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Step-by-Step Guide for Getting Rid of a Pest Infestation

Step-by-Step Guide for Getting Rid of a Pest Infestation

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.

Stop What’s Bugging You

Contact us for a free pest inspection & extermination quote.

Step 1: Identify the bug 

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:

  1. Ants
  2. Spiders
  3. Moths
  4. Boxelder bugs
  5. Bed bugs
  6. Bees
  7. Mosquitos
  8. Ticks
  9. Fleas

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.

  • Take a photo of the bug
  • Browse through our pest library, comparing the photo of your bugs to those in the library
  • Note the location, timing, and any other unique factors about the infestation, comparing those details to information you find about the species

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.

Step 2: Ensure your family’s safety

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. 

  • Kiddos: If you have little ones in the house, make sure they won’t come in contact with the infestation. 
  • Pets: Some bugs are poisonous to pets, so take steps to ensure they can’t get near the infestation. Or, if your pet is infested (with fleas, for example), quarantine them to help limit the spread and call your vet immediately. 
  • Food: Do a sweep of your house to clear away and store food. Wipe down counters, make sure all your food is sealed in the pantry, and toss any old fruit or veggies sitting on the counter.
  • Belongings: Depending on where you found the infestation, you may want to move your personal belongings so they won’t come in contact with or be damaged by the bugs.
  • Protect yourself! Many bugs and insects can be hurtful to you. Bees, mosquitos, ticks, and more all pack a punch. Protect yourself to ensure you don’t get stung or bit. Always err on the side of caution and call a professional if you’re dealing with a hive or serious infestation.

Step 3: Find the source & seal off entry points

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:

  • Cracks, openings, and holes in your wall, baseboard, or ceiling
  • Bushes, plants, trees, or branches touching your house
  • Fruit trees or with fallen/dead/rotting fruit
  • Unsealed food
  • Standing water in your basement or around the exterior of your home
  • Nests or webs in corners of your house
  • Hives and ant colonies around your home

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.

Step 4: Eliminate 

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.

Step 5: Keep a watchful eye

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.

Or… solve the problem the easy way

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.

Contact us today for a free pest extermination quote.

Winter Pests: What to Watch For & What to Do

Winter Pests: What to Watch For & What to Do

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.

Seasonal Pest Control Cheat Sheet

Spring

  • Wasps
  • Box Elders
  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Rats & Mice
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Opossums
  • Bats

Summer

  • Fleas
  • Yellow Jackets
  • Ants
  • Hornets
  • Bees
  • Rats & Mice

Fall

  • Wasps
  • Hornets
  • Ants
  • Box Elders
  • Spiders
  • Rats & Mice
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Possums

Winter

  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Ants
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Possums

Think like a pest 

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?

Insects, rodents, and wildlife have the same things on their minds. 

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.

What to watch for during the winter

Wildlife & Rodents

  • Droppings – Animal droppings in your pantry, attic, or garage are a telltale sign of an active infestation.
  • Sounds – Rats, Mice, Raccoons, and Squirrels look for places to hide where they won’t be seen. But if they’ve set up shop in your home, you may hear scratching or scurrying sounds in your attic, walls, or ceiling.
  • Smells – Pests stink — literally! Urine, droppings, rotting food, or even dead animals in your walls or attic produce pungent odors. Keep your nose open for these unexplained smells.
  • Damage – You likely won’t see nocturnal animals (those active at night) but you will see signs of their activity. Look for damaged food containers, signs of scratching on baseboards, or greasy marks caused by rodent fur rubbing on walls.

Insects

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:

  • Kitchens and pantries – Anywhere there’s food
  • Exterior windows – Anywhere insects can get in and out of your home
  • Basements and attics – Anywhere in the home that you don’t visit frequently can be an inviting place for insects to live

What should you do if you see something?

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.

What shouldn’t you do?

If you suspect bugs, wildlife or rodents are in your home avoid the following:

  • Ignoring the problem – It won’t go away and it will get worse.
  • Using poison to kill Rats and Mice – Our exterminators rarely use poison to kill rodents inside your home. Poison often leads to dead rats and mice stuck inside your walls, leading to an awful smell and a source of food that can attract other pests.
  • Killing bugs without investigating the source – For every winter insect you see, many more are hiding out of sight. If you kill the ants you see in your kitchen, more are waiting to take their place. You must find the source of an infestation if you have any hope of stopping it for good.

Winter pest control tips — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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. 

