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Pests don’t want to be pests, it’s just their nature. They’re simple creatures looking for food, warmth, and safety. Unfortunately, your home is a prime target, offering everything these pests are looking for.
But how do they get into your home? Let’s find out!
Proper home maintenance can help reduce the likelihood of a pest infestation in your home stemming from issues involving:
Leaks, loose or broken shingles, damaged insulation, and other areas in need of repair are a common cause of both insect and wildlife infestations. Damaged roofs are an easy access point for opportunistic critters. Plus, most people don’t spend much time on their roofs or in their attics, so it’s easier for an infestation to go unnoticed and take hold.
When we’re not getting much rain, your home’s gutters can be a nesting spot for many types of bugs. During the wetter times of the year, leaky and clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to water damage on your home’s roofs, eaves, siding, and even the foundation. Water-damaged spots are softer and might make it easier for bugs and pests to get inside your home. Standing or pooled water also attracts bugs and pests.
Basements have lots of nooks and crannies for pests to hide. Plus, they offer easy access from your yard. Like your roof, they’re often not inspected and maintained as well as they should be. Cracks in your home’s foundation caused by tree roots, water damage, or other issues are among the most common ways pests get into your home.
Whether for nesting or as a source for food, pests and animals are attracted to trees, bushes, shrubs, gardens, and other plant life. When vegetation is too close to the home, or when a tree branch touches or hangs over your home, it increases the risk of pests finding their way onto and into your house.
Pruning and trimming vegetation, as well as inspecting plants for signs of pests, are good ways to reduce your risk of infestation. In some cases, diseased, decaying, dead, or damaged trees and plants may have to be removed as they are particularly likely to attract pests.
Rodents like Mice and Rats can squeeze through even very tiny spaces. An adult rat only needs ½” of space to fit through and mice, being smaller, need even less! Sealing holes, gaps, and cracks, particularly around your roof, crawl space, doors, windows, and foundation can help eliminate this common source of rodent infestations.
If your house is the city of Troy, then firewood (or anything you store outside and bring inside) is the Trojan Horse! Ants, Spiders, and other pests love to nest in firewood piles and can hitch a ride and get inside your home when you bring wood in from outdoors. Additionally, a firewood pile placed against your home as protection from the elements can also attract bugs and hide signs of infestation on your home itself. Think about it: How often do you look behind your woodpile?
Indoor/outdoor cats are well-known for causing flea infestations. But even a dog on a walk can bring bugs in from outdoors. Keeping your pet clean and brushed is a good way to keep an eye out for bugs. But also watch for itching and scratching or other common signs of insect infestation if you have a pet.
The most common source of Bedbug infestations in single-family homes is widely believed to be travel. You’ll find Bedbugs in airports, buses, and especially hotel rooms. It’s easy enough for them to get into your luggage and clothing, hitching a ride back home, and causing a frustrating and itchy infestation.
If you’re returning home from an area known for Bedbugs, inspect, wash, and dry your clothes when you get home. You can also spray shoes and luggage with alcohol, just to be extra safe!
As winter days get colder and shorter, we see more infestations of Rats, Mice, and Ants as these creatures look for food and warmth. During the summer, Fleas and Hornets tend to be more common as they’re more active during warmer weather.
The best way to combat seasonal pests and the recurrence of pest infestations is with our Pest Insurance program. You’ll get 4 seasonal inspections and eco-friendly treatments to prevent and eliminate nearly 40 common Portland-area pests.
Preventing pest infestations in your Portland area home is challenging. It’s a constant battle that requires regular home maintenance and preventive measures. Here at EcoCare, we offer pest inspections, and eco-friendly pest control services that are effective and safe for people and most pets. We work throughout the Portland and Vancouver metro areas.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help protect your home from pests, let’s talk! Contact us online today.
Pest infestation? You’re probably here wondering how to get rid of those bugs FAST! We know insects and critters can be frightening and gross. EcoCare is Portland’s go-to pest control company — we’ll help you through this one step at a time.
Contact us for a free pest inspection & extermination quote.
The elimination strategy you take will depend on the type of infestation. Before you can stop the problem, you need to figure out what kind of bug you’re dealing with.
Here in the Portland and Vancouver area, there are a variety of insects that could be causing you problems. The 9 most common pest infestations in the PNW include:
You probably have a good idea of what all these insects look like and can identify the species right away. But if you’re not sure, here’s how to find out.
If you’re still not sure what kind of bug is bothering you, reach out to our team. We’ll help you figure it out.
Depending on the type of insect, you should take some precautions to ensure it won’t affect your family or damage any more of your property.
To successfully eliminate a pest problem, focus on the root of the issue. For example, killing the ants currently in your home will do you no good if they can easily find their way back in.
You must figure out the source of the problem.
Sometimes you can follow the trail to find the culprit. But depending on the type of bug, it might take a bit of investigating on your part.
A few things to look for include:
You might also want to take a look in your attic or crawl space to make sure it’s clear of any signs of infestations. These places are often a source of bug problems in your home.
Once you find the issue, take steps to resolve it. For example, fix leaks or seal off and reinforce any holes and gaps around your property. Trim back bushes and clear away debris from the perimeter of your house. Seal trash cans or pick up fallen and rotting fruit or veggies in your yard.
Now comes the time to exterminate the pest. This needs to be done very carefully and requires a personalized approach. You know what kind of pest you’re dealing with, so do some research to learn the best extermination methods.
Whenever possible, we recommend taking a conservative, eco-friendly approach. Dealing with strong chemicals and poisons is very dangerous. More than that, it’s often unnecessary. Start small and see what works and what doesn’t.
