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6 Problems Caused By Raccoons and Large Pests

6 Problems Caused By Raccoons and Large Pests

Large pest cause serious issues here in Portland, OR. Whether it’s a raccoon, squirrel, or other large pest, your safety and your wallet could be affected in substantial ways if wildlife have decided to take up residence in your home.

In this post, we’ll go over what types of large pests you need to be on the lookout for, as well as the issues caused by these critters.

Is your home overrun with wildlife? EcoCare Pest Solutions can help get rid of them today. Contact us today or visit our wildlife page to learn more.

What type of wildlife causes home damage?

Just because an animal is cute doesn’t mean it can’t cause serious damage to your home. Wild animals will do what they please in order to survive – even if that means inflicting damage to your property.

Many homeowners don’t even know that some of these animals can do damage to their home. Since most large pests only do damage when they’re out of sight, some issues are a mystery until the pest is caught in the act.

Before we get into the issues that large pests can cause, here are the large pests you need to worry about coming onto your property and wreaking havoc:

  • Raccoons: One of the most damaging pests,Raccoons have adapted to living with humans and are drawn in by the convenience of trash cans and human shelter
  • Squirrels: Despite their size, Squirrels cause a lot of issues around Portland homes, including spreading disease and destroying property
  • Opossums: Opossums are known for entering a space and nesting, stealing food, and leaving waste, causing serious damage and creating unpleasant odors
  • Bats: Generally making a home in your attic or chimney, Bats can cause real problems in your home. In addition to carrying rabies and other diseases, Bats will leave droppings and cause unpleasant odors around your home.

Think your home or property has been infiltrated by a large pest? Get the help you need to safely and effectively remove them from your property. Remember, just because they haven’t caused issues yet does not mean they won’t in the future.

6 problems caused by large pests

Electrical damage

Large pests love burrowing into walls and ceilings. The shelter and warmth are particularly great for them in the wet and cold weather of Vancouver winters. Unfortunately, this can damage your electrical wiring.

If pests have indeed gotten into your walls, then your electrical system may be compromised. Critters chew through electrical wires, leaving exposed wire and unsafe conditions in your walls. This can mean big trouble. Did you know that 9% of fires are started by electrical issues? And since you can’t even see if it’s happening, the risk is particularly potent.

Insulation damage

While the large pests are in your walls, electrical wires aren’t the only thing they’ll be chewing on. Another common target of large critters is insulation. Chewing through the insulation in your walls and ceiling will lead to less effective insulation in your home and a weakened structure. They may even leave a nest in your insulation!

Even critters just walking around will lead to a bad situation, as compressed insulation is not as effective and will need to be replaced. Thousands of dollars in replacements could be in your future.

Damage to your lawn and garden

Even if these animals don’t reach the inside of your home, plenty of damage can be inflicted on the outside of your home as well. Raccoons and Squirrels love to dig holes in lawns to hide their treasures, leading to destroyed lawns and plenty of lawn care costs you otherwise would never have to worry about.

They’ll also dig up garden plants and other vegetation and chew on young tree bark. Worst yet, Raccoons are known to dig into and rip trash bags, spewing trash about your property. Once they’ve done this once, they’ll keep at it as they now know it’s a source for food.

Spread of disease

Simply put, one of the top ways for disease to spread into your home is through large wildlife entering your home and wreaking havoc.

If wildlife have found their way in and made a home, they’ll be leaving droppings and urine. This waste will be left mere feet from where you live and breathe daily, causing respiratory issues and potential spread of disease. One possible disease is baylisascaris, a type of roundworm that can damage your nervous system or cause serious injury.

Many large pests also carry rabies, meaning even their presence on your property can cause serious injury or death. Signs that a Raccoon or other large pest has rabies includes:

  • Disorientation and unsteady walking
  • Uncommon voices, such as screeching or chattering
  • Drooly and frothy mouths
  • Paralyzed hind legs and difficulty moving

Pests exhibiting these symptoms are incredibly dangerous, especially to pets! If you see any wildlife exhibiting these symptoms it’s imperative you seek an experienced pest extermination team as soon as possible.

