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Simple Ways to Stop Ants in Their Tracks

Simple Ways to Stop Ants in Their Tracks

Ant infestations are the worst. Unfortunately, here in the Pacific Northwest they’re a regular part of life. In addition to being gross and inconvenient, they can be hard to truly get rid of.

At EcoCare Pest Solutions, we have tons of experience purging Ants from Portland homes once and for all. In this month’s post, we’ll go over…

  • Why Ant infestations develop
  • Home hotspots for Ant infestations
  • How to get rid of Ant infestations

Why do Ant infestations develop?

Depending on the type of Ant that has taken up residence in your home, your infestation could be caused by a variety of factors. For most households though, the cause comes down to 1 of 2 factors (or in many cases both):

  • Food source: Ants are always looking for food. Once they find a supply, they won’t leave until the supply is gone. Pet food, sugary food, and rogue crumbs are common targets for Ants.
  • Ant nest: Once an Ant nest has been established, your home will be a target until it’s eliminated. Ants love wet and rotting wood, so if your home has recently experienced water damage or is currently experiencing a leak, it’s particularly vulnerable.

Where are common hotspots for Ant infestations?

Did you know that the Ants you see are only 1-5% of the Ant population in your home?

While Ants can be found anywhere in the home, there are a couple places that are particularly vulnerable. These include:

  • Kitchens: Given an Ant’s drive for food, it should be no surprise that kitchens are the largest hotspot for Ant infestations in the home. This is especially true if food is left out, dishes pile up, or food is not well stored.
  • Bathrooms: Bathrooms are a hotspot of Ant behavior. Leaked water and moisture build up from showers providing an ideal home for Ants.
  • Walls and insulation: Ants (particularly Carpenter Ants) are quite commonly found inside walls and insulation. This can be particularly damaging since they may not make themselves immediately visible.
  • Rotted window frames: A particularly common way for Ants to get into your home, Ants often congregate around rotted windows. This provides both a place for nests to develop and a way for them to access the home in the first place.

5 Simple ways to stop Ant infestations

Keep danger areas clean

Given that most Ant infestations start with a food source and develop unchecked from there, the simplest way to stop Ants is to prevent the infestation from developing in the first place.

Ant colonies work by having “scout Ants” head out in search of food. Once they find sustenance, more Ants will follow to bring back food to the colony.

We recommend making sure all of the hotspots listed above are cleaned. Some other cleaning and storage tips to prevent Ant infestations include:

  • Cleaning up grease spills as soon as they happen
  • Thoroughly rinsing soda and juice containers before recycling
  • Not leaving any food in open air storage containers like bowls
  • Making sure any sugary foods are stored in tight containers and the containers are wiped clean after use
  • Be careful with pet food — bowls should be cleaned regularly and food should not be left out for long periods of time. Make sure to store in something other than an open bag, too!
  • Cleaning water build up in sinks or next to pipes immediately
  • Cleaning and scrubbing bathroom thoroughly
  • Making sure shampoo and soap containers in showers and bathtubs are sealed
  • Make sure any water or food spills in your bedroom are cleaned promptly. This is a particular issue in children’s bedrooms.

Find potential entry points and seal

Locating and sealing entry points will help stop the flow of Ants into your home. While it may seem like an impossible task given how small Ants are, the spots you should try to find are actually quite easy to locate and will go a long way. These spots include:

  • Torn window or door screens
  • Large openings under doors
  • Rotted windows
  • Cracks in your foundation

By sealing up these areas, you will help stop the flow of Ants and prevent a worsening of any infestation. Even if you don’t notice any Ants right now, looking and attempting to discover any entry points now may stop an infestation from developing.

Remove rotted wood

Ants love rotting wood. While even Carpenter Ants can make their way through solid, dry wood, they prefer and will tunnel through wet or water damaged wood.

If there are any areas that’ve been water damaged in your home, remove and repair the area immediately with new material. Even if it’s dry now, the wood has still been weakened if it’s suffered water damage, giving Ants an excellent opportunity to tunnel into your home and build a nest. This is particularly important in your bathroom, where water damage is common underneath flooring and behind cabinets and showers.

