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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.

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.

Things to Consider When Eliminating Rats

How To Eliminate Rats in Your Portland Home

Portland-area residents have been dealing with rats ever since the late 1800s when the Brown Rat first arrived in the PNW from Southeast Asia. Today, rats are incredibly common throughout the city. In fact, Portland was recently ranked number 17 in Orkin’s annual list of most rat-infested cities in the US!

Even though Portland has more or less learned to live in harmony with its population of Rodentia, no one wants to actually “live” with them. The good news is, keeping rats out of your home is easier than you think. Plus, we’re here to help you along the way.

In today’s blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know in order to successfully eliminate rats from your Portland area home.

 

Need the Help of an Experienced Portland Rat Exterminator?
Call (503) 222-5566

Understanding the Portland Rat

When it comes to keeping rats out of your home, having some background information about these critters is helpful.

Mouse vs. Rat EcoCare Pest Control Portland

The Difference Between a Rat vs. Mouse

People often get these two rodents confused, but there are some simple ways to tell them apart:

Rat Mouse
Size Large (13-18 inches) Small (1-3 inches)
Tail Thick and shorter than its body Thin and same length or longer than its body
Ears Small, relative to the head Large, relative to the head
Nose Large and wide Narrow and sharp

Can you tell the difference between a rat and mouse? Take this quiz to test your ability!

Common Rats in the PNW

The Norway Rat is one of the most common rat species here in the Pacific Northwest. Despite its name, the Norway Rat likely came from Asia. This type of rat is also sometimes called a House Rat, Sewer Rat, Wharf Rat, or Brown Rat.

A Norway Rat is typically brown or gray in color, has shaggy and coarse hair and a dark and scaly tail.

Roof Rats can also be found in the area. These rats are smaller than Norway Rats and are generally black in color. They also have smooth fur and fairly large and hairless ears.

What Do Rats Eat?

Rats don’t tend to be picky about their food choices. They are omnivorous and will munch on pretty much anything.

Even so, according to one study, some of a rat’s favorite foods include scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese. Beets, on the other hand, are their least favorite food.

Are Rats Dangerous?

One question we hear a lot from our customers is, “Can a rat hurt me?” The answer is yes. Whether by biting you or spreading disease in your home, rats can be hazardous to your health.

Rats carry and can transmit several diseases, including:

  • Salmonella
  • Hepatitis
  • Tularemia
  • Plague
  • Parasites

These diseases can be spread through their urine, feces, saliva, and hair.

Rats can be unpredictable and may bite a human if confronted or provoked. Sadly, children are often the easy victims of rat bites. Thankfully, rat attacks aren’t very common here in the Portland area. As an example, between 2010 and 2012, Oregon registered just 17 rodent bites, and none of them were near Portland.

 

Rat Infestation Portland EcoCare Pest Solution

Warnings Signs of a Rat Infestation

Rats reproduce at an incredible rate. If you notice rats in your home, it’s important to take care of this issue as soon as possible. A handful of rats running around your home could turn into a massive infestation in no time at all.

Be on the lookout for these tell-tale signs of a rat problem in your home:

  • Rat Droppings – Even a single Norway Rat can leave up to 30 droppings a day.
  • Damaged Food Containers – As we mentioned, rats love food. They’ll stop at nothing to get to the tasty treats you have in your house. Watch for gnawed up cardboard food boxes, plastic bags, or other food containers.
  • Sounds of Movement in Your Walls – At night (when rats are most active) you might start hearing rustling in your walls, floorboards, and ceiling.
  • Dark Marks on Your Walls – Norway Rats often rub their oily fur along surfaces, leaving dark marks on your walls.
  • Distracted Pets – Your dog or cat may become very interested in an otherwise uninteresting area of your home when they hear, smell, or see a rat.

How to Prevent Rats in Your Home

The best method for getting rid of rats is prevention. Here are the most effective steps you can take to keep rodents out of your home.

