Homeowner’s Guide to Portland & Vancouver

Blue and white banner reading Homeowner's guide to Portland & Vancouver. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about their Homeowner's Guide to Portland & Vancouver.

So you’re making a move to the Pacific Northwest? You’ve made an excellent choice! This region of Washington and Oregon is a marvelous place to call home, with beautiful scenery, great people, fantastic things to do, and much more. We should know, we’re locals ourselves, and many of us have lived in the greater Portland and Vancouver areas for our entire lives.

Planning and executing a successful move to an area as big as the greater Portland and Vancouver metro takes considerable time and energy–not to mention careful planning! Finding a home and booking movers are just two of the many tasks to complete when relocating to a new area. As your to-do list grows, make sure you’ve thought of everything that needs to be accomplished before, during, and after the move!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your hands on a resource that gave you a little information about everything involved with a move to the Pacific Northwest? Well, you can! By adding a little research to our years of experience as locals, we developed this resourceful guide for new homeowners just like yourself… so you can see why this is such an incredible place to live! In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Great neighborhoods to live in
  • Local school districts
  • Where to shop and eat
  • Local attractions
  • and much more!

You deserve a stress-free moving experience. We’re excited to welcome you to your new city and ease the process with our resourceful guide. We know this is a busy time! Make the most of it by taking advantage of our insider knowledge of the Portland and Vancouver areas.


The Homeowner’s Guide to Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA

 

Table of Contents:

 

Moving to the PNW? Here’s what you need to know.

Lots of people are making the move to the Pacific Northwest from all around the world, and many of them intend to settle in Portland or Vancouver. Many come for the adventure, others for the small-town feel, and still others for the excellent job opportunities and education that comes with being a Pacific Northwest resident.

Whatever your reason for relocating to this beautiful area, we’re glad you’ve decided to make it your home. We might be a little biased, but we think that this area is the best place in the world to live–but for new arrivals, this place can be a little overwhelming. With so many great places to live, things to see and do, and adventures to have it can be hard to decide where to start.

Not to worry! We’re locals, so your friends here at Interstate Pest Management have the inside scoop on everything about the area, from the very best neighborhoods to the best professional services, even down to the best restaurants in the area that you’ve never heard of. Use this Homeowner’s Guide to Portland and Vancouver to learn everything you ever needed to know about making the Pacific Northwest your home.

Homeowner’s Resources

If you’re planning a move to the Pacific Northwest, finding a place to live can prove to be more than a little overwhelming. There are so many great places to put down your roots that it can be hard to settle on just one. As locals, we have insider knowledge of the very best neighborhoods to live in–and the best real estate agents to work with–to help make home happen for you sooner than you ever thought possible.

The Best Neighborhoods to Live In – Vancouver Area

Butler AcresButler Acres is a gorgeous neighborhood that welcomes both young professionals just starting out in their first homes all the way up to established families that need a little bit more space. Families with kids will enjoy a wonderful school system, and professionals will enjoy easy access to professional parks and corporate establishments for employment.

Cascade City-ViewCascade City-View is a great area for those who like a little fresh air and a little space to call your own. If you choose this neighborhood, you are choosing a great area that offers space for families to grow as well as plenty of shopping, work opportunities, and quality schools.

Mount VistaOne of the more upscale neighborhoods in the Vancouver area, Mount Vista is known for gorgeous homes, beautiful landscapes and great schools for growing families. This peaceful and quiet neighborhood features very low crime rates and a safe atmosphere that residents love.

The Best Neighborhoods to Live In – Portland Area

North Portland: North Portland, or NoPo for short, has transformed itself from an industrial, working neighborhood into the hip, fun neighborhood that it is today. If you’re looking for a part of town that offers small business, entrepreneurship, hip restaurants and exciting nightlife, this neighborhood may be the perfect place for you to call home.

Alberta-Concordia: Long known for its quaint cottages and gorgeous bungalow-style homes, Alberta-Concordia has transformed into an exciting neighborhood for young couples and single professionals. This bicycle-friendly neighborhood blends the excitement of the city with a quaint, neighborhood feel that will have young families flocking to the area.

Hawthorne District: The Hawthorne District in Southeast Portland is a Gen-Xer’s haven. Home seekers can find beautiful Victorian-style homes as well as gorgeous condominiums to fit any style preference. This neighborhood is great for singles striking out on their own, or for young families looking for a change of scenery.