  • Focus on your home’s exterior. Fill cracks, seal holes, and apply pest control treatments to prevent unwelcome guests from entering your home.
  • Clean the interior of your home thoroughly. Kitchens and bathrooms are especially appealing sources of warmth, moisture, and food.
  • Inspect your yard, patio, and outdoor furniture for signs of insect and animal activity. As the weather cools, these pests will start to make their way indoors.
  • Be vigilant about the earliest signs of Rats and Mice. The sooner you spot the problem, the easier it will be to fix.
  • Clean outdoor items. Before bringing outdoor furniture, toys, grills, etc. into your garage or attic for the winter, clean and inspect them. These could be “Trojan Horses” hiding bugs and rodents!

Invest in year-round pest control

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:

  • 4 seasonal inspections by licensed and experienced exterminators
  • Preventive treatments to stop infestations before they start
  • Protection against nearly 40 of the most common pests in the Pacific Northwest
  • Eco-friendly extermination methods that are safe for people and pets

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.

.

Inspect. Exclude. Eliminate.

That’s the proven EcoCare approach.

Bugs in Your House? We’ll Take Care of Them, Naturally.

Give us a call at (503) 222-5566 for a free inspection.

Homebuyer’s Guide to Insect & Rodent Infestations

Homebuyer’s Guide to Insect & Rodent Infestations

Knowing everything you can about a property you’re purchasing will always save headaches down the road. While buyers don’t overlook many aspects of a home during an “inspection” period — plumbing, roofing, electrical work — most don’t think of having a home checked for infestations. But a house with a pest infestation can result in lasting and costly damage. This means unnoticed infestations could be degrading the value of your new home before you even sign on the dotted line. Read on to learn everything you need to know about pests when buying a home.

What can happen to a home with a insect or rodent infestation?

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

  • A home’s structure: Leaky roofs and cracked siding can corrupt your home’s integrity, including its roof, siding, electrical systems, and foundation. Even more, it can also cause unsafe air conditions, creating an unhealthy environment for you and your family.
  • Belongings: Once pests are in your home, the next target will be your personal belongings. This means wool shirts and blankets, along with other natural fibers, furniture, and clothing, can be destroyed by moths. Ants and rodents can get into food, soiling your supply and making a mess.
  • Yard and landscape: One of the more glaring and immediate issues will be damage to your yard and outdoor spaces. Pests will dig holes in your yard and uproot vegetation, creating problems that could take years to solve.
  • You and your pets: The most pressing issue will always be you and your family’s health. When pests leave waste and insects carry disease into your home, it can severely harm you, your family, and even your pets. Animals can get fleas or fight with potential rodents. You and your children might get stung by bees, suffer from a bed bug infestation, or have a scary run-in with a rabies infected pest.

What animals to be on the lookout for — and what to ask the homeowner before buying

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.

Past pests? Ask what kind of pest control was used

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:

  • Birth defects
  • Cancer
  • Genetic modification
  • Blood disorders
  • Nerve disorders

Short term health issues that can develop include:

  • Headaches
  • Skin and eye irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

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.

Environmentally friendly pest control

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:

  • Biological fluids that control pests such as scents, tastes, and oils
  • Safer, greener chemicals
  • Targeted treatments over a wide “catch-all” chemical treatment

These treatments are not only safer, but more effective since they’re targeted and focused on holistic treatment of the infestation.

Signs of a home 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:

  1. Inspection: We’ll come to your home and ensure that there is no current infestation. We’ll also ensure anywhere future pests could access your home are closed off. We’ll inspect the whole kit and caboodle — all rooms, pipes, electrical systems, foundations, and much more.
  2. Exclusion: With a mixture of preventative actions and comprehensive repairs like sealing gaps and holes, we create an impenetrable barrier pests can’t cross.
  3. Extermination: If we do indeed discover an infestation, we’ll use our eco-friendly treatments to target the exact pests infested in your home. This ensures your family and pets stay safe.

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.

Self inspection

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.

  • Physical signs of pests
  • Clusters of dead bugs under cabinets and other inconspicuous places
  • Droppings of any kind
  • Pest control products anywhere in the home — this is a sign that the homeowner has been self-treating
  • Holes and signs of animal damage around the home
  • Peculiar smells and noises around the home and property
  • Damaged plants on the property
  • Mole or ant hills
  • Lawn damage

Have the sinking feeling pests are in the home? Call EcoCare Pest Solutions

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.

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!

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!

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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