort. Would it entice a discerning guest (with whiskers and a penchant for chewing)? The key to deterring these unwanted visitors lies in making their stay as unpleasant as possible. Here’s how:

  • Seal Up the Cracks: Rodents are masters of squeezing through the tiniest gaps. Conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior, focusing on areas around pipes, utility lines, and foundation cracks. Use caulk, weather stripping, or metal flashing to seal any potential entry points. Don’t forget about doors, windows, and vents – even a small gap is an open invitation.
  • Declutter the Indoors and Out: Rodents love clutter – it provides them with hiding spots and potential nesting materials. Minimize clutter inside your home by storing food in airtight containers, keeping floors and countertops clean, and eliminating any unnecessary piles of magazines or newspapers. Extend this decluttering mission to your yard. Keep firewood stacked neatly off the ground, trim overgrown vegetation back from your house, and remove any piles of leaves or debris that might provide shelter for rodents.
  • Food Fort Knox: Food is the ultimate rodent magnet. Practice meticulous sanitation habits: sweep crumbs regularly, wipe down counters after food preparation, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Store all food items (including pet food) in airtight containers and ensure your trash cans have secure lids. By eliminating readily available food sources, you make your home significantly less attractive to these hungry pests.

2. Changing the Landscape: Environmental Modifications

Remember, your property exists within a larger ecosystem. Making some adjustments to your outdoor environment can further discourage rodent activity:

  • Trim Back the Bushes: Dense vegetation close to your house can create a rodent highway. Maintain a healthy distance between shrubs and your foundation walls to eliminate easy access points and hiding spots.
  • Elevate Your Firewood: Don’t provide a cozy rodent condo right next to your house. Store firewood off the ground, ideally on a raised platform or in a shed with secure walls.
  • Secure Your Trash: A overflowing trash can is a buffet for any self-respecting rodent. Use sturdy outdoor trash bins with tight-fitting lids and ensure they are emptied regularly. Consider using bungee cords or latches to secure the lids further, especially if you live in an area with a high rodent population.
  • Bird Feeder Bonanza (Gone Wrong): While attracting birds can be a delightful addition to your backyard, overflowing bird feeders can also attract unwanted guests. Choose feeders with features that deter rodents, such as weight-activated closing mechanisms or seed guards. Clean up any spilled seeds regularly to avoid creating a feast for both birds and rodents.

3. Natural Solutions: Encouraging Predators

Nature has a way of balancing itself. By encouraging natural predators of rodents, you can create a more sustainable solution for long-term control:

  • Become a Haven for Hawks and Owls: These natural rodent hunters can be valuable allies in your battle against unwanted furry guests. Consider installing nesting boxes or perching structures in your yard to attract these avian predators. Research the specific species of owls and hawks native to your area and choose nesting box designs that cater to their needs.
  • Welcome the Slithery Squad (Carefully): While the thought might send shivers down some spines, snakes can be effective natural rodent deterrents. Of course, this approach requires caution – only consider this option if you are comfortable with snakes and if the species in your area are non-venomous. Research local snake populations and ensure any snake-friendly habitat modifications you create do not pose a threat to humans or pets.

4. Exclusion Tactics: Keeping Them Out (continued):

Here are a few exclusion methods to fortify your home against rodent infiltration:

  • Wire Mesh Warriors: Install sturdy wire mesh around crawl space vents, foundation openings, and any other potential entry points. Choose a mesh with a small enough gauge to prevent even the most determined rodent from squeezing through.
  • Door Sweep Showdown: Ensure all exterior doors have a proper door sweep that creates a tight seal against the bottom of the door. This eliminates any gaps that might allow rodents to sneak in.
  • Chimney Cap Champions: Open chimneys are a potential entry point for rodents seeking warmth and shelter. Install a secure chimney cap with a fine mesh screen to prevent unwanted guests from using this access point.

5. Sanitation Strategies: Keeping it Clean

Rodents are drawn to filth and crumbs. Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment is crucial for long-term rodent prevention:

  • Wipe Up Spills Promptly: Don’t give rodents a chance to establish a feeding ground. Clean up any spills, food particles, or sugary drips immediately. Pay particular attention to areas around food preparation zones and underneath appliances.
  • Store Food Securely: Open bags of cereal, chips, or pet food are a siren song for rodents. Transfer all food items (including pet food) into airtight containers made of glass, metal, or thick plastic. This not only deters rodents but also keeps your food fresher for longer.
  • Empty the Trash Regularly: A overflowing trash can is an open invitation for rodents. Don’t let your garbage become a buffet – empty your trash cans regularly, especially those containing food scraps. Consider using trash cans with lids that latch shut to further deter determined scavengers.