Best Real Estate Agents

If you’re looking for a home in the Vancouver and Portland areas, many qualified real estate agents can help you along the way. A good real estate agent can do much more than just show you your dream home–they can help you select the ideal neighborhood for your situation, find the best value for your home, and ensure that you’re situated in the best area to live in.

Quick Tip: If you’re looking for a great real estate agent in the Longview area, we recommend realtor Laura Yoder.

Moving Resources

Once you’ve found the perfect home, it’s time to start packing up and moving–and we can’t wait for you to arrive! But before you start moving, check out this list of moving tips to help ensure that your move to the Pacific Northwest is as stress-free as possible.

  • Hire a moving company. Although it can be tempting (and seemingly cheaper) to move without professional help, bringing in the pros can help ensure that your move goes smoothly. A great moving company, like Lile Moving and Storage, is worth the extra expense when it comes time to pack up your belongings, truck them across cities or states, and unpack them again.
  • Lighten your load. Before you start packing, go through your items to see what you can part with. Fewer items now mean much less to pack up and move later!
  • Label your boxes properly. When you pack up your items, pack similar things into boxes together to make the unpacking process simple. Once items are packed and marked, it will be easy to move them into their proper room in your new home and quickly unpack them.
  • Give yourself enough time to pack. One of the biggest moving mistakes is underestimating the time it will take to pack up your home. You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to pack it away into boxes, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to pack your home in an organized manner to save yourself a few headaches later.
  • Pack an “essentials” box. Let’s face it: after a long day of travel, you likely won’t be up to unpacking every single box. That’s why it is important to pack an “essentials” box containing the main items to get you started during your first few days in your new home. Things like a few changes of clothes, toiletries, some paper towels and toilet paper, bath towels, and pet food if you have a pet. Then, you can bring this box with you on your travels and unpack it first!

Local Information

So you’ve successfully made the move to the Pacific Northwest area and are safely moved into your new home… now what? Now you begin your new life in this wonderful, gorgeous, delightful place that will soon become your new home. To get you started, we’ve provided a list of necessary information you’ll need to know as a new resident of the Portland/Vancouver area.

Employment Opportunities

With the unemployment rate in this area sitting around 6 percent, there are plenty of employment opportunities of all kinds for folks moving to the Pacific Northwest. Future job growth is expected to continue to trend upward, with growth in Portland expected to increase more than 30 percent over the next ten years. Any way you look at it, Portland and Vancouver offer endless employment opportunities for new young professionals and established career people alike.

“Job growth in Portland is expected to increase more than 30 percent over the next ten years.”

Educational Opportunities

Are you planning on starting or continuing your education after your move to the Vancouver or Portland areas? The Pacific Northwest is home to many quality educational institutions that can help you achieve your goals.

  • Everest College-Portland
  • Clark College
  • Portland Bible College
  • Manning Academy of Cosmetology
  • Aveda Institute
  • Portland Community College
  • Northwest Renewable Energy Institute
  • Warner Pacific College
  • Portland State University
  • Concordia University
  • and many more

Professional Services

When you move to a new place, it is easy to forget about finding new professional services for your family. Good thing we’ve got you covered! Check out this list of great professional services in the area that can help take care of you and your family in your first few months calling the Pacific Northwest home.

  • CPA: Davis and Associates
  • Financial Advisers: Nick Lemiere (Edward Jones)
  • Dentist: Highlander Dental
  • Medical Services: Peace Health
  • Hearing Aids: Obemeyer & Schrepel
  • Insurance: Patti Thorstenson of American National
  • Church: Columbia Heights Assembly of God
  • Car Dealership: Bud Clary Auto Group

Home Services

Your house isn’t really a home until you have professional home services set up and ready to go. As natives of the area, we’ve compiled a list of these home services that can help you get up and running before you know it! Of course, if (or should we say when) you are in need of eco-friendly, top-rated pest control services, we hope you’ll consider us as your go-to team!