Stay on Top of Home Repairs

Keeping your home in top shape is important. Don’t let holes in your interior and exterior walls or flooring go untreated. Sealing up these spaces will prevent a rat from squeezing through. Plus, any hole at least one-quarter of an inch wide can be made larger by strong rat teeth.

Keep Rats Off Your Roof

Once a rat can access your roof, they’ll probably soon find a way (or make their own way) into your house. Don’t make it easy for them to get up there!

Pay special attention to your landscaping. Rats are great climbers and will often scurry up trees, branches, and ivy to get into your home. Ensure there aren’t any tree branches or bushes extending near or over your roof.

Cut back ivy along your house, and trim branches at least 4 feet from utility wires. Additionally, you may want to consider tree guards around the base of your tree trunks.

 

Rat Elimination Portland EcoCare Pest Control

Maintain the Area Around Your Home

Beyond the structure of your home, keep your surrounding property clean and tidy. This means ensuring the lid stays on your trash can, not leaving animal food sitting out, and eliminating large areas of standing water around your home.

Store Food Properly

Inside your home, you should rat-proof your pantry and kitchen. First, make sure you use sealed containers for all your food items. Keep food containers off the floor and away from walls.

Get rid of old, spoiled foods and don’t let food sit out for long. Avoid letting dishes pile up in the sink, and always wipe down your counters at the end of the day. Use lids on your trash can.

Remember, hunger is the best contraceptive for rats. If they aren’t able to get enough food, the less likely they’ll be to reproduce or stick around your home.

What to Do If You Have a Rat Infestation

Getting rid of a rat problem once it’s started can be very difficult. There are several options you can try, but depending on the seriousness of your rat problem, these may or may not be effective. It’s always better to call an experienced Portland area exterminator for help.

 

Rat Infestation Control Portland EcoCare Pest Control

Rat Snap Trap

This is a large wooden or plastic trap using some sort of bait. When the rat takes the bait, a metal bar will snap down on the rat and kill it. This is a good way to get rid of some rats but can be ineffective if you don’t place the trap in the right spot. And don’t get your finger caught in these traps as they have been known to break fingers!

Live Trap

A live trap lures a rat inside an enclosed area where it can’t escape. This method does not kill the rat, so you have to humanely kill the animal or release it away from your home after you’ve caught it. Keep in mind that handling a rat– especially when it’s alive– is dangerous.

Bait Stations

Bait stations do not trap the rat. Instead, they use a poisonous bait to attract the rat. The active ingredient in the bait is only around ¼ of 1% so it has a delayed reaction of two to five days before the rat dies. This way, the other rats don’t associate the bait with dying and causing them to stay away.

Trying to eliminate a rat infestation on your own–especially if using poison– is dangerous to you and your family! Children and pets can accidentally come into contact with the poison. Plus, poisoned rats will often die in the walls of your house, causing your whole space to stink.

 

Rat Extermination EcoCare Pest Control Portland

Get Rid of Rats in Your Home

If you’re facing a rat problem in your home, we can help! We’ve been helping Portland and Vancouver area homeowners eliminate rats for over 15 years and understand how to approach this issue effectively.

When you call us to help solve your rat problem, you can expect…

  1. A thorough rat inspection of your home and infestation analysis. We’ll explain our findings and recommend the most effective treatment plan.
  2. Expert rat-proofing. We’ll seal off and prevent any more rats from getting into your home.
  3. Eco-friendly and efficient extermination methods. Our team uses powerful rat traps to effectively and humanely move these rodents from your home. Our methods are safe for people and pets!

Ready to eliminate rats in your Portland or Vancouver home? Contact us today. We would love to help you.

Say No to Bugs! How to Insect-Proof Your Clothes, Food & Valuables

Updated: October 19th, 2022 

With more than 300 species of bugs and insects living in Oregon, are you fighting an uphill battle trying to keep bugs out of your home?

Of course not! Tackling this issue on your own will take some work, but by following a regiment of preventative measures and partnering with an experienced pest control company, you’ll successfully keep insects away from your clothes, food, and valuables.