Always understand exactly what kind of pest control product you’re using and how it affects your family before using it. Keep any traps or bait safety away from kids, pets, and the rest of your family.
Remember, if you’re dealing with more than a few pesky bugs, a professional exterminator is the safest, most effective option. Often, DIY pest removal options don’t work. Be willing to call in the professionals when necessary.
Once your pest problem has been handled, stay alert for any signs that the bugs might be making their way back. Take matters into your own hands by using a preventive approach. By taking some preventive measures, you can keep insects away from your clothes, food, and valuables.
Read our helpful guide on how to bug-proof your home through everyday preventive habits.
If you do notice the signs of an infestation forming again, don’t wait to solve it. Jump on the problem right away.
DIY isn’t your style? Facing an infestation that’s just too big to handle on your own? Working with a local pest control company is always a faster, more effective solution.
We’re happy to take care of the problem for you.
For almost 20 years, EcoCare Pest Control has been helping homeowners throughout Portland and Vancouver eliminate bugs and insects. All our services are carefully designed to be safe for your family and tough on pests.
Insects and wildlife infestations are a year-round problem in our neck of the woods. Whether it’s tiny Ants on your countertops, angry Yellow Jackets buzzing around, or pesky Squirrels making a mess of your attic, there’s always something to be on the lookout for.
Most homeowners don’t realize how seasonal these infestations are. Below, you’ll find a quick chart showing the most common pests throughout the year. Keep reading to learn more about the signs to look for during the cold and wet winter months.
During the winter, are you looking forward to spending time in the outdoors? Are you planning picnics at the park? Is it a good time to get out and about? Or are you staying home where it’s warm, toasty, and most importantly dry?
They’re hunkering down and nesting, getting by until the first signs of spring. Food is also scarce during the winter months, so pests will be very opportunistic. And what’s a better opportunity than a house full of food?!
When it comes to winter pest control, many home invaders are relatively inactive during the colder months. You must be vigilant and keep an eye out for what may seem like subtle warning signs.
Winter insects, particularly Ants, are a bit easier to spot because you’ll likely see them on the move, searching for food. Areas to inspect include:
If you spot signs of a winter pest infestation, immediate action is essential. Once rodents, wildlife, or winter insects are in your home, they’re not going anywhere! Here at EcoCare, our pest exterminators can come out to your home quickly, inspect your property (inside and out), and make a plan to eliminate the problem.
If you see any of the warning signs listed above — or if you’d just like peace-of-mind, contact us today.
If you suspect bugs, wildlife or rodents are in your home avoid the following:
It’s a cliche for a reason — it’s true! Winter pest control starts with a preventive and proactive approach during the summer and fall months.
Pest control isn’t a one-time task. The pests don’t stop so you can’t stop either. Many homeowners either get overwhelmed or lose interest in the repetitiveness of keeping their homes pest-free. But even a little lapse can lead to big problems!
At EcoCare, we offer a year-round pest control program designed to prevent pest infestations throughout the year. Our pest insurance program includes:
If you do find signs of a covered pest we’ll come out and take care of it free of charge, including eliminating the problem at its source. We want to prevent the recurrence of the infestation.
Give us a call at (503) 222-5566 for a free inspection.
A lot can happen when an infestation has overtaken your property. Not only can these pests affect your chief investment — your home — but they can damage your personal property as well. Pest infestations can destroy…
In the Portland and Vancouver area there are a number of pests to look out for. While they might not all be immediately seen, ask the homeowner about the home’s history with pest control. Has the home ever had a pest issue? Did the homeowner have pest insurance? If there was a pest issue, did they take care of it themselves, or hire a reliable pest control team? Some pests to ask about include:
If the homeowner or realtor discusses any prior history with these pests, dig further. Ask if the infestation is a lingering issue or was a one-time problem. Also ask what was done to correct the issue and what damage was inflicted on the home.
Using environmentally friendly pest-control treatments is good for more than just the planet (though that’s pretty great, too). When pesticide or other damaging chemicals are used to control pests, those treatments can stick around. The World Health Organization estimates there are 3 million instances of pesticide poisoning each and every year. Repeated pesticide exposure has been linked to chronic health issues such as:
Short term health issues that can develop include:
These are real problems that can happen to not only humans, but to pets, too. Ingesting pesticides or other damaging chemicals can lead to vomiting, seizures, or even death.
If the homeowner has indicated that they had pest control completed, make sure they used environmentally friendly pest control treatments to ensure that your new home will be a safe environment for you and your family. Some examples of environmentally friendly pest control treatments include:
These treatments are not only safer, but more effective since they’re targeted and focused on holistic treatment of the infestation.
Of course, asking can never give you complete confidence that the infestation has been totally solved. Successful pest control is centered around 3 pillars:
Are you concerned your potential new home has a pest problem, or just want peace of mind that your newest investment is sound? Contact EcoCare Pest Solutions today to schedule a free in-home consultation.
If there is any suspicion of a pest control issue, we always recommend having a professional pest control specialist come out to check on the property. If you decide to go at it yourself though, look for the following issues to determine if the house may have a potential pest control issue.
We’re available to answer questions and come out to inspect your potential new home to either confirm or disprove your suspicions. When it comes to such a large investment, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Call (503) 222-5566 to learn more.
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…
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):
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The two main types of Rats in the Portland and Vancouver areas include:
The most common types of Mice found in the Portland and Vancouver areas include:
Though the problems Rats and Mice create are similar, they are distinct creatures with different behaviors and signs of infestation.
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:
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.
|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|
Places humans visit infrequently, including:
They can also be found around kitchen areas
More apparent, Mice droppings can be found:
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|
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:
The damage caused by Mice and Rats can result in serious, long-term problems for your home, such as:
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 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.
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:
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.