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How to identify a bug by stains, spots, trails, and more!

The best way to know if your home is infested with insects or rodents is an inspection from an experienced exterminator. However, there are some warning signs you can be on the lookout for. In today’s post, we’ll talk about the 7 most common pests in the Portland and Vancouver area, as well as how to spot them!

1. Ants

Who in the Portland area hasn’t walked into their kitchen and seen a line of tiny black ants marching towards an almost invisible speck of food on the counter? Here in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll likely start to notice signs of ant infestations during the springtime. Ants become more active after the colder winter months.

However, ants aren’t just a pest! Moisture Ants and Carpenter Ants can do damage to your home’s wood structure or to trees on your property. Here’s what to look for:

  • Moisture Ants – About ⅛” long and are yellowish-brown in color. If you see them in your home (particularly in the bathroom), they may be a sign of rotting wood caused by leaking pipes or built-up moisture. Outdoors, look for moisture ants in dead or decaying trees or stumps. If needed, have the tree inspected and removed.
  • Carpenter Ants – Carpenter Ants are bigger than other ants and build hollowed out nests in the wood of trees and buildings. Look for sawdust-like shavings and small openings in any exposed wood on the outside of your home. If your home has moisture problems, it’s more likely to attract Carpenter Ants.
  • Soil Ants – One of the most common Portland pests, you’ll often find these small black ants searching out food in your home. Spilled juice, bits of pet food, even tiny crumbs can attract these unwanted pests!

2. Spiders

Spiders are an important part of the ecosystem, eating a variety of insects that you might not want in your home! Unfortunately, however, spiders do bite humans on occasion. Depending on the species, the bites can be itchy and painful and can even become seriously infected.

Spiders are commonly found in:

  • Wood piles
  • Dark nooks and crannies
  • Crevices around windows and door frames
  • High places that aren’t cleaned often
  • Crawl spaces and attics

Be extra careful when cleaning in these areas as most spider bites occur when spiders are startled or provoked by a human.

3. Rats & Mice

There are several species of rodents found in the Pacific Northwest. Mice are generally smaller (with a body around 3” in length) while Rats might be twice that size. Rodents reproduce quickly, so it’s important to catch an infestation in its early stages. Be on the lookout for:

  • Droppings – Even a single small House Mouse can produce over 50 droppings per day.
  • Damaged Food Containers – Rodents can easily chew through cardboard food boxes. Rats can even chew through plastic!
  • Unusual Sounds – Especially at night (when rodents are most active), you might hear rustling within your walls or along floorboards.
  • Dark Marks on WallsNorway Rats, the largest rats in our area, will leave dark marks on walls where they rub their oily fur.
  • Changes in Your Pets – Pets (especially cats) may get very interested in an otherwise unremarkable area in your home if they hear, see, or smell rodents.

4. Bed Bugs

Bed Bug infestations can be very stressful. Everyone’s heard the horror stories! In addition, Bed Bug bites can be painful and itchy! Here’s what to look for:

  • Travel Safely – Inspect hotel rooms for signs of Bed Bugs. Also check the Bed Bug registry online before making reservations.
  • Check Your Mattress – Look for reddish-black spots along the edges, seams, and underside of your mattress. These are a very common sign of Bed Bug infestations.
  • Common Bite Pattern – About 80% of people are allergic to Bed Bug bites. Bed Bug bites swell up and look blotchy and red. Another telltale sign is 3 or 4 bites in a straight line.
  • Think Before Buying Used Furniture – Besides traveling, one of the most common ways Bed Bugs enter the home is through used furniture purchases. So carefully inspect anything before you bring it into your home!
  • Look For Tiny Blood Spots – If you suspect a Bed Bug infestation in your home, switch to white sheets on your bed. In the morning, look for tiny red dots. These are small drops of blood from Bed Bug bites.

5. Moths

Moth infestations can ruin food and damage your favorite sweaters! In the Portland area, there are several common species of Moths. However, contrary to popular belief, adult moths aren’t a danger to your clothes or pantry! Instead, it’s the larval (juvenile) moths that are the troublemakers.

That said, if you’re seeing lots of adult moths in your home, it’s likely that they’re laying eggs which will turn into potentially-damaging larvae. Adult moths are attracted to light, so inside your home, you’re likely to see them flying near lamps, overhead lights, and TV screens.

If moth larvae are present, you’ll likely see these signs:

  • Silk threads and webbing
  • Larval casings
  • Damage to wool

6. Wasps, Yellowjackets & Hornets

For the most part, Wasps and Hornets are considered beneficial insects because they usually feed on other insects. However, when they nest near (or inside) a home, they need to be removed. People who are allergic to their stings can suffer life-threatening allergic reactions if stung. Even if you’re not allergic, stings can be very painful!