Eliminate Ant trails

It’s what every homeowner fears — getting home from a long day at work to see a trail of Ants in the kitchen. When you see this, act fast! Wipe up all of the Ants and dispose of them.

Clean the trail with a mixture of 1 parts vinegar to 3 parts water. This will stop the flow of Ants into your home from wherever they are traveling from, likely the outdoors. Unfortunately, while this will be an effective way of disorienting new Ants from getting to the nest, the Ants already in your home will not be leaving without further action.

Eliminate Ant nests

Eliminating an Ant colony nest is crucial to solving an Ant infestation. Any other solution will not truly rid your home of Ants. Unfortunately, in order to exterminate a nest you need to find it and come up with a safe way to destroy them.

While at times they can be easy to find, Ant nests are often found deep in walls, under floors, or even outside the home. This detective work often requires tasks that can be damaging to your home’s structure if not completed correctly.

And even if you do find the nest, making sure you destroy it with the proper extermination technique is extremely important. Sprays can be ineffective if not used correctly and bait solutions will not truly destroy the nest.

Hire an experienced Ant exterminator to locate and safely kill Ants

EcoCare Pest Solutions knows Ant extermination techniques and how to eliminate them safely from Portland and Vancouver homes. We’ve been doing it for over 18 years!

Learn how we can help you remove Ants from your home safely!

What Can Happen When You Ignore a Pest or Wildlife Infestation?

What Can Happen When You Ignore a Pest or Wildlife Infestation?

Let sleeping dogs lie. Don’t rock the boat. Go with the flow. Let the chips fall where they may.

Sometimes it makes sense to just let things be and see what happens. But when it comes to pest and wildlife infestations in your home, ignoring the problem is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

In today’s post we’ll talk about the damage that can be done by uncontrolled pest and wildlife infestations. You’ll also learn about how early detection and preventive treatments can keep your home, property, family, and pets safe.

Why do homeowners ignore pests?

There are many reasons homeowners may not want to acknowledge a pest problem in their homes. In many cases though, it’s not intentional. Many homeowners just don’t realize there’s a problem until it’s too late.

If they are ignoring pests in their home, generally it’s for one of these reasons:

  1. It’s a common but misguided belief that pests are seasonal or that they will “move on.” This just isn’t true. When pests have easy access to a food source or a place to nest and breed, they won’t be going anywhere!
  2. Some homeowners may worry about the toxicity of pest control treatments. In reality, our modern and eco-friendly treatments are completely safe for people and pets. You don’t even have to leave your home!

What’s at risk?

Bugs, rodents, and wildlife infestations aren’t just an annoying hassle. They’re serious sources of potential damage to your home, a common cause of destroyed property, and are even a potential health hazard to people and pets.

Let’s take a closer look at the damage pests and wildlife can do, the most common types of infestations, and the warning signs you need to watch out for.

Your home

Your home is your biggest investment. You wouldn’t ignore a leaky roof or a broken window, but too many Oregon and Washington homeowners overlook or ignore the warning signs of a potential bug or wildlife infestation.

Common culprits

What can happen

  • Structural damage to roof, siding, insulation, electrical systems, and foundation
  • Hard to clean and disease-causing droppings
  • Eventual possibility of damage to property and injury to pets

What to look for

  • Droppings
  • Footprints
  • Holes or other entry points for rodents and wildlife
  • Scratching sounds inside walls
  • Signs of wood chips or insects boring

Your belongings

Sure, your property is insured and things can always be replaced. But the headache and heartache of losing sentimental belongings due to damage from wildlife and insect infestations is completely avoidable.

 

Common culprits

What can happen

  • Moth larvae eat wool and other natural fibers, damaging clothing, furniture and other possessions
  • Ants, moths, and rodents get into stored food, meaning it all has to be thrown out
  • Rodents and wildlife chew through and nest in belongings stored in your garage or attic

What to look for

  • Damage to food containers or any container where belongings are stored for long periods of time
  • Moths in or around clothing – especially in attics or in seasonally stored garments
  • Adult insects of any kind in your home

Your family and pets

Don’t overlook the threat that some insects and pests pose to the people in your family – and to your pets, too! Even “helpful” insects like spiders that eat other bugs can inflict painful bites.