  • Auto Repair: Esty’s Auto Center
  • Banking: Fibre Federal Credit Union
  • Contractor: W.A. Grasseth Construction
  • Roofer: All Top Roofing
  • Disaster Restoration: ServiceMaster
  • Employment Services: American Workforce Group
  • Florist: The Flower Pot
  • Janitorial: A-Ok Cleaning
  • Landscape Design: Swanson Bark and Wood
  • Landscaping: Maint Backyard Blitz
  • Printer: Minutemen Press
  • Property Management: Real Living Property Management
  • Coffee: Red Leaf Coffee Co.
  • Security Systems: Northstar Alarm
  • Wireless Communications: Coleman Cellular
  • Electric Company: Masters Electric
  • Cable Company: Cascade Networks
  • Plumbing and Heating: Sessions Plumbing & Heating

Local Attractions

Now that you’ve got all you need at your home, it’s time to start exploring the Pacific Northwest and enjoying all of the wonderful things that the area has to offer. From outdoor activities and adventures to museums and attractions, Portland and Vancouver have something exciting to offer for everyone who chooses to call them home.

Outdoor Activities

  • Visit the Heirloom Garden at Fort Vancouver for an enjoyable outdoor outing. This destination is a great choice for a date or a trip with the whole family to get some fresh air!
  • Head to the Renaissance Trail–located on the riverfront–for a walk with beautiful views. You can even rollerblade with your loved ones to see the area in a whole new way!
  • Visit the Water Resources Education Center in Vancouver for an interesting and educational trip.
  • If you’re the hiking type, you can’t beat a stroll and picnic at Moulton Falls! Ideal for beginners and expert hikers alike, you’ll enjoy getting some time in the outdoors with your loved ones.
  • If you’re a wine lover, spend the weekend taking in the North Clark County Winery Loop!
  • Take in the breathtaking views at Cannon Beach, do some great shopping at the many shops that dot the area, and spend the day getting to know this gorgeous and interesting spot.

Museums and Other Attractions

If you’re looking for some indoor activities to take part in around Vancouver and Portland, there are tons to choose from to cover all tastes! Check out this list of museums in the area to enjoy:

  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Portland Art Museum
  • Oregon Historical Society Museum
  • Portland Children’s Museum
  • Oregon Jewish Museum
  • World Forestry Center
  • Vancouver Maritime Museum
  • Museum of Vancouver
  • Museum of Anthropology
  • Vancouver Police Museum
  • North Vancouver Museum

The Best Restaurants

Living in Portland and Vancouver puts you in the perfect position to sample some of the best and unique cuisines in the Pacific Northwest. Here are some of our favorites that you simply must try–these are the local favorites that you don’t want to miss!

  • The Masthead Restaurant
  • Guadalajara Grill and Cantina
  • Ichi Teriyaki
  • Chambar Restaurant
  • Hudson’s Bar and Grill
  • Thai Terrace
  • Andina
  • Higgins Restaurant and Bar
  • Le Pigeon
  • Toro Bravo

As Portland & Vancouver locals ourselves, let us be the first to welcome you to your new home in the Pacific Northwest! We know you will love your new home, & we can’t wait to be your pest management go-to guys!

Giving Back to Our Community

Pest control technicians installing vapor barrier in crawl space. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about Giving Back to Our Community.

“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” – Aristotle

At Interstate Pest Management, we’re proud to be a part of Northwest Washington and we’re grateful to the community that has supported us here for many years. That’s why we firmly believe that there’s no time like the present to give back. In November, we sponsored an office-wide volunteer day, closed our doors, and headed over to SAFE Family Ministries in Chehalis, WA for the day.

SAFE Family Ministries is a nonprofit service ministry with a goal of providing emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness to at-risk women and children who have been victims of sexual, drug, social, emotional, and physical abuse.

This work is done out of a facility with the capacity to house 70 secure family units, as well as classroom space and training areas for other ministry opportunities.

We believe that the work being done to help these survivors make good decisions and set realistic goals to transform their lives is important, so Interstate Pest Management did our part to ensure that they continue to have a safe space to do that.

It was all hands on deck as we installed 5000 sq. feet of vapor barrier to prevent moisture from penetrating the foundation of the building. This vapor barrier will prolong the life of the building as well as prevent pests that are attracted by moisture, such as termites, carpenter ants, rodents, beetles, and more!

“It was rewarding to put the time and energy into doing something that will have a lasting impact on the lives of these women in our community,” said Tasha Price, office manager here at Interstate Pest Management. Many thanks to the team for putting in great work to help others in the community, and to the wonderful people at SAFE Family Ministries for giving us the opportunity to give back.

If you’re interested in learning more about what you can do to help, visit the SAFE Family Ministries website.

What To Do If You Have A Rodent Problem

Two rodents outside. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about What To Do If You Have A Rodent Problem.