The most obvious signs of Wasps and Hornets are their papery, egg-shaped nests. Look for nests in trees near your home, tucked into the eaves of your home, or anywhere else that’s protected from the elements. Yellowjackets on the other hand, usually build nests underground or in a confined space. These can be much harder to spot! Keep an eye out for Yellowjackets swarming around the ground.

7. Termites

In the Pacific Northwest, we have both Dampwood Termites and Subterranean Termites.

Dampwood Termites (as their name implies) prefer to eat wood that’s wet and has a consistent source of moisture. Most often, this means Dampwood Termites will be found in logs, stumps, and dead trees. Unfortunately, they can also burrow into homes where exterior wood touches the ground or where wood is dampened by leaky pipes. Subterranean Termites, on the other hand, usually live underground and burrow into the wood from underground nests which can be up to 30 feet below the surface.

Termites can cause serious damage to your home or any other wooden structure. Be on the lookout for:

  • Termite Swarms – Winged Termites swarm in the air on dry days during the spring.
  • “Layered” Wood – As Termites eat away at wood it will take on a “layered” appearance.
  • Tunnels – If you see wood with tunnels bored into it, that’s a sign of a Termite infestation.
  • Feeding Tubes – Subterranean Termites may use feeding tubes made of mud to reach wood that’s above ground level. If you see these, DO NOT disturb them as it can cause the colony to move and become harder to eliminate.

Sleep Easy With Year-Round Pest Protection

At EcoCare Pest Solutions we’ve developed a year-round pest protection service called Eco-Shield Pest Insurance. With Eco-Shield Pest Insurance, you won’t have to spend your time wondering and worrying about potential pest and insect infestations. Instead, we’ll make regular visits to your home to seek out and eliminate 39 different types of pests.

You won’t be bothered by any covered pest again, or we’ll correct the problem at no additional cost! Compared to individual service calls, Eco-Shield can save you hundreds of dollars every year- not to mention the added peace of mind knowing that your home is safe from insects and rodents.

Want to learn more? Contact us today.

Kid Safety and Pest Control: What You Need to Know

Kid Safety and Pest Control: What You Need to Know

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.

What insects are dangerous to kids?

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

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.

Bees, Wasps & Hornets

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

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.

Spiders

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.

Mosquitos

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

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.

What happens if my child eats a bug?

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.

Concerned about a bug that your child just swallowed? Contact Poison Control through their easy-to-use online tool, or call 1-800-222-1222.

Is pest control harmful to babies and children?

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!

How to handle a pest infestation with kids in the house

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:

  1. Caution — Slightly toxic if inhaled or eaten, causing minor eye or skin irritation.
  2. Warning — Moderately toxic if inhaled or eaten, causing more severe irritation to eyes and skin.
  3. Danger/Poison — The pesticide is highly toxic if eaten or inhaled, causing severe damage to the eyes or skin.

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.

Keep your kids safe with eco-friendly green pest control

Don’t risk your child’s health. Don’t put yourself through the stress. You don’t need to use harmful chemicals to keep your home safe from pests.

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.

Questions about pest control and kid safety? Contact us

As an eco-friendly pest control company, we answer many questions from parents about how to safely eliminate pests. We’re dedicated to offering safe, green, and effective pest control treatments to our community and are here to help.

Contact us and let’s chat.

DIY Pest and Rodent Removal Tactics That Simply Don’t Work

DIY Pest and Rodent Removal Tactics That Simply Don’t Work

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.

Dealing with pesky intruders? Don’t be afraid to call an expert!

Call (503) 222-5566 or contact us online

1. Placing mouse traps in high-traffic areas

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.

2. Overloading traps with bait

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.

3. Using dangerous pesticides or raticides

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.

4. Controlling fleas and ticks by only treating your pets

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.

5. Setting off bug bombs

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.

6. Killing bugs with electric swatters

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.

7. Using gasoline to control Bees and Wasps

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.

8. Setting out some bait (and that’s it)

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…

  • Sealing openings in your walls
  • Checking doors and windows for gaps
  • Cleaning up your pantry or sealing food in airtight containers
  • Improving the condition and cleanliness of garbage cans or dumpsters

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.

9. Waiting for the problem to resolve itself

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.

10. Trying to DIY more than twice

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’re here to help with eco-friendly pest control

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Why do homeowners ignore pests?

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

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

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

What’s at risk?

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

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

Your home

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

Common culprits

What can happen

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

What to look for

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

Your belongings

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

 

Common culprits

What can happen

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

What to look for

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

Your family and pets

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

 

Common culprits

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

What to look for

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

What can happen

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

The importance of preventive pest and wildlife control

Inspect. Exclude. Exterminate.

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

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

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

Protecting your home isn’t a one-time job

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

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

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

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

Ready to learn more?

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

There’s no time like the present.

7 Compelling Reasons to Use Eco-Friendly Pest Control Techniques

7 Compelling Reasons to Use Eco-Friendly Pest Control Techniques

It’s that time of year again here in Portland; the days are getting warmer and longer…and droves of insects and pests are appearing in yards, gardens, and homes throughout the city.