Keep reading for some important tips on bug-proofing your Portland home.

 

Before Getting Started

Keeping bugs from taking over your home and personal items is a two-step process:

  1. Eliminate any bugs already inside your house
  2. Prevent (more) bugs from getting inside your house

There’s no point in eliminating insects inside your home if you don’t immediately stop them from coming back, so do both of these steps in tandem.

Here is an initial checklist to cross off before you begin:

  • Determine where in your house you have insect and bug problems
  • Understand what types of bugs are in your home OR if you don’t currently have a problem, research what types of bugs your home is at risk for
  • Find out how the insects are getting into your home
  • Determine what in your home the bugs are attracted to

Once you’ve finished this sleuthing, you’ll have a better understanding of how serious your problem is. If you’re dealing with a full-fledged infestation, it’s always best to immediately call an experienced pest control company.

If your bug problem is less serious or if you want to do some precautionary bug-proofing, then it’s time to get started.

 

Bug-Proof Your Kitchen

There are a number of preventative measures you can take to keep bugs from crawling into your kitchen and dining area. Of course, prevention is only the first line of defense. You can also try some DIY methods for getting rid of small issues, like occasional Ants, Fruit Flies, or Spiders.

Don’t Leave Food Sitting Out

Creepy crawlers are attracted to food, so it makes sense that keeping your kitchen clean would be a good way to avoid a bug problem.

This isn’t a one-time fix, but rather a way of life. Adopt these tips to keep bugs from taking over:

  • Get in the habit of wiping down your counters after every meal.
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes stacked in the sink or on the counter.
  • Keep your trash can sealed, emptying it regularly.
  • Sweep your kitchen floor at least once a week.
  • Don’t leave fruit sitting out for too long.

Seal Pantry Items

Take a look inside your pantry. Are your bulk food items stored in an airtight container? Foods like rice, flour, and even cereal are magnets for bugs when left open. Pet food is especially attractive to bugs, so keep this sealed, if possible.

Periodically clean out your pantry and cupboards. Wipe down shelves to remove any crumbs and check your food items to make sure they haven’t been tampered with.

Move Appliances

Often bugs will enter your kitchen through holes or spaces you cannot see. These are commonly behind your kitchen appliances.

Carefully pull your appliances out to check the walls behind them. This includes your fridge, microwave, stove, and even under the sink. You don’t have to completely remove them from the wall– just enough for you to get back there and assess the situation.

Look for any holes or open spaces. Pay special attention to the area where pipes or plugs enter the wall– there are often gaps here. Use caulk to close off spaces.

Set Bug Traps

If you’re dealing with some occasional intruders, it can be helpful to leave out bug traps. Glue traps can work well at catching bugs like stink bugs and spiders. Plus, these are easy to tuck out of the way and are safe for you and your family.

You can also test out some natural bug traps in your kitchen. For example, to help get rid of fruit flies, set out a glass of apple cider vinegar and dish soap. The vinegar attracts the flies and the soap traps them.

 

Bug-Proof Your Closet

Bugs like dark, quiet, warm, or humid corners, so your closet is a natural place to find them. Here in the Pacific Northwest, Clothes Moths and Silverfish can get into the dark corners of your closet and chew away at your clothes.

There are a few things you can do to avoid these problems.

Clean and Vacuum Regularly

As you’re doing your regular house cleaning, don’t forget about your closet. Every few months, clear out your closet and give it a deep clean. Vacuum hard-to-reach corners, pick up any wardrobe items left on the ground, and check your clothes to look for bug problems, especially those with natural fabrics like wool or silk.

Store Only Clean Clothes

Before shoving your suit, dress, or other wardrobe item in the back of your closet, make sure it’s clean. Be especially careful about second-hand clothes. Always wash and dry woolen items bought from thrift stores or given as a hand-me-down.

For these items you rarely wear and store in the back of your closet, every so often consider getting them dry cleaned (without starch, which can attract bugs) or throwing them in the dryer on high heat to eliminate any insect eggs or mildew. Use garment bags made of cotton or vinyl only.