Lowered air quality

In addition to potentially giving you a disease, the feces and other waste deposited in your wall will leave the air quality in your home putrid. At first you will notice just a stink, which will only get worse and worse as time goes on. Even once you identify the issue, solving the problem completely will be hard since it will be difficult to identify the exact location it’s coming from.

Other sources of rotting smell is food they’re storing decaying and going bad, and eventually the critters themselves dying in the walls and decomposing. The last thing you want you and your family to be doing is breathing in this air and having to smell the unpleasant odor day and night.

Exterior damage to your home

Lastly, large pests and wildlife can do a number on the structure of your home. Particularly troublesome areas include:

  • Roofs
  • Siding
  • Crawlspace
  • Deck

In order to get into your walls and attic space they’ll be coming in through your walls and siding. This means destroyed roof shingles, holes in your siding, and and damage to your roofline.

This damage can lead to serious water and moisture damage around your home as the holes allow the environment access to your home. Plus, even more pests will have easier access.

Fortunately, you’ll see these issues easier than others, and can address the problem once you see signs such as chew marks on your siding or loose shingles on your roof.

Call EcoCare Pest Solutions at the first sign of trouble

Pests do not just go away.

A proactive response to large pests infiltrating your property is the only long-term solution to keeping your home safe and free from dangerous wildlife.

EcoCare Pest Solutions can help with your wildlife infestation with our proven and eco-friendly approach to wildlife pest control. We’ll remove the infestation and prevent future issues as well. Contact us to get started or to have any questions answer on our pest and wildlife control services.

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.

Have Questions About Working with Our Team? Get Answers!

Read our Frequently Asked Questions

What Portland Homeowners Need to Know About Rodent & Wildlife Infestations

What Portland Homeowners Need to Know About Rodent & Wildlife Infestations

While internet sensations like Pizza Rat and Rocket Raccoon may paint a friendly picture of rats, raccoons, and other wildlife, I’d still wager that you don’t want these creatures destroying your property.

For instance, you probably wouldn’t enjoy waking up to scratching noises in the ceiling, a bat flying through your bedroom, or glass bottles shattering as these “friendly” critters rummage through your garbage. Unfortunately, here in the Pacific Northwest, these are all very common scenarios.

In today’s blog post, we’ll outline what Portland homeowners need to know about rodent and wildlife infestations. You’ll learn the more serious damage these creatures can cause, what to look for, and how to (safely and properly) handle an infestation.

Have questions along the way? Give us a call at (503) 222-5566. We’re here to help!

Rodents and Wildlife Can Cause Serious Damage to Your Home

Dealing with a rodent or wildlife infestation in your home is more than a nuisance; it’s a safety issue. These creatures are frequently the cause of fire hazards, foundation issues, diseases, and bugs.

We recently shared about the costly structural damage rodents and other pests inflict on homes throughout the PNW. Below we’re sharing a recap of some of the most common issues caused by rodents and wildlife.

 

Rats, Mice, & Bats Cause Insulation and Electrical Damage

Rats, mice, and bats all love to make their home in your insulation. Can you blame them? It’s the perfect warm, quiet, and cozy spot to sleep. When these critters tear through and chew holes in your insulation, the result is a weakened structure and a home that isn’t properly protected from the elements.

These creatures will also chew through anything that’s in their way, including electrical wires. Electrical fires accounted for 9% of all fires from 2011-2015. Often, rodents and pests are the cause of these electrical home fires.
 

Possums and Raccoons Leave Holes Everywhere

A dug up lawn or garden may not endanger your family, but it is frustrating. Raccoons will dig holes to hide food or other treasures, and opossums like to look under your yard for bugs to eat.

More seriously, raccoons are avid explorers and will stop at nothing to get into your house or attic if it looks interesting. They may even suddenly crash through your ceiling one day! These critters are often the cause of siding damage, broken glass, and holes in your roof or under your house.
 

