Fall Rodent & Wildlife Prevention Tips

Rodent in leaves in Portland OR - Interstate Pest Management

Fall Rodent & Wildlife Prevention Tips

A rodent infestation is the last thing you want to deal with going into the holiday season. Not only are these pesky creatures creepy and persistent, but they can also be incredibly damaging to your home and health. Even a small infestation can wreak havoc – from chewing walls and wires to spreading diseases, the consequences of a rodent infestation are no joke. Knowing fall rodent and wildlife prevention tips could keep you from dealing with these dangerous pests.

Particularly as temperatures drop and rodents look for warm places to spend the winter, it’s important to take a few preventative measures and keep these destructive pests out of your home. Fortunately, rodent prevention doesn’t have to be difficult! Here are our top tips for keeping rodents out of your home this fall:

Seal off any cracks or holes.

When cold weather hits, rodents and other pests will start searching for a cozy place to spend the winter. A home that is warm and easy to get into is a prime target for rodents. Taking the time to fix broken screens and seal off any cracks or holes with caulk can help prevent these pests from sneaking indoors this fall.

Properly store and dispose of trash.

If there’s one thing rodents love, it’s trash. The variety of rotting materials make an excellent food source for rodents and wildlife, which is why so many pests target unprotected garbage cans. By promptly disposing of your trash in a sealed trash can, you can cut off a potential food source for rodents and other pests.

Store food in airtight containers.

Food out in the open is like a buffet for pests and wildlife. Storing your food in airtight containers can prevent rodents from getting into your goodies, while also making it more challenging for them to find food near your home.

Fix any leaks or damp areas in your home.

Like most other creatures, rodents need a water source to survive. So, that leaky pipe or constantly damp basement is an oasis for wildlife. By fixing leaks and solving moisture problems, you are cutting off a potential water supply and making it more difficult for pests to infest your home.

Regularly clean your counters and floors.

Throughout the day, crumbs and small bits of food may collect on your countertops and floors. Even if you hardly notice the tiny mess, rodents and other pests – like ants – could snack on these crumbs. Regularly wiping down your counters and sweeping or vacuuming your floors can deter rodents by making it difficult for them to find food.

Remove clutter throughout your home.

Rodents and other pests often prefer to live in spaces with plenty of nooks and crannies, which makes a cluttered home the perfect spot for them to nest. Boxes, piles of clothes, old furniture, and other random and seldom-used items can all become great hiding places for rodents. Clearing out clutter makes it more difficult for rodents and other pests to build a secluded nest.

Clean up your landscaping.

That pile of leaves next to your home may not seem like a big deal, but it could be sheltering rodents or wildlife – which makes it that much easier for pests to enter your home once cold weather hits. If you have large bushes or piles of leaves near the foundation of your home, you may not notice that rodents are hiding out so close. Cleaning up your landscaping can prevent pests from going unnoticed.

A rodent infestation is a serious problem. While these tips can help you prevent rodents and other pests from entering your home this fall, we still recommend seeking professional help as soon as possible if you are facing an infestation.

If your home is riddled with rodents, contact Interstate Pest Management in the Pacific Northwest today! Our highly trained pest control specialists can help safely remove pests and build a personalized prevention plan to keep rodents out for good. Just give us a call today!

Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Work?

Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Work?

Pest control can be a tricky and time-consuming task. Sealing off cracks in your home, setting out traps, regularly checking for signs of an infestation – it can all feel like a full-time job! That’s why so many manufacturers are constantly trying to find innovative ways to keep pests off your property.

One such innovation is a device called an ultrasonic pest repeller, which was first introduced in the 1950s. While these interesting devices have been around for a long time and seem promising, are they actually effective? To help you determine whether ultrasonic pest repellers are a worthwhile investment, the experts at Interstate Pest Management will help answer that question.

What are Ultrasonic Pest Repellers?

Ultrasonic pest repellers are special electronic devices that release high-frequency sounds designed to repel or injure household pests. Most are intended to be plugged into an electrical outlet, which would make them very easy to set up and use. Manufacturers claim that these devices can repel pests over a 1,000 square foot radius or more, even through walls.

Are Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Effective?

While the idea behind ultrasonic pest repellers sounds wonderful, several studies have shown that these devices are not effective in the long run. In fact, these devices are backed by so little evidence that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has gotten involved multiple times. From 1995 to 2018, the FTC and other organizations have warned, fined, or filed lawsuits against manufacturers for false advertising on these products.

Yet, despite these negative reports, ultrasonic pest repellers are still commonly sold – and many have great consumer reviews. So, why is there such a big difference between studies and consumer reports? The answer is because these devices might work, but only for a very short period of time. The initial noise can scare off pests, which can make it seem like the ultrasonic pest repeller is doing its job. However, once the pests realize the sound is not dangerous, they will continue to infest as if it isn’t there.

If you are struggling to keep pests out of your home or property, don’t depend on unreliable devices like ultrasonic pest repellers. Instead, contact your local pest control experts! At Interstate Pest Management, we are always happy to help you create personalized plans to identify, treat, or prevent infestations. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

Are You Prepared for the Early Arrival of Yellowjackets?

Interstate Pest yellowjacket removal

Are you prepared for the early arrival of Yellowjackets?

Nice weather this spring has allowed for yellowjackets to start building nests earlier this year in the Portland and Vancouver area. This means you may notice some larger than normal nests once August arrives. Until then, diligence is the best defense, so here’s what you need to know to keep them away from your home this summer. 


How to Keep Yellowjackets Away

A quick walk-around inspection of your home will catch yellowjackets before their nests get too big.