Thanks to our lush insect-friendly environment, it can feel like a constant battle to keep pests away and prevent them from damaging your property – especially during the spring and summer. So, when faced with a severe infestation, often the first reaction is to use a strong chemical pesticide to quickly destroy the problem.

Here’s the reality: using harsh pesticides in and around your home is dangerous. It’s much better to take an eco-friendly approach. Using environmentally friendly techniques to manage pests in the home is safer for you, your family, and your animals. It’s also more effective.

Keep reading to learn the truly amazing benefits of eco-friendly pest control techniques and why this green approach should always be your first reaction to a pest problem.

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

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

The Problem with Pesticides

Over 1 billion pounds of chemical pesticides are used every year in the United States. This is highly unnerving considering pesticides are proven to cause a range of environmental and health problems.

Environmental Impact of Pesticides

Even when pesticides are applied to a small space they’ll travel outside of this area through the air, soil, or water. Pesticides can remain in the environment for a few days or for many years, causing big problems for our delicately balanced ecosystem.

For example, pesticide use has been linked to plummeting honeybee populations, which have been dropping by 29%-36% each year since 2006. Pesticide use is killing off other pollinators as well, including butterflies and hummingbirds, and even lizards and small mammals.

Health Risks Associated with Pesticide Exposure

Any amount of exposure, even tiny doses, can be hazardous to human development, reproduction, and overall health. The World Health Organization estimates there are 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning each year and up to 220,00 deaths (mostly in developing countries).

Chronic pesticide exposure has been linked to specific chronic health issues, including:

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

Other short-term issues associated with pesticide exposure are:

  • Headaches
  • Skin and eye irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Even for pets, ingesting or exposure to pesticides can cause issues ranging from fevers and vomiting to seizures and respiratory failure.

With so many adverse health effects and symptoms associated with pesticides, spraying these chemicals around your home to get rid of insects just isn’t worth it.

Can An Exterminator Really Be Eco-Friendly?

Choosing the right pest control company is an important decision. You want to make sure the company can effectively manage your pest problem without bringing poisonous products into your home and property. Choosing a pest control company that uses an eco-friendly approach is always the best option.

Can exterminators really be eco-friendly? The answer is a resounding YES.

Eco-friendly pest control companies use products that utilize biological controls like scents, tastes, and oils combined with safer, greener chemicals. Here at EcoCare Pest Control, we use a specially formulated treatment designed to specifically target pests, while being completely safe for people and most pets.

Benefits of Eco-Friendly Pest Control Methods

We’ve discussed how eco-friendly pest control methods are safer for the environment and for people, but there are additional reasons why using a minimally-toxic pest control method is always the better choice.

Better (More Long-Term) Results

Eco-friendly pest control methods are just as effective as traditional techniques. In fact, they can even have better long-term results.

For instance, did you know that insects can develop a resistance to chemical control methods? This resistance will be passed on to the offspring, making it that much more difficult for exterminate an infestation. Eco-friendly solutions, however, make it much harder for pests to develop resistance to treatments.

Additionally, eco-friendly pest control works to address the root of the problem, increasing your chances that you won’t have the same issue again down the road.

Won’t Damage Landscaping

Traditional pest control methods require re-application every month or so. Repeatedly spraying these harsh chemicals on your property is not only bad for your health, but the health of your landscaping as well!

Toxic pest control methods often cause grass, bushes, and other plants to shrivel and die. Additionally, since these chemicals can stay buried in your soil for a long period of time, you may find regrowth very difficult.

Does Not Harm Useful Insects (Or Your Pets!)

Though you may not want to admit it, certain insects help your property. While toxic chemicals kill everything in their path, eco-friendly pest control methods are specifically targeted so as to avoid killing off every living organism.

This is especially important for your pets. By using a minimally-toxic pest control, your dog or cat will not be at risk of ingesting harmful (and potentially deadly) chemicals.

No Strong Smell

Conventional products will linger in the air after application. These products have a strong scent and leave you and your family sitting in a smelly home, inhaling air laced with toxic chemicals. Eco-friendly methods, on the other hand, do not have a harsh smell and will not linger or spread in your home.

Convenience

Other pest control methods may require you to seal all your food, clear out your fridge, and leave your home overnight. However, since eco-friendly pest control methods are minimally-toxic, you and your family don’t have to worry about “evacuating” your home during a treatment. Eco-friendly pest control won’t disrupt your life at all.

Our Eco-Friendly Approach to Pest Control

Since 2001, our team at EcoCare Pest Control has been dedicated to providing the best eco-friendly pest control services to Portland and Vancouver homeowners. Our specially formulated eco-friendly extermination methods are 100% safe and effective.

Our commitment to quality and safety has helped us win the Super Service Award from Angie’s List every year for over 10 years and received an A+ BBB rating! We’re proud to offer the best, most effective eco-friendly pest control services available…and we’ll always do it with a smile.

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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.