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Rodents might look cute, but you DEFINITELY don’t want them in your home. Not only can they carry disease, but their constant need to chew can wreak havoc on your electrical system, opening up your home to unforeseen fire danger.
But how do they cause electrical problems, and what can you do to stop them? Let’s take a look!
While our own teeth are rooted into our jawbone, a rodent’s incisors don’t have any roots. So they aren’t constantly chewing things to be a pain — they are constantly chewing to grind down their teeth and prevent them from growing into their brains.
They often go for wires simply because they’re there, and they’re hidden where the rodent is also hidden (like between walls).
Unfortunately, when rodents chew on wires, it opens up your home to a greater chance of an electrical fire. This can be caused by frayed wires or a short circuit.
Unfortunately, the risk of an electrical fire increases when rodents come into contact with loose wiring, electrical panels, and more. That’s why it’s important to prevent rodents from entering the home as much as possible, and to recognize the common signs of electrical problems.
Rats and Mice are nocturnal creatures, meaning that the majority of the time, you probably won’t notice them in your home right away. Because Rats or Mice usually choose to chew on wires that are hidden away, it’s likely you won’t even know they are chewing on the wiring until your home starts showing signs of electrical problems.
If you notice signs of any of these electrical problems, look around your home for signs of rodents.
Regardless of these signs, it’s a good idea to regularly check the electrical wiring in your home to ensure it’s functioning properly and safely. Many electricians recommend scheduling an inspection every 3-5 years or so.
Did you know Rats and Mice can fit through openings less than ½” in diameter? This creates a lot of opportunity for them to make a home in your home. Common places to check for holes include:
We all love food, but so do rodents. Make sure you properly store food both inside and outside of the home. You can do this by:
We know you won’t always be able to control this, but here are a few simple things you can do to eliminate living spaces for rodents in or around your home:
One of the best ways to prevent rodents from infesting your home and causing electrical problems is to work with professionals, like the skilled team at EcoCare. We’ll help you set up regular inspections and recommend a maintenance plan.
First, our exterminators will visit your home and conduct a detailed inspection of the property. They’ll inspect the inside of your property, including the attic or crawlspace, and search for signs of nests, infestations, or electrical damage. Additionally, they’ll scour the foundation and outside of your home for holes or small cracks that might allow a rodent in.
Depending on what our exterminators find, they’ll recommend a customized treatment plan to best suit you and your home.
With so many opportunities for rodents to invite themselves in, “Rat proofing” your home can be a daunting task. But not for us! Our exterminators will thoroughly examine holes and cracks in your home. Then, they’ll seal off any questionable openings, like those found around pipes, vents, wires, and more. This is an important step in preventing future infestations.
We are dedicated not only to ridding your home of pests, but to doing it in a safe and non-toxic way. With that in mind, our exterminators will only use rat poison inside of your home as a last resort. The use of poison inside your home might lead the rodent to die inside your walls, causing even more problems. Instead, we’ll use rat traps to humanely capture the rodents inside your home without posing any risk to your children or pets.
Keeping rodents out of your home takes a lot of work and effort. This is especially true for homes in areas with: compost piles, feeding stations for chickens, birds, or squirrels, homes on a greenbelt, and homes in a neighborhood with a Rat problem. Luckily, there’s a rodent maintenance program for that!
Rodent maintenance with EcoCare looks like:
Learn more about our eco-friendly rodent control options and how we can help by contacting us today.
When you’re a kid, bugs are cool! Furry Caterpillars, Banana Slugs, Potato Bugs, Lady Bugs — they love them!
As a parent, you might encourage their young bright minds to learn more about insects through bug catchers, books, or other insect educational resources. But that doesn’t require you to live in a bug-infested house!
Plus, some pests are dangerous to kiddos. How do you prevent problems there?
Keep reading to learn more about kid safety when it comes to bugs and pest control.
Biting insects are the ones you have to worry about most. These bugs are dangerous to humans and children alike because they’ll look to you as a food source or as something to attack if threatened.
You’ll want to help your children avoid the following types of pests.
Fleas are a common pest that causes discomfort by biting and can also transmit diseases. Fleas are most often found in and around homes with animals. Thankfully, there are easy treatments to get rid of Fleas.
Honey Bees are pollinators and essential to our environment. But they don’t like to be messed with and will sting humans and kids when they feel threatened. Your children need to be especially careful of Yellow Jackets, as they are extremely aggressive and more likely to chase down and sting someone who bothered them, especially in late summer.
