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Home Pest Control in Portland: Clearing up the Confusion

Home Pest Control in Portland: Clearing up the Confusion

We get it. Pest control isn’t something you want to think about very often. When you see a bug or think you see signs of a pest infestation, you might find yourself doing some quick internet research looking for the answers. But this can lead to confusion and even costly mistakes. 

Today our pest control experts are going to answer some of the most common questions they hear and clear up the confusion so many people have about pest control.

Do green pest control treatments really work?

It’s unfortunate that many eco-friendly products have a reputation for not being as effective as other options. Studies have confirmed this misconception so when it comes to our pest control treatments, it’s something we try to educate our customers about.

In the past (think decades ago), many pest control treatments were very toxic and had bad consequences for the environment. Today, modern pest control treatments are not only environmentally friendly, but more effective, too.

How is this even possible?

Over the years, advancements in scientific research have created powerful pest control treatments that are targeted to specific types of insects. They’re also designed to be safe for people and most pets. Because of their potency, less treatment is needed to kill the same amount of bugs! Overall, the impact on the environment is greatly reduced.

Keep reading to learn more about our approach to eco-friendly pest control.

Are all bugs bad?

Moths eat holes in our sweaters and Ants march along our countertops to get at the sticky little bits of food we leave behind. Sure it’s frustrating, but are bugs really “bad”? It’s important to remember that they’re just doing what bugs do — looking for places to nest and food to eat.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of insects that are actually beneficial! Take Bees, for instance. They pollinate flowers and the food we grow in our backyard gardens. They’re not aggressive like Wasps or Hornets and really pose little risk. During certain times of the year, you might see a swarm of bees clinging to a tree or maybe your home’s roof. Don’t worry! You can contact an apiarist (beekeeper) to remove them safely.

Another great example of a friendly bug is the Ladybug. These little Beetles eat Aphids and other insects that feast on the leaves of veggies growing in our gardens. You can thank the Ladybugs when you’re harvesting your tomatoes this summer!

So remember, just because you see a bug, it doesn’t mean that trouble’s just around the corner. We’re happy to answer any questions and provide a free quote. Just contact us online to get started.

How much pest control is enough?

What most people don’t realize about insects is that they’re seasonal. Different insects are active at different points throughout the year. For example, here in the Portland area, here’s what you can expect:

  • Spring & Early Summer: Wasps, Box Elders, Ants, Spiders, Rodents
  • Mid-Summer: Fleas, Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Bees, Rodents, Ants
  • Late Summer & Fall: Fleas, Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Bees, Rodents, Ants
  • Winter: Rats, Mice, Ants

You can’t expect the treatment that worked to get rid of Wasps in the summer to do anything for the Ants you find in the winter. The best way to keep your home pest-free is to invest in regular preventive treatments designed to target the most active bugs and pests.

We call this our Pest Insurance program. It’s a proactive approach to pest control that helps homeowners avoid the hassle of dealing with bug infestations as they pop up. Instead, we can visit your home for 4 seasonal inspections and treatments to protect against nearly 40 species of common pests. Plus, we’ll treat any infestations of covered pests for free!

Do I need to do more than just kill the bugs?

If all you do is kill the bugs you see, pests will keep coming back time and again. The pests you see make up just a fraction of the pests present in your home or on your property. Insects like Ants make hidden nests and only venture out to find food. Many insects are also nocturnal, meaning that you might never see the pests themselves, just the damage that they do to your home and possessions.

Here at EcoCare, we go beyond just killing bugs with our 3-step process:

  • Inspect – We want to see the scope of the infestation and exactly what pests are around. This allows us to tailor our approach to produce superior results.
  • Exclude – This is key. Our technicians seal off access points and create preventive barriers that prevent new infestations from taking root in your home or on your property.
  • Exterminate – Then we target all the insects, even those you might not have noticed yet. They won’t be bugging you anymore!

It’s only with this methodology that goes beyond just killing bugs that we can eliminate and prevent pest infestations in your home.

Have more questions? We’re here for you.

We hope today’s blog post cleared up the most common misconceptions you might have about pest control. But if there are still questions buzzing around in your mind, let’s talk! 

Contact us online for more info.

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.

How Bugs & Rodents Cause Structural Damage To Your Portland Home

Imagine hundreds of termites slowly eating away at your home’s foundation. An ant colony infestation weakening your walls. Rats and mice chewing away at your roof and support beams. Sounds like something out of a horror movie, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s also a scary reality for many homeowners in the Pacific Northwest.

Thanks to the rainy and wooded environment of Portland, bugs and rodents are very prevalent in the area. Regular pest inspections and extermination treatments around your property keep bugs and critters from secretly making their home in the hidden areas of your home.