 

Common culprits

  • Raccoons
  • Bats
  • Opossums
  • Squirrels
  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Ants
  • Fleas
  • Spiders
  • Bed Bugs
  • Hornets and wasps

What to look for

  • Pets scratching or itching themselves as the result of Flea bites
  • Swollen and inflamed insect bites
  • Wasp or Hornet nests outside your home or in gutters and eaves
  • Signs of Bed Bugs like dark spots on bedsheets
  • Spider webs especially in sleeping areas

What can happen

  • Dogs and cats can fight with potentially diseased rodents and wildlife
  • People may suffer painful stings or allergic reactions to insect bites
  • Hornet and Wasp stings can be very painful and trigger dangerous anaphylactic shock even if you think you’re not allergic
  • Stressful Bed Bug infestations that are very difficult to eradicate
  • Wild mammals may carry rabies or other diseases

The importance of preventive pest and wildlife control

Inspect. Exclude. Exterminate.

It’s great to be on the lookout for the signs of pest infestations and invasive wildlife. But if you’re seeing damage to your home or property or your pets and family are being stung or bitten, the problem is already very advanced.

Preventive pest control can keep unwanted pests and critters out of your home and far away from your family, pets, and possessions. At EcoCare Pest Solutions, our experienced pest control technicians take a multi-faceted approach involving:

  1. Inspection – We not only look for signs of existing pest and wildlife infestations, we also look for the places pests may eventually use to gain access to your home. During our inspections we thoroughly examine the interior and exterior of your home, including pipes, electrical systems, your home’s foundation, and much more.
  2. Exclusion – Through the application of preventive treatments and repairs like sealing gaps and holes, we create a barrier pests can’t cross.
  3. Extermination – If an infestation is discovered, our eco-friendly treatments are specifically targeted to the pests we find. That means there’s no danger to your family or pets from toxic chemicals.

Protecting your home isn’t a one-time job

Just like your home’s roof that needs regular inspections and repairs, you should look at pest control as an ongoing investment. Here in the Portland and Vancouver area, different pests and animals are more active at different times of the year.

Seasonal inspections help keep pests out of your home all year round. Our annual Pest Insurance program includes:

  • 4 seasonal pest inspections
  • Eco-friendly pest control treatments
  • Protection against nearly 40 common pests

Compared to the cost of fighting entrenched pest infestations and the damage caused by pests, our Pest Insurance program can save homeowners hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year.

Ready to learn more?

If you’re ready to take action against pest and wildlife infestations, contact us today for a free in-home consultation. We’ll tell you more about our services and how we can help you protect your home and your family.

There’s no time like the present.

Rat or Mouse: Does It Even Matter?

Rat or Mouse: Does It Even Matter?

Do you have a sinking feeling your Portland or Vancouver home is suffering from a Rat or Mouse infestation? Unfortunately, here in the Pacific Northwest this is an all too common occurrence. If you’ve found droppings or noticed signs of rodent damage, you may not know whether it’s a Mouse or Rat. If you don’t know, does it matter?

In this post, we’ll answer that question. We’ll also outline the main differences between Rats and Mice and the damage they cause.

Already know you have a problem? Learn more about our Portland and Vancouver area Rat and Mice extermination services.

What’s the difference between Rats and Mice?

While both Rats and Mice are rodents, they have distinct characteristics that are important to recognize to help you identify which has infiltrated your home.

Rats

The two main types of Rats in the Portland and Vancouver areas include:

  • Norway Rats: Also known as Sewer Rats, these brown Rats are known for invading homes and will generally stay in the basement or first floor. They are larger than Roof Rats (generally 7-10 inches long not counting the tail). Their tails are always shorter than the body.
  • Roof Rats: While these black Rats are somewhat smaller than Norway Rats at around 6 inches long, they cause just as much trouble. Roof Rats have long tails and are climbers known to live in trees. When they make their way into homes, they generally live in walls, ceilings, or other elevated and enclosed spaces.