Living in Harmony with Nature: A Sustainable Approach

By adopting these eco-friendly rodent control methods, you can create a more sustainable and harmonious environment for your home. This approach not only discourages unwanted guests but also minimizes the use of harmful chemicals and toxins. Remember, prevention is key. Regular inspections of your home’s exterior, consistent sanitation practices, and addressing potential entry points can go a long way in keeping your home rodent-free.

When Professional Help is Needed

If you suspect you have a rodent infestation, or if your DIY efforts haven’t been successful, don’t hesitate to contact a professional pest control company like EcoCare Pest Control. We offer a range of safe and effective rodent control solutions, tailored to the specific needs of your home and property. Our experienced technicians will identify the source of the infestation, implement a targeted control plan, and advise you on long-term prevention strategies.

Together, we can create a healthy and rodent-free environment for you and your family. Contact EcoCare Pest Control today for a free consultation and peace of mind knowing your home is protected.

Squirrels Removal and Control – Do I need a Professional?

Scampering across power lines, darting through trees, and playfully burying nuts – squirrels are a familiar sight in many neighborhoods. While their energetic antics might bring a touch of charm to your yard, these bushy-tailed rodents can quickly become unwelcome guests if they find their way inside your home.

At EcoCare Pest Control, we understand the challenges squirrels can pose. They chew through wires, damage insulation, and leave droppings that can pose health risks. This blog post will delve into the world of squirrel removal and control, helping you decide whether tackling the situation yourself is feasible or if calling in a professional is the best course of action.

Squirrels: Friend or Foe?

Squirrels are intelligent, adaptable creatures that play a vital role in the ecosystem. They help disperse seeds, control insect populations, and even contribute to soil health through their digging activities. Watching them scamper and frolic in your yard can be an enjoyable experience.

However, the playful charm of squirrels can quickly fade when they decide your attic is the perfect spot for their next nest. They are notorious chewers, causing significant damage to electrical wiring, insulation, and even structural elements of your home. Additionally, their droppings can harbor harmful bacteria and parasites, posing a health risk to your family.

Signs of a Squirrel Infestation

Here are some telltale signs that you might have unwelcome guests with bushy tails:

  • Strange noises: Scratching, gnawing, or scurrying sounds emanating from your attic or walls.
  • Droppings: Small, dark, pellet-shaped droppings discovered in your attic, crawl space, or near potential entry points.
  • Chewed wires: Exposed or frayed wires could be the result of a squirrel’s relentless chewing habits.
  • Nesting materials: Shredded insulation, leaves, or other debris near vents or chimneys might indicate a squirrel nest.
  • Entry points: Look for gaps or holes around your roofline, soffits, vents, or chimneys that could be potential entry points.

DIY Squirrel Removal: Consider the Risks

If you discover a squirrel infestation in its early stages, you might be tempted to tackle the situation yourself. Here’s a critical point to consider: DIY methods often come with inherent risks. Improper handling of squirrels can expose you to diseases they carry, and ineffective trapping or exclusion attempts can further aggravate the problem.

When to Call a Professional: EcoCare Pest Control to the Rescue

There are several compelling reasons to consider calling a professional pest control company like EcoCare when dealing with a squirrel infestation:

  • Expertise and Safe Removal: Our trained technicians can identify the type of squirrel, understand their behavior, and implement safe and effective removal strategies.
  • Comprehensive Solutions: EcoCare goes beyond just removing the squirrels. We identify and seal entry points to prevent future infestations.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing a qualified professional is handling the situation allows you to focus on other aspects of your life with complete peace of mind.

EcoCare’s Squirrel Removal Process: A Streamlined Approach

At EcoCare, we believe in a comprehensive approach to squirrel removal that ensures the long-term protection of your home. Here’s our typical process:

  • Inspection: A thorough inspection to identify entry points and assess the infestation’s extent.
  • Squirrel Removal: Safe and humane removal of the squirrels from your home, following all local regulations.
  • Exclusion: Sealing all entry points to prevent future infestations, including repairs to damaged areas.