If your child is stung by a Bee of any kind, make sure the stinger still isn’t in the skin, then apply a calming salve to relieve any stinging sensation. Also pay attention to the symptoms your child displays after being stung and contact your doctor if anything seems off — many children are allergic to Bee stings.
Ticks attach to the skin and suck blood. Though your child won’t usually feel the bite itself, there may be some redness around the area of the bite. Always check your child for Ticks after being out in the woods, camping, or other outdoor playtime. If you find a Tick, contact your doctor immediately to ensure you remove it correctly. Additionally, Ticks can carry Lyme Disease, so save the Tick in a container or bag to show to your doctor.
There are about a dozen common household Spiders here in the Pacific Northwest. Most of these long-legged insects are harmless, at most leaving an itchy bump. However, there are 2 species that are considered dangerous: Black Widow Spiders and Hobo Spiders. Learn how to identify these Spiders and if your child is bitten by one of these insects, contact your doctor immediately.
Mosquitoes bite and feed on the blood of humans and animals. In summer months here in the PNW, these insects can ruin an evening on the patio or turn a fun camping trip into an itchy nuisance. Mosquitos can also carry disease. Around the world, these insects are known for infecting people of all ages with the Zika virus, yellow fever, dengue, malaria, and other diseases.
Bed Bugs are exactly that — bugs that live in the bed. These insects are nearly invisible, coming out at night to feed on the bed’s occupant. Bed Bugs will leave little red dots on the skin, usually clustered in groups of three. These annoying critters are difficult to kill and spread easily. If you notice symptoms, make sure to take care of them as soon as possible.
Kids love to put things in their mouth — even creepy crawlers like Beetles and Ants. The idea of your child swallowing a bug might make you feel a little squeamish, but there’s probably not anything to worry about.
Most insects contain protein, a little fat, and in many countries are considered delicacies!
Of course, you don’t want to encourage your child to gobble down bugs either. If your kid is observing some insects and is at risk of turning them into a midday snack, act as a chaperone or remove them from the area.
While most bugs are harmless for kids to consume, don’t hesitate to contact Poison Control if you’re worried.
Babies and children are much more susceptible to pesticides and insecticides than adults.
How are pesticides harmful to children? Consider that a child’s body and immune system are still developing. They don’t have the ability to fight off or deflect the toxic chemicals or irritants.
Plus, you have to consider that kids are much lower to the ground (perhaps only just crawling), and are much more likely to be exposed to pesticides. And then there’s that habit of always putting things in their mouths!
Do you have a pest infestation in or around your home? Knowing that traditional pesticides are dangerous to children, how do you get rid of the insects while also keeping your kiddos safe?
If you’re set on handling a pest problem on your own, make sure you know the pesticide warning labels to look for. The three big ones are:
Never, ever leave pesticides or chemicals sitting around in the house. They should be stored under lock and key. Additionally, read the label carefully to understand instructions. Keep children away from any treated areas or get out of the house until it is considered safe. If your child comes into contact with a pesticide with any of these labels, call Poison Control or take them to the emergency room.
You can try your own methods — chemical or natural — for getting rid of bugs in the house. But considering the risk, the best way to get rid of bugs and keep kids safe is to work with an eco-friendly pest control company.
At EcoCare Pest Solutions, we can help keep your home safe from pests and dangerous chemicals alike. We use green pest control treatments that are free from dangerous chemicals and pesticides to effectively target and eliminate pests from your home.
Our targeted treatments are highly effective but most importantly, always safe for kids, pets, and your entire family.
Contact us and let’s chat.
Scientists have identified around 925,000 species of insects in the world. That’s a lot of bugs!
While there are lots of harmful bugs out there (even here in the Portland and Vancouver area), there are some you don’t need to worry about, either.
Read on to learn what bugs you can leave alone here in the Pacific Northwest without worrying about any danger to your property, family, or self.
Before we get into what bugs you DO NOT need to worry about, it’s important to remember that there are lots of little pesky insects out there that need to be controlled for you and your property’s safety.
Some insects that need to be controlled to keep you and your family safe include:
If you see these troublesome insects, get in touch with EcoCare Pest Control. Our insect extermination solution is 100% safe for people and most pets. We’ll target and eliminate your insect infestation and prevent future infestations from popping up.
Contact us online for advice and a firm price for getting rid of your insect infestation.