Mice

The most common types of Mice found in the Portland and Vancouver areas include:

  • House Mice: Also called “Field Mice,” these tiny creatures reside in fields when not leeching off humans. Once inside, these Mice reproduce rapidly and wreak havoc on your home. House Mice are generally 2.5-3.5 inches long not counting the tail, and have a light gray color.
  • Deer Mice: Found more frequently in rural areas, Deer Mice prefer seeking cover in less insulated structures like barns or sheds. When conditions are bad outside however, Deer Mice will infiltrate your home. Deer Mice are about the same size as House Mice, but with a gray and brown complexion.

Is it a Rat or Mouse in my home?

Though the problems Rats and Mice create are similar, they are distinct creatures with different behaviors and signs of infestation.

Rat and Mouse droppings

One of the most common ways to diagnose a rodent infestation is through the discovery of droppings. Simply put, rodent droppings will be found where they are most active. You’ll usually find the droppings near where rodents nest or eat. This could include:

  • Kitchens, including anywhere food is stored
  • Attic or basement
  • Cardboard boxes or other storage bins
  • Under furniture
  • Wherever you store clothes

Generally, you can determine the species of rodent by the type of droppings they create. Consult the below chart to determine whether your home has been infiltRated by Rats or Mice.

Take note: rodent droppings should be handled and inspected with extreme care. Rodent feces carries dangerous bacteria, viruses, and disease. If picking up, make sure you use rubber gloves and keep away from your face.

Rat

Mouse

Shape ¾ inch and curved and capsule shaped ¼ inch and spindle shaped
Quantity A few dozen droppings total a day 100-150 droppings total a day
Location

Places humans visit infrequently, including:

  • Attics
  • Garages
  • Basements
  • Roofs
  • Walls

They can also be found around kitchen areas

More apparent, Mice droppings can be found:

  • Behind kitchen appliances or furniture
  • Silverware drawer
  • Inside pantries
  • Storage boxes or containers

Can also be found in hidden places like walls, basement, and attics

Color Dark with shiny wet surface when fresh, turning gray and crumbly when old Fresh droppings will be black, with old droppings turning gray

Physical damage

Both Rats and Mice are tremendous chewers, working their way through anything in their path. A Rat’s front teeth actually grow 4.5-5.5 inches a year! This length is whittled down as they gnaw through objects.

The damage the two rodents inflict to Portland and Vancouver homes is actually quite similar to one another. Rats are bigger however, meaning that the damage they inflict is generally more severe than damage caused by Mice.

Some common household items or features of your home that Mice and Rats damage include:

  • Electrical wiring
  • HVAC units
  • Foundations
  • Ductwork
  • Plastic and even lead piping (primarily an issue with Rats)
  • Siding
  • Insulation
  • Crawlspaces
  • Roofs

The damage caused by Mice and Rats can result in serious, long-term problems for your home, such as:

  • Water damage, leading to rotting and mold
  • Fires caused by electrical issues
  • Structural weakening caused by issues in a home’s foundation
  • Energy waste, with heat and AC escaping through torn heat ducts or weakened siding and insulated walls
  • Broken appliances due to electrical or even structural damage to the appliance

Disease

Rodents are notorious for spreading disease, particularly Rats. Notably, the Roof Rat is responsible for the bubonic plague! The disease is generally carried and contracted either through fecal matter or insects. Getting rid of the rodents as soon as possible is extremely important!

This importance is compounded by the fact that Rats and Mice are notorious for making their way into stored food (The United Nations estimates that Rats alone destroy $19 billion worth of food annually).

Once they’ve made their way into your stored food, they’ll then leave droppings right where you eat. If you don’t notice, the situation can turn extremely toxic and dangerous. Don’t let this happen to you!

Diseases Rats and Mice potentially carry include:

  • The plague
  • Salmonellosis
  • Trichinosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Rat-bite fever

Pest control for Rats and Mice

The question we’ve all been asking – does it matter whether you have been infiltRated by a Mouse or a Rat? The answer is unsurprising – a little bit of both.

Both Rats and Mice require a targeted and unique approach to extermination. While both can cause similar damage, they can reside in different parts of the home and have unique behavior. Due to this, they require different methods to truly rid a Portland or Vancouver home of the issue.