This streamlined process ensures a swift and effective solution to your squirrel problem, protecting your home and your family. Contact EcoCare Pest Control today for a free consultation and let us help you reclaim your home from these unwelcome guests.

Identifying Roof Rats: Signs and Solutions

Roof rats, often mistaken for their more common counterparts, the Norway rats, can cause significant damage to homes and pose health risks to occupants. Identifying these elusive pests early is crucial for effective pest management. Here, we’ll delve into the signs of roof rat infestation and discuss how to address the issue.

Roof rats during the day are in their nesting site, and those nesting sites can often look like tree, like bird nests or squirrel nests outside. Although it’s not common to see an active rat nest in a tree for obvious reasons because hawks would pick it apart and eat it. 

You will see roof rat nests in trees and green spaces, and they look very similar to squirrel nests, or in some cases bird nests.  Roof rats will also hang out in your crawl space or in bushes at the bottom of Arborvita, same with Norway rats, except Norway rats also have an amazing ability to build burrows and networks.

A lot of the time Norway rats will be underground during the day.

Signs of Roof Rat Infestation:

Like any living creature, rats are simply searching for the essentials: food, water, and shelter. Unfortunately, your home can unknowingly provide all three, creating a haven for these unwelcome guests.

Ever heard a skittering sound in the dead of night, only to find droppings in your pantry the next morning? Chances are, you’ve just encountered the unwelcome presence of rats. These unwelcome guests are not only creepy crawlies, but they can also pose serious health risks and cause significant property damage. But what exactly attracts these furry fiends to your home in the first place?

This article dives into the world of rats and explores the key reasons why they might choose your home as their new digs. We’ll also introduce a helpful video resource, “Rats: What Causes Them to Come Into Your House,” to provide you with a visual understanding of these rodent attractants.

1. Droppings: Roof rat droppings are distinctive, typically around ½ inch long with pointed ends. They are smaller and more slender than Norway rat droppings, resembling rice grains.

2. Gnaw Marks: Look for gnaw marks on wires, pipes, and structural materials. Roof rats have a penchant for chewing, which can lead to damaged insulation, wiring, and even structural instability.

3. Nests: Roof rats construct nests in secluded areas such as attics, crawl spaces, and tree branches. Nests are made from shredded materials like paper, cloth, and plant matter.

4. Scurrying Noises: Roof rats are nocturnal creatures, so you may hear scratching or scurrying noises in the attic or walls during the night.

5. Visual Sightings: Although roof rats are adept at staying hidden, you may occasionally spot them darting along wires or tree branches, especially at dusk or dawn.

Steps to Confirm Infestation:

1. Inspection: Conduct a thorough inspection of your property, focusing on areas where roof rats are likely to nest or travel.

2. Dropping Analysis: If you find droppings, take clear photos and send them to a pest control professional for identification.

3. Monitoring: Set up traps in strategic locations to capture and identify any suspected roof rats.

Addressing Roof Rat Infestation:

By understanding the reasons why rats might be drawn to your home, you’re empowered to take action. Here are some initial steps to deter these unwanted guests:

1. Seal Entry Points: Prevent roof rats from entering your home by sealing cracks, gaps, and holes in the exterior walls and roof.

2. Remove Food Sources: Keep food stored in airtight containers, clean up spills promptly, and secure garbage bins to minimize potential food sources for roof rats.

3. Trim Vegetation: Trim tree branches and shrubs away from your home to eliminate potential pathways for roof rats to access your roof.

4. Use Traps: Place traps in areas where roof rats are active, using bait like peanut butter or dried fruit to lure them.

5. Professional Pest Control: If infestation persists despite your efforts, consult with a licensed pest control professional to develop a targeted treatment plan.

Early detection and proactive measures are key to managing roof rat infestations effectively. By familiarizing yourself with the signs of infestation and taking appropriate steps to address the issue, you can safeguard your home and prevent potential damage and health risks associated with these elusive pests.

Rodents wreaking havoc in your pantry? Strange noises keeping you up at night? Rats can be a nuisance and a health hazard. Don’t share your home with these uninvited guests any longer!

At EcoCare Pest Control, we understand the frustration and worry that comes with a rat infestation. Our experienced technicians can quickly identify the source of the problem and implement safe and effective removal strategies. We’ll not only remove existing rats but also seal up entry points to prevent future invasions.