While they can potentially cause harm if they make their way into your home, for the most part Ladybugs are a positive presence in your outdoor space. Why is this? It’s because they themselves act as a natural pest exterminator!
Ladybugs actually eat many pests that are harmful, such as Fruit Flies, Mites, Thrips, and other harmful plant damaging insects like Aphids. Some Ladybugs may consume up to 5,000 Aphids in their life.
Further — Ladybugs won’t damage your home, your pets, or your family. In the meantime, they are an active member of the ecosystem and remove pests bad for the flora and fauna around your home. Now that’s what I call a symbiotic relationship.
Just watch out. Mexican Bean Beetles and the Squash Beetle can cause some minor harm to your plants, so make sure to identify insects to make sure they are in fact Ladybugs.
While still possessing the ability to cause some mild harm, Honey Bees are one of the most valuable members of the animal kingdom. These super insects pollinate flowers and crops. This is done by collecting nectar and pollen, which is then turned into delicious, sweet, and nutritious honey. This actually makes them the only insect that produces food eaten by humans!
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of Honey Bees, and it certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about their similar (yet very different) relatives, Wasps, Yellowjackets, and Hornets. While Bees eat nectar and pollen, Hornets and Wasps are carnivores and have a different place in the ecosystem. Importantly, Hornets and Wasps are a lot more aggressive and more likely to injure you and your family.
Luckily, there is an easy way to differentiate. If the Bee-like insect you see is furry, breathe easy, as all Honey Bees appear furry. If not, it’s likely an aggressive Hornet or Wasp that needs to be dealt with.
Let’s face it, Earwigs look scary. Their gigantic pincers look like they could do some serious damage. Fortunately, despite their scary appearance Earwigs are not poisonous, do not sting, and cause no harm to humans or pets.
In fact, Earwigs are a great member of your neighborhood ecosystem by eating dead bugs and gobbling up dead and decomposing plant matter. This actually helps your garden and the other plant life on your property thrive.
Despite their size (a Praying Mantis can grow up to 6 inches long!) they are not to be feared! These bugs cannot hurt you and are a form of pest control themselves. So much so that many gardeners actually buy Praying Mantises to release into their gardens. There is such high demand that many gardening stores keep the bugs stocked up during the gardening season!
Why are they such good pest controls themselves? These buggers munch on everything from flies, to Beetles, to Moths. Fun fact — the Praying Mantis is the only insect able to rotate its head 180 degrees, making it a flexible little predator.
Given their beauty and natural wonder, we probably don’t need to do too much convincing for you to leave Butterflies alone — but just to be sure: Butterflies cannot do you any harm.
Butterflies, in addition to being beautiful creatures, pollinate flowers, eat other insects, and are a valuable member of the ecosystem. They’ll actually promote the health of your garden and any other plants on your property. Plus, many are endangered and have regulations protecting them.
If you see a gathering of Butterflies on your property — enjoy. If anything, you’ve been blessed with a natural wonder that will bring both health and beauty.
These delicate insects, sometimes called Stink Flies, are a valuable bug neighbor. While adult Green Lacewings eat pollen and actually don’t eat bugs, their offspring are aphid munchers!
These Green Lacewing larva eat aphids and other critters, such as Spider Mites, Thrips, and many more small insects. Much like Praying Mantis, you can actually buy Green Lacewing eggs at gardening stores to help you naturally control pests in your garden.
Just don’t touch these bugs! While they’ll do no harm, they do release a mildly unsettling odor when threatened. The mild smell of the Green Lacewing is nothing compared to the good they’ll do for your home’s ecosystem.
One of the most misunderstood bugs in the animal kingdom, Dragonflies are one of your home ecosystem’s most beneficial insects.
Dragonflies are straight-up insect killers. In fact, Dragonflies are known for their love of small, flying sects such as Mosquitos — the bane of a relaxing summer evening barbeque. While you may have confidence in your fly swatting ability, Dragonflies will do a much better job of controlling the Mosquito population. They’re not called Mosquito Hawks for nothing!
Further, Dragonflies won’t do you much harm. While Dragonflies can bite, it is extremely rare. Even when provoked, they are much more likely to fly away than attack. If you do get bitten — there is never a reason to fret. Bites from Dragonflies will not cause any lasting harm.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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:
It’s only with this methodology that goes beyond just killing bugs that we can eliminate and prevent pest infestations in your home.