Don’t Leave Food Out

During a BBQ or picnic, make sure to cover all of your food and drinks. Yellowjackets are drawn to proteins and sugars so if they’re left out, they’re sure to swing by.


Seal Garbage Bins

As mentioned above, yellowjackets feed on protein and sugar, making your garbage can an attractive food source. Make sure the lid is always tightly sealed to help deter yellowjackets. If you want to take it a step further, you can store your garbage bins in a shed or garage. 


Eliminate Standing Water

Along with food, yellowjackets also need water to survive. Bird baths, clogged gutters, and other sources of standing water give these stinging insects the water they need. 


Seal Cracks and Crevices

Inspect the soffits on a regular basis. Make sure to seal up any holes that would allow the yellow jacket access to a wall void. 


Adjust Your Wardrobe

Yellowjackets perceive dark colors as a threat and are attracted to flowers so consider wearing light-colored clothing with simple patterns to avoid attracting these pests. 


Avoid Fragrances

If you’ll be spending a lot of time outside, consider skipping scented soaps, lotions, and perfumes. Yellowjackets are attracted to sweet-smelling scents. 


Plan Your Garden Carefully

Planning to incorporate flowers or fruit trees to your landscape? Blossoming flowers are very attractive to yellowjackets and other stinging insects. Consider planting your bright colored flowers away from the home and refrain from using other brightly-colored decor. 


Yellowjackets will also visit plants that have aphids for both the honeydew as well as the aphids themselves so make sure you don’t have aphids.


Note, before working among bushes or other landscape it is recommended that you stand back and observe the area for a moment. Look for yellowjackets that are flying directly into the area. Yellowjackets that are returning to a nest know exactly where they are going and do not hesitate to go straight to the entrance.


This flight pattern will look different from a yellow jacket that is visiting a bush because of water or food. If you see a yellowjacket fly straight into a bush without stopping. Continue to watch it, if additional yellowjackets are taking the same flight path coming or going, then you most likely have a nest in that area and it would be wise to contact a pest control professional.


Yellowjacket Removal Services

We hope these preventive measures work, but if it’s too late and you find a nest on your property, don’t attempt to remove it on your own. It’s best to contact a licensed pest control professional like Pioneer Pest Management. These stinging insects are notorious for being aggressive and inflicting some serious pain. Even scarier–a group of them will convene and attack multiple times. We can safely remove the nest and relocate it to another area so you can get back to enjoying your summer.

Are Boxelder Bugs Stink Bugs?

Although boxelder bugs are quite pungent, they aren’t the pests that we commonly refer to as stink bugs. Stink bugs actually belong to an entirely different group of insects. To learn more about these nuisance bugs including how to prevent them, here is some helpful information below.

What are Boxelder Bugs?

Boxelder bugs are small black insects with orange or red markings. They’re part of the Rhopalidae family of scentless plant bugs. Boxelder bugs typically emerge in spring and get their name from the fact that they’re often found around boxelder trees.

These insects can get inside through cracked screens and loose roof joints. Although boxelder bugs are mostly just a nuisance, they can leave behind repulsive odors when crushed and stains from their waste.

What are Stink Bugs?

Stink bugs are slightly longer than boxelder bugs and have wider triangular-shaped bodies. They come in a variety of brown shades with grey, blur, bronze, or black markings. As part of the Pentatomidae family, stink bugs are infamous for their pungent odors.

These pests can enter homes through your attic, siding, weep vents, and under doors. While they aren’t particularly harmful to humans, stink bugs can be detrimental to your houseplants.

How to Prevent Boxelder Bugs

The first line of defense against boxelder bugs is with prevention. Here are some helpful tips you can do to help prevent an infestation.

  • Repair or replace damaged window & door screens
  • Caulk openings around the home
  • Install door sweeps
  • Inspect weatherstripping
  • Check for cracks in your foundation
  • Trim overgrown shrubs and prune overhanging tree branches

If you already have boxelder bugs in your home, don’t kill them. Instead, use a vacuum to remove them.

Bug Control in Portland OR

If any of the above insects have infiltrated your Portland area home, Interstate Pest Management is here for you. Our experts will inspect your home, develop a personalized plan to get rid of the pests, and offer ways to help prevent future pest problems. To schedule service, contact us today!

Who’s Responsible for Pest Extermination in a Rental Property?

When renting in the Pacific Northwest, you may run into pests. Spiders, wasps, rodents, cockroaches, ants, and wildlife thrive in our area so everyone needs pest control. The question is who is responsible, the landlord or the tenant? The answer depends on local laws and your lease agreement.

Local Laws

In Washington state the landlord is responsible for controlling pests before the tenant moves in and continue to control pest infestations except:

  • If the rental is a single-family residence or;
  • If the tenant causes the pest infestation

In Oregon, the law states that a landlord is responsible for providing a pest-free environment in the very beginning and then it’s up to the tenant to maintain it.

Your Rental Agreement

Another option is to check out your lease agreement. These documents list out the responsibilities the landlord and tenant have each agreed upon when the lease began.

Rental Pest Control in Washington

Whether you’re a landlord or tenant, dealing with a pest infestation can be stressful. While most pests are simply a nuisance, others can pose health and safety risks.

DIY pest extermination methods generally only touch the surface of the problem and may lead to property damage. So when a pest problem arises, it’s best to work with a professional like Interstate Pest Management. We’ve been providing environmentally conscious pest control services in Oregon and Washington since 1963.

In order to really protect yourself, your property, and your tenants, we recommend scheduling regular preventative pest control services.