Whether you have a Rat infestation or Mouse infestation, make sure to call a pro!

While both Rats and Mice require specific solutions, as a homeowner the end result should be the same – calling a professional and ecologically friendly pest exterminator like EcoCare Pest Solutions.

When you work with EcoCare, we’ll use our targeted and precise methods to rid your home of Mice or Rats. Our approach includes:

  • Inspection and Analysis: Our experienced exterminators will begin by inspecting the entirety of your home, identifying the species and how they got into your home in the first place.
  • Exclusion: Once we find where the rodents are gaining entry, we’ll make sure they stay out for good by closing up openings around pipes, crawl spaces, roof adjoinments, and more.
  • Eco-Friendly Extermination: At EcoCare Pest Solutions, we focus our extermination on eco-friendly methods. We’ll rarely use poison inside your home. This is bad for the environment and causes rodents to die inside your home, causing horrible odors and unsafe air-quality.

Talk to the Rat and Mice extermination experts at EcoCare Pest Solutions. We can help your rid your home of rodents for good. Best of all? We do it in a safe way to ensure your family and pets are unaffected.

Learn more about our Rat and Mice extermination services today!

6 Problems Caused By Raccoons and Large Pests

6 Problems Caused By Raccoons and Large Pests

Large pest cause serious issues here in Portland, OR. Whether it’s a raccoon, squirrel, or other large pest, your safety and your wallet could be affected in substantial ways if wildlife have decided to take up residence in your home.

In this post, we’ll go over what types of large pests you need to be on the lookout for, as well as the issues caused by these critters.

Is your home overrun with wildlife? EcoCare Pest Solutions can help get rid of them today. Contact us today or visit our wildlife page to learn more.

What type of wildlife causes home damage?

Just because an animal is cute doesn’t mean it can’t cause serious damage to your home. Wild animals will do what they please in order to survive – even if that means inflicting damage to your property.

Many homeowners don’t even know that some of these animals can do damage to their home. Since most large pests only do damage when they’re out of sight, some issues are a mystery until the pest is caught in the act.

Before we get into the issues that large pests can cause, here are the large pests you need to worry about coming onto your property and wreaking havoc:

  • Raccoons: One of the most damaging pests,Raccoons have adapted to living with humans and are drawn in by the convenience of trash cans and human shelter
  • Squirrels: Despite their size, Squirrels cause a lot of issues around Portland homes, including spreading disease and destroying property
  • Opossums: Opossums are known for entering a space and nesting, stealing food, and leaving waste, causing serious damage and creating unpleasant odors
  • Bats: Generally making a home in your attic or chimney, Bats can cause real problems in your home. In addition to carrying rabies and other diseases, Bats will leave droppings and cause unpleasant odors around your home.

Think your home or property has been infiltrated by a large pest? Get the help you need to safely and effectively remove them from your property. Remember, just because they haven’t caused issues yet does not mean they won’t in the future.

6 problems caused by large pests

Electrical damage

Large pests love burrowing into walls and ceilings. The shelter and warmth are particularly great for them in the wet and cold weather of Vancouver winters. Unfortunately, this can damage your electrical wiring.

If pests have indeed gotten into your walls, then your electrical system may be compromised. Critters chew through electrical wires, leaving exposed wire and unsafe conditions in your walls. This can mean big trouble. Did you know that 9% of fires are started by electrical issues? And since you can’t even see if it’s happening, the risk is particularly potent.

Insulation damage

While the large pests are in your walls, electrical wires aren’t the only thing they’ll be chewing on. Another common target of large critters is insulation. Chewing through the insulation in your walls and ceiling will lead to less effective insulation in your home and a weakened structure. They may even leave a nest in your insulation!

Even critters just walking around will lead to a bad situation, as compressed insulation is not as effective and will need to be replaced. Thousands of dollars in replacements could be in your future.

Damage to your lawn and garden

Even if these animals don’t reach the inside of your home, plenty of damage can be inflicted on the outside of your home as well. Raccoons and Squirrels love to dig holes in lawns to hide their treasures, leading to destroyed lawns and plenty of lawn care costs you otherwise would never have to worry about.