Rats and Raccoons Steal and Destroy Your Property


Racoons are sneaky little bandits. If you have something they want, they’re going to take it (or try to, anyway). Take the rogue raccoon who broke into a liquor store in Tennessee, stealing spirits and causing a lot of damage. These creatures are mischievous!

Rats and mice are also known for sneaking into your home and stealing food or other tiny objects, gnawing on whatever they want along the way.
 

All Rodents & Wildlife Bring Bugs and Disease

In addition to all the above, keep in mind that all these rodents and wildlife carry various diseases and bugs. Raccoons and bats are common carriers of rabies and rats can transmit diseases like salmonella and hepatitis. Not to mention these creatures often also have parasites, fleas, and ticks and can be dangerous to your pets.

The Best Way to Prevent a Rodent or Wildlife Infestation

There are simple steps you can take to prevent rodents and wildlife from taking over your home. However, keep in mind that no matter how careful you are, a critter may still decide that your house looks interesting and is worth exploring. In these cases, it’s best to:

  • Keep up with home repairs – Don’t let holes, leaks, or other damage go untreated. Sealing up these spaces and keeping your home in good shape will help prevent rodents and wildlife from viewing your home as a good nesting spot and getting inside.
  • Maintain your yard – Cut back trees, keep ivy trimmed, add tree guards to your trees. All these can prevent critters from crawling up and onto your roof.
  • Store food properly – Unsealed food, food left on counters, or pet food sitting in the open is very attractive to rodents and wildlife.
  • Secure your garbage cans – Make sure your garbage cans are always closed. Don’t leave trash sitting out in bags. Keep the area around your garbage cans clean and clear.

Signs That Your Property Has a Rodent or Wildlife Problem

Aside from actually seeing a rat or opossum scurrying around your house and property, how do you know if you’re dealing with a one-off situation or are on the verge of an infestation?

Generally, if you begin to notice these critters on a recurring basis, it’s a good sign you have a problem. However, there are other specific things to watch out for, including:

  • Animal noises and droppings – Do you frequently hear scurrying or scratching noises in your walls or ceiling? You may also notice urine stains on your ceiling, floors, and walls, or find animal droppings in your pantry, attic, or living spaces.
  • Signs of internal or external damage – Around your house, look for holes in your siding, fences, and lawn. Garbage strewn about or broken glass is another sign. Inside, keep an eye out for teeth marks, frayed wires, or wood chips.
  • A foul smell – Creatures living in your home will soon start to stink up the place. This can come from their urine and droppings, old food they’re storing, or from those that have died in your walls or attic.

Never Try Removing these Animals on Your Own– It’s Dangerous

One of the most important things Portland homeowners need to know about a rodent or wildlife infestation is this: trying to trap and remove these creatures on your own can be very dangerous.

Raccoons can be aggressive. Rats may bite when provoked. Bats may attack if they feel threatened.

If we can leave you with one piece of advice today, it’s to never handle bats, raccoons, or other wildlife on your own. There’s simply too much risk involved. If you’re dealing with a rodent or wildlife issue, it’s best to work with an experienced Portland exterminator.

Always Clean Up after a Wildlife or Rodent Infestation

Did you know that simply removing the animals from your home is not enough? There are a series of steps that need to happen in order to repair damages and prevent a future infestation.

For example, rats and bats can leave behind feces and urine in your home, contaminating your insulation with dangerous viruses and parasites. Plus, the scent of a previous infestation can also attract other species. This needs to be removed and cleaned up to keep your home and family safe.

How We Can Help You Handle a Rodent or Wildlife Infestation

Whether you’re facing a full infestation or dealing with a just couple stubborn raccoons, we can help.

Here at EcoCare, we take a proven and eco-friendly approach to rodent and wildlife control and extermination, not only removing the infestation, but preventing future issues as well. We even partner with a sister construction company to perform larger, more technical cleanup and repairs.

Have questions about working with us? Visit our FAQ page to learn more. Or contact us. We’d be happy to hear from you, answer your questions, and help you take care of your rodent or wildlife issue.