Use Cedar

Though mothballs are an option, there are natural remedies you can take, such as a cedar block or cedar chips. Cedar loses its scent over time, so for this to be effective, you’ll need to sand the cedar lightly every few months.

Additionally, make sure your clothes do not touch the cedar directly, as staining can occur thanks to its natural oils.

 

Bug-Proof Your Living Spaces

We know bugs don’t just bother you in your kitchen and closet. Make sure to take some general preventative steps all throughout your home to keep bugs away from your valuables.

Close Entry Points

Just as locked doors help keep intruders out, a properly sealed door can stop pests in their tracks. Examine your entryway carefully to look for unsealed gaps– chances are, you’ll find some great entry points for unwanted insects.

Keep bugs from crawling under your door by installing an aluminum or steel threshold. You can take this a step further by also installing a door sweep, which covers the small gap between your threshold and door bottom.

Weatherstripping and caulking can also be effective around your doors and windows. If you really want to go above and beyond, purchase plastic outlet covers to plug up those outlets not currently in use.

Repair Cracks

Sealing off cracks and holes on your home’s interior and exterior can be a great way to avoid, and stop, a bug problem. A good rule of thumb is if a crack or gap is wide enough to fit a pencil, you should fill it.

Inside your house, look along your moldings,baseboards, flooring, and walls. Outside, look at your foundation and siding. If you notice cracks, rotting wood, or exposed pipes, take time to repair and seal these against bugs.

 

Partner with an Experienced Pest Control Company

Eliminating bugs and insects in your home is a big undertaking. While there are things you can do to prevent bugs from getting into your things, working with a local pest control company is always a faster, more effective solution.

At EcoCare Pest Solutions, we’ve been helping homeowners in the Portland and Vancouver area eliminate bugs and insects for over 15 years. All our services are carefully designed to be safe for your family and tough on pests.

Whether you have an Ant colony taking over your kitchen or Silverfish bugs in your closet, we can help eliminate and insect-proof your entire home. Contact us today for a free inspection!

7 Common Summer and Fall Pests in Portland & Vancouver

The first step in creating a year-round pest control plan for your home is to understand the types of pests you’re dealing with. After all, how can you plan to tackle a problem if you don’t know it exists?

Here in the Portland and Vancouver area, there are a variety of insects and rodents homeowners need to be aware of. Many of these pests hibernate in the winter months and venture out during late spring and summer months.

Let’s take a look at 7 of the most common summer and fall pests homeowners in Portland and Vancouver need to be aware of.

Boxelder Bug

As a Portland and Vancouver area resident, you’ve likely come into contact with a Boxelder Bug at one point or another. This black and red bug is often referred to as a Garage Beetle or Maple Bug and is quite the annoying character. This bug is known for crawling into your home, staining curtains and walls with its excrement, and munching away at indoor plants.

Boxelder Bugs are especially attracted to warm air currents so are much more prevalent during summer months. These bugs like to crawl into any cracks and crevices around the exterior of your home during the fall and hibernate through the winter. When warmer weather rolls around, they emerge in large numbers.

An eco-friendly pest control solution will exterminate these bugs if they’re in your home. But the best way to combat these pests is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.

Ants

For Pacific Northwest residents, ants can be a year-round problem. We deal with many types of ants in Portland and Vancouver, but Carpenter Ants are the most destructive to your home. These ants have a nasty habit of hollowing out wood and causing structural damage.

Carpenter Ants tend to appear in warmer months. As spring and summer arrive, keep an eye out for Carpenter Ants both inside and outside your house. Here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Piles of wood shavings
  • Foraging trails outside your home
  • High moisture areas of your home (basements & crawlspaces)

Be careful because carpenter ants have a strong bite and can break your skin. Calling a professional pest control company is always recommended.


Rodents

Rainy weather contributes to large rodent populations in the summer, making Portland and Vancouver prime locations for rodent infestations. Critters like mice and rats can cause damage to your home by gnawing on materials and eating your food.