They’ll also dig up garden plants and other vegetation and chew on young tree bark. Worst yet, Raccoons are known to dig into and rip trash bags, spewing trash about your property. Once they’ve done this once, they’ll keep at it as they now know it’s a source for food.

Spread of disease

Simply put, one of the top ways for disease to spread into your home is through large wildlife entering your home and wreaking havoc.

If wildlife have found their way in and made a home, they’ll be leaving droppings and urine. This waste will be left mere feet from where you live and breathe daily, causing respiratory issues and potential spread of disease. One possible disease is baylisascaris, a type of roundworm that can damage your nervous system or cause serious injury.

Many large pests also carry rabies, meaning even their presence on your property can cause serious injury or death. Signs that a Raccoon or other large pest has rabies includes:

  • Disorientation and unsteady walking
  • Uncommon voices, such as screeching or chattering
  • Drooly and frothy mouths
  • Paralyzed hind legs and difficulty moving

Pests exhibiting these symptoms are incredibly dangerous, especially to pets! If you see any wildlife exhibiting these symptoms it’s imperative you seek an experienced pest extermination team as soon as possible.

Lowered air quality

In addition to potentially giving you a disease, the feces and other waste deposited in your wall will leave the air quality in your home putrid. At first you will notice just a stink, which will only get worse and worse as time goes on. Even once you identify the issue, solving the problem completely will be hard since it will be difficult to identify the exact location it’s coming from.

Other sources of rotting smell is food they’re storing decaying and going bad, and eventually the critters themselves dying in the walls and decomposing. The last thing you want you and your family to be doing is breathing in this air and having to smell the unpleasant odor day and night.

Exterior damage to your home

Lastly, large pests and wildlife can do a number on the structure of your home. Particularly troublesome areas include:

  • Roofs
  • Siding
  • Crawlspace
  • Deck

In order to get into your walls and attic space they’ll be coming in through your walls and siding. This means destroyed roof shingles, holes in your siding, and and damage to your roofline.

This damage can lead to serious water and moisture damage around your home as the holes allow the environment access to your home. Plus, even more pests will have easier access.

Fortunately, you’ll see these issues easier than others, and can address the problem once you see signs such as chew marks on your siding or loose shingles on your roof.

Call EcoCare Pest Solutions at the first sign of trouble

Pests do not just go away.

A proactive response to large pests infiltrating your property is the only long-term solution to keeping your home safe and free from dangerous wildlife.

EcoCare Pest Solutions can help with your wildlife infestation with our proven and eco-friendly approach to wildlife pest control. We’ll remove the infestation and prevent future issues as well. Contact us to get started or to have any questions answer on our pest and wildlife control services.

7 Signs You Have a Squirrel Problem

7 Signs You Have a Squirrel Problem

The squirrels running around your neighborhood are harmless, right? Generally speaking, yes – squirrels are very common here in the Portland area, especially the Western Gray Squirrel, and will typically keep to themselves.

On the other hand, our wildlife control team has worked with countless homeowners who have gone months without realizing the damage these “harmless neighborhood squirrels” are inflicting on their property.

The key is to stay aware of squirrel activity around your home so you can catch and control any issues right away. In this blog post, we’re outlining 7 tell-tale signs of squirrels wreaking havoc on your home.

Dealing With A Squirrel Problem? We’ll Take Care of the Issue Naturally.

Learn more about our approach to squirrel removal and control.

1. Strange noises around your home

If you’re paying attention, there’s a good chance you’ll hear a squirrel before you see any visual evidence. This is especially true during the winter or rainy months when you’re less likely to notice exterior signs of squirrel problems.

Throughout the year, keep your ears open for unusual noises in your home. The two most common types of sounds you’ll hear are:

  • Scurrying and scampering
  • Scratching or chewing (squirrels inside your home will chew on everything from wood beams to drywall and electrical wiring!)

Squirrels often make their nests in attics, so you’ll likely notice these sounds coming from your ceiling. However, don’t discount these noises if you hear them in other areas of your home, such as your chimney.

2. Damage around your home

Inside your home, evidence of squirrel damage can be difficult to see. Most of the interior issues caused by squirrels are hidden away in your attic or walls.