In this month’s blog post, we’ll help you understand a little bit more about the serious (and expensive) structural damage bugs and rodents can inflict on your home. Plus, you’ll learn why most homeowners don’t know this is happening until it’s too late.

If you have any questions or feedback on this post, feel free to send us an email. We love hearing from our community.

Roof Damage

Let’s start at the top of your home!

Pests and rodents can cause all sorts of damage to your roof– from broken shingles, cracks and holes, to damaged wiring and pipes running through your attic. While this type of damage is problematic all on its own, the biggest issue is that it makes your home susceptible to water leaks and flooding.

The structural damage caused by water leaking through your roof into your home can be devastating. Mold, mildew, rot, and fried electrical wiring (fire risk!) are all caused by moisture buildup. Water leaks can also cause damage to your rafters, ceiling joists, and wall framing.

Repairing or replacing your roof is a significant investment, so take special care to keep bugs and rodents as far away as possible.

Common Bugs & Rodents That Damage Your Roof

Rats & Mice
Rats and Mice are a risk to your roof all year long. However, you’ll want to keep an extra close eye on things during the fall and winter. During these months, these critters will be trying to escape the cold and make a warm nest for the winter.

Termites
Termites love to eat wood and will often target roof decking, rafters, and trusses. Thankfully, as long as you catch the issue early-on, termite damage in the roof can usually be easily repaired.

Birds
Though you may not pay attention to birds sitting on your roof, be aware that a buildup of acidic bird droppings can eat away at the shingles and sheathing of your roof.

Insulation Damage

Insects and rodents living in your insulation mean trouble.

The purpose of insulation is to keep your house warm or cool, depending on the time of year. Bugs that chew holes through this material allow air and energy to easily pass through your insulation, completely undermining the effects of the material.

Creatures living in your insulation can also lead to food accumulation in your walls. This exposes your home to mold growth and rot. Left unchecked, you may be faced with having to open up your walls and completely replace your insulation.

Common Bugs and Wildlife that Live in Your Insulation

Raccoons
These little bandits love the quiet and cozy insulation of your home and are known for being very destructive. They also carry diseases and ticks into your home and so should always be handled by a professional.

Carpenter Ants
Carpenter Ants are known for clearing spaces for nesting purposes. These little insects can inhabit all types of insulation, including plant-based and fiberglass materials.

Bees
Bees – especially bumblebees – love making their nests out of dry materials. This makes insulation the perfect candidate. Bees of any variety can be very aggressive if disturbed, so never attempt to remove a nest on your own.

Hardwood Flooring Damage

Hardwood flooring is a popular (and beautiful) home feature, but it’s also the prime target for a number of wood-boring creatures. Insects that feed on, chew through, and live in your wood flooring can create small to large holes and can even cause your floor to disintegrate and crumble.

Insect damage is a top reason Pacific Northwest homeowners end up replacing their hardwood floors. Hardwood floor installations are expensive, so make sure you watch for signs of bugs and take care of any issues right away.

Common Pests That Damage Hardwood Floors

Carpenter Ants
Carpenter Ants are particularly attracted to older hardwood flooring, or a floor that has previous damage from water or other pests. These big ants are experts at hollowing out wood.

Termites
When it comes to wood damage, Termites are often the main culprit. Termites eat wood and their bodies convert the fiber of the wood into sugar. Because they munch on your floor from the inside out, Termite damage often isn’t noticeable right away.

Beetles
Wood Boring Beetles can cause damage to both hard and softwoods, so these insects are ones to watch out for. Beetles damage your flooring when their larvae bore into the wood through surface cracks. Wood Boring Beetles also cause a lot of damage within your flooring, not just on the surface level.

Foundation Issues

Your home’s structural integrity relies on the strength of its foundation. Your foundation supports your walls, windows, floors, and roof, so when it’s damaged, it can set off a domino effect for the rest of your home’s structure.

Foundations made out of wood are prone to insect damage. Additionally, moisture and water leaks around your foundation can attract and fuel the infestation of a variety of bugs that will continue to weaken your home’s structure.

Pests That Cause Foundation Issues

Carpenter Ants
As we mentioned above, Carpenter Ants love wood surfaces. Even if your foundation is primarily made of concrete, these insects will still be attracted to any wooden support features. This is especially true if you have any moisture in your foundation.

Termites
Just like Carpenter Ants, Termites cannot damage concrete foundations. However, they will be attracted to structural supports made of wood. This is especially true when there is direct wood to ground contact.

Prevent Structural Damage to Your Home

If you’re concerned about a bug infestation or rodent damage in your Portland home, contact us immediately. It’s important to get professional pest control help as soon as you notice an issue. Even if you don’t notice any structural damage, it’s best to get an annual pest inspection to ensure there aren’t problems hidden below the surface.

Learn more about our eco-friendly and effective pest control methods here. Or give us a call at (503) 222-5566 to learn more.