There are a few things you can do to prevent rodents from being an issue:

  • Maintain your yard, keep weeds and plants from growing up against your house
  • Seal off entrance points into your house
  • Keep food stored in airtight containers

Bed Bugs

Though Bed Bugs often appear in hotel rooms, hostels, and motels, these tiny parasites can also live in your home. These bugs are especially irritating since they enjoy feeding on humans, are hard to see, and even harder to get rid of.

As temperatures rise here in the Pacific Northwest, so does a Bed Bug’s need to feed. Though these bugs can be present all year long, you’re more likely to deal with them during the summer months. There are a few common signs of Bed Bugs to watch out for on your bed:

  • Reddish-black spots on your sheets
  • Small brown ovals in the crevices of your mattress
  • A musty odor
  • Small red bites on your skin

If you believe you have a bed bug infestation, it’s important you deal with it as quickly as possible.

Bees, Hornets, and Yellow Jackets

Bees pollinate plants, produce honey, and control spider and other insect populations– but they’re not the kind of thing you want hanging in or around your home- especially if a family member is allergic to their stings.

Bees and other members of the Hymenoptera order of insects are common during the summer months. Use the following precautions to avoid getting stung:

  • Do not swat at insects or flail your arms
  • Stay calm and slowly walk away from the area
  • Keep garbage cans tightly sealed
  • Be on the lookout for nests when mowing the lawn or doing other yard work
  • Always contact a professional; don’t attempt to remove a nest on your own

Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jackets are beneficial since they eat spiders and other insects. They are also typically slow to sting. But if you approach their nest they can become extremely aggressive and sting multiple times.

 

Honey Bees

Honey Bees not only provide honey and wax, they are also vital to our natural ecosystem. Honey Bees are unlikely to sting you unless you approach their hive. In this case, they will become defensive.


Hornets

Hornets are fierce and relentless if provoked. Bald Faced Hornets, in particular, can even shoot their venom at an attacker’s eyes. A hornet’s nest is light gray about the size of a basketball with a teardrop-like opening at the bottom and often found in trees and bushes.

Mosquitos

When summer weather hits in Portland and Vancouver, so do the mosquitos. High temperatures combined with our heavy rainfall during winter and spring months create the ideal environment for mosquito larvae to hatch.

Beyond being an itchy nuisance, mosquitos can also carry and pass along disease. There are a few simple steps you can take for keeping mosquitos away from your home and backyard area:

  • Use insect repellent when spending time outside
  • Set up mosquito repellent stations in your yard
  • Drain standing water from unused flower pots, tarps, or anything else in your yard that collects water

Fleas & Ticks

If you have a pet then you’re well aware of Flea & Tick season. At the first sign of warmer weather, it’s time to get ready to protect Fido and your entire family from an infestation.

Fleas

Though Fleas typically don’t bother humans, they can be a big nuisance for your pets. If left unchecked, a Flea infestation can transmit disease to your pet and take over your house. Make sure to use a flea collar or use a topical medication on your pet every summer and fall.

Ticks

Ticks are most often found in rural areas. If you live in a particularly wooded area, ticks are definitely something to be aware of. After spending time outdoors, do a quick once-over to check for ticks.

Deer Ticks are especially dangerous as they can cause Lyme disease. If you get bit by a tick, make sure to talk with your doctor– and bring the culprit with you, if possible.

Rest Easy All Year With Eco-Shield Pest Insurance

There’s nothing quite as wonderful as summer and fall in the Portland and Vancouver area. Partner with a reliable pest control company and don’t let annoying pests and rodents put a damper on this beautiful time of the year.

At EcoCare Pest Solutions, we offer a year-round pest protection service called Eco-Shield Pest Insurance. This service keeps you from worrying about pests or insect infestations in or around your home. We’ll make seasonal trips to your property to look for and eliminate 39 different types of common pests.

Eco-Shield Pest Insurance is designed to save you money and give you peace of mind knowing your home is protected from pesky insects and rodents.

Interested in learning more? Give us a call!