Take a peek in these areas and you may notice…

  • Teeth marks in wires, wood, and walls
  • Chewed electrical wires
  • Nests in your insulation
  • Wood chips scattered everywhere
  • Air vent damage

While you may not immediately notice if a squirrel is chewing up the inside of your attic and walls, it’s easier to spot signs of squirrel damage around the exterior of your home. If you suspect a squirrel problem, an inspection of your property will be very telling!

Some things to look for include…

  • Holes in your shingles
  • Roofline damage
  • Chew marks on the outer panels of your home
  • Ripped open garbage bags or garbage scattered around your yard
  • Damage to bird feeders
  • Chewed up outdoor furniture
  • Chewed bark on young trees
  • Eaten garden plants

3. Squirrel droppings in your garage or attic

Squirrel droppings are a great indicator of an infestation issue and are most often found in your garage, attic, or near entry points around your home. However, identifying squirrel droppings can be difficult, as they look similar to other critters like bats, raccoons, and rats.

If you notice any type of droppings around your home, exercise caution. Wildlife droppings of any kind carry dangerous diseases and bacteria, such as salmonella. Avoid coming into contact with these droppings. Instead, immediately call a wildlife control company to come inspect the issue and identify the culprit.

4. A foul, decaying smell

If squirrels are finding their way into your home, there’s a good chance some of them aren’t making it out. Some squirrels get stuck while others are just too young to fend for themselves. Whatever the reasoning, soon these squirrels will die and start to decay.

Many of our customers call us when they suddenly notice a strong, terrible odor in their house. This can be the smell of a dead squirrel stuck under your home, in your walls, or up in your attic. This squirrel needs to be found and removed in order to rid your home of this unpleasant smell.

Pro tip: If you’ve tried to take care of a squirrel problem on your own by using a poison, you’ll likely eventually be faced with dead squirrels (and a horrible smell) inside your home. It’s always better to call an expert to take care of the issue naturally in order to avoid this issue.

5. Squirrel footprints

Squirrel tracks are fairly easy to identify. They’re small, with the front paws having 4 toes and the back having 5. In the winter, you may notice tracks in the snow or mud. During the rest of the year, you can often see tracks from their wet feet on your deck or driveway.

If you want to do some extra sleuthing, put a piece of cardboard covered in flour in the area you suspect the squirrels are inhabiting. If you have a squirrel problem in that area, you’ll soon notice tracks in the flour.

6. Signs of water damage on your walls or ceiling

Have you noticed water damage on your ceiling or walls? We hate to tell you this, but it might not be water damage at all, but rather signs of a squirrel population living in your attic.

The longer a squirrel lives in your home, the more feces and urine it produces. If left unnoticed, eventually this waste will build up and seep into your insulation and wood. Just like water damage, this can cause staining, peeling, and bubbling in your walls.

7. Squirrel fights around the neighborhood

Seeing squirrels fighting in your yard doesn’t inherently mean you have a squirrel infestation, but it’s a good indication your home is at risk.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have all the great natural resources a squirrel needs to live a long and happy life. However, if a squirrel population is too large in one area, these critters will start fighting to defend their resources and rights to survival.

What to do if you have a squirrel problem

Identifying if your home has a squirrel problem (or is susceptible to a squirrel problem) is the first step in managing the issue. From there, it’s all about removing the squirrels currently living in your home and causing problems followed by exclusion work to prevent any future access.

Here in Portland and Vancouver, there are laws dictating how you can control squirrel populations around your home. For example, did you know it’s illegal to:

  • Relocate squirrels from one property to another
  • Keep a squirrel as a pet

Additionally, if you notice a squirrel in your home anytime between the months of March to September, you can assume there’s a nest of baby squirrels somewhere in your home.

Choose preventative and eco-friendly wildlife control methods

 

Squirrels are so common here in the Pacific Northwest that many homeowners never
consider how they might be causing problems for their property. However, now that you do know, make sure to take a preventative approach to protecting your home and family.

At EcoCare Pest Control, our experienced wildlife exterminators take a careful 3-step approach to helping you control the squirrel population around your home. We’ll stop the issue at the source and keep squirrels around your home from causing any more damage.

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