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.
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.
When you’re facing a rodent or pest infestation, taking matters into your own hands can be dangerous. If you’re not careful and don’t follow proper pest control methods, even the most sincere DIY removal efforts will backfire, leaving you worse off than before.
So if unwanted pests are poking around your home and property, don’t make the mistake of making mistakes. Keep reading to learn the DIY pest and rodent control tactics that simply do not work.
While a Rat or Mouse may venture out to wide open areas on occasion, these critters tend to stick close to walls and corners. After all, their instinct is to always have an escape strategy close by.
So while you might think placing a trap in the middle of your kitchen, a better strategy is to stick them against walls, behind furniture, and in tight corners. Plus, a trap set out in the open makes it more likely that a family member will accidentally pinch their toe.
When setting a trap, the more cheese, peanut butter, and other bait, the better, right? Wrong!
Overloading a trap with too much bait can actually cause the device to malfunction, giving the critter a better chance of getting away. Instead, a small amount of bait will entice your intruder and ensure the trap can do its job.
While the first instinct is often to hit any pesky intruders with a dose of deadly chemicals, using poisons can actually do more harm than good — especially if you have curious kids or animals in the house.
There are serious health and environmental risks associated with pesticide exposure. And with The World Health Organization estimates 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning each year, mostly caused by overzealous and untrained do-it-yourselfers. Spraying harmful chemicals as a way to quickly get rid of pests just isn’t worth it.
Don’t let your DIY efforts lead to sacrificing your health or the safety of your home. It’s better to use biological controls (like scents, tastes, and oils) or enlist the help of an eco-friendly pest control company.
If Fleas and Ticks are your problem, treating your pets with a veterinarian-recommended medication is a great first step — but it isn’t enough to completely stop or prevent the problem.
You’ll also need to eliminate the Fleas and Ticks that may be hidden in your home or yard and ensure they can’t pop up again.
A bug bomb spreads a fog of chemicals into your space. While this tactic is meant to control pesky critters, the chemicals in these bombs can also seep into your carpet, furniture, and walls and hurt your health.
Bug bombs often have very high toxicity ratings — frequently higher than a professional exterminator would use. This isn’t something you want in your home. Plus, some studies show that your pests will sense the chemicals and immediately flee deeper into your walls, escaping the effects of the poison. Additionally, bug bombs have a very low residual so there is no longer term benefit to preventing a return of the infestation.
An electric bug swatter will definitely help get rid of a few Mosquitos, Flies, or Moths, but if that’s your only method of control, you have a long road ahead.
Zapping away a bug here or there won’t make a significant impact on an infestation. Plus, these kinds of swatters are dangerous for houses with young families and could even cause an electrical fire.
A common myth is that pouring or throwing gasoline (or any other type of chemical) into or around a beehive is an effective way to control infestations. This is not true!
Not only will using gasoline contaminate groundwater and kill plants, it’s a great way to start a fire and damage your property.
Many people think setting bait is enough to control a problem like ants or cockroaches. In fact, truly eliminating an infestation involves solving the root of the issue. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in a loop of laying bait forever.
Fixing the root of the problem may involve…
You also need to makes sure you don’t forget about the bait you’ve set out. For example, if your bait is in a trap (like a mouse or racoon trap) then you need to check these traps every few days for captures. And if you’re using a liquid poison bait, you should ensure it doesn’t sit for so long that it gets moldy.
If you’re dealing with pests in your crawlspace, basement, or attic, you may not feel directly affected by the problem. Afterall, you probably don’t venture into these areas often (if at all).
This mindset is what leads many homeowners facing an investigation to simply cross their fingers and hope the problem will eventually just go away.
It’s a nice idea, but left alone, a pest problem will only multiply and get worse (not better). The longer you wait, the more likely these pests will cause serious damage to your home — from electrical damage to disease.
Sometimes, a simple DIY pest control solution is enough to stop and prevent any future problems. Maybe you really did just have one mischievous mouse in your house. However, if you’re repeating your efforts, it’s a good sign you have a bigger issue and need to call in the professionals.
We know that there’s nothing more annoying than a pest infestation or rodent problem in your home. Thankfully, you don’t have to handle it on your own. Our pest and rodent removal tactics are quick, effective, and safe.
We use specially formulated pest removal and extermination treatments to target and eliminate pest infestations — all while being 100% safe for your entire family.
Contact us today and let us know how we can help.