As fall and winter roll around, we love to think of all of the beautiful things they bring with them. Breathtaking scenery, holidays, and family time, but one thing that these beautiful seasons bring with them that isn’t so pretty is an increase in rodent infestations. While so small, they have a way of making our homes feel invaded and unsafe. If you’ve discovered these creepy critters in your house there are several steps you can take to eliminate the problem not only quickly, but humanely.

It’s important to find solutions that are not only safe for you and your family but also effective in getting get rid of the infestation. Not only are rats and mice one of the biggest nuisances when it comes to your home, but they bring unwanted gifts like droppings and messes. Rodents eat through electrical wires and walls, causing extensive damage and in some cases, fires. Talk about a bad house guest. Speed and time are of the essence when it comes to rodents, as they breed extremely fast and year-round, so channel your inner Usain Bolt and get moving!

  • Houston, we have a (rodent) problem. First, make sure that you actually have a rodent problem, which seems like a no-brainer. If you hear pitter-patter sounds throughout your house within the walls or attic, you’re likely housing rats or mice. But your mind can play tricks on your hearing, so the best way to detect a rodent problem is by looking for droppings, chewed wires, and tracks. These are the three tell-tale signs of a rodent infestation.
  • Find them. Once you find out that you have them, find out where they’re coming from. Rodents are the best criminals, infamous for sneaking into houses through small spaces. Your best bet is to determine their entry points. Once you determine where the rodents are coming from, you can begin to set traps. Common places you should look at include near the stove’s power supply, inside the attic and crawl spaces, the cupboards, and the garage. Rodents can get into incredibly small spaces, so pay very close attention to details when trying to find their entry points as it can be difficult to find these entry points. After you’ve taken these steps, seal every entry hole that you find. You need to use materials that are impossible for rodents to chew through, such as steel. Don’t underestimate rodents, as they can even chew through cement!
  • Gotcha. After sealing all the entry holes you’ve found, you can begin to set traps. Choose efficient traps, as rodents are instinctively wary of new elements in their environment. Rats and mice have a sixth sense for detecting booby traps, so make sure to be on your A-game. Some variations of more efficient traps are snap, electronic, multiple catch, and glue traps. The traps should be placed near the rodent’s entry points. Rodent poison is another option but can be extremely dangerous to children and pets if not used properly. With rat poison, always make sure to do your research. If you are interested in this option, it’s best to choose a rat poison that has been approved by the EPA.
  • One more thing. Last but certainly not least, it’s time to remove the dead rodents from your home. It’s not pretty, but you’ll have to remove the bodies from your home safely. Use protective gear and follow the necessary safety procedures like you are a member of the CDC. The bodies may still carry the many diseases that rodents possess.

Rodent removal is an unsavory and sometimes difficult task and can be threatening to the health of your family and home. The best way to have the assurance that the problem will be eradicated in a humane and permanent way is to contact us. With over 50 years of experience dealing with rodent control, take comfort in knowing we have a team of experts waiting for your call.

10 Easy Ways to Go Green in Your Home

Two hands holding green globe. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about 10 Easy Ways to Go Green in Your Home.

“Going Green” doesn’t mean that you have to make a significant financial commitment. There are simple and affordable ways that you can turn your home into an eco-friendly and healthy place to live. Take a look at the following go-green tips from the eco-friendly pest experts at Interstate Pest Management, and how they can make a positive impact on the environment and your family home.

1. Put an End to Junk Mail

Are you a victim of receiving pounds of unnecessary mail each and every day? It is simpler than you might think to quickly and easily put an end to this unwanted mail. With just a few clicks or calls, opting out of these mailings can save you up to 69 pounds of paper in just one year.

2. Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

It may come as a surprise to some that making your own cleaning supplies is easier than it looks. With just a few cheap ingredients such as vinegar, lemon, and baking soda, you can create an affordable, non-toxic cleaning product that also saves time and packaging.

3. Plant an Herb Garden

Planting your own garden is a fun and exciting way to go green in your home. With this, you can grow your own food and know what pesticides and fertilizers are used when growing your vegetables. A home garden frees you from depending solely on commercial farm industries that rely on practices that pollute and harm the environment.

4. Go Meatless One Day a Week

Make an effort to eat a vegetarian meal at least once a week. Although this may not seem like it would have a substantial impact, it has been proven that a family of four eating meatless one day a week has the same impact as driving a hybrid car on the environment.

5. Completely Turn Off Electronics

Even if your screens are turned off, energy is still being drained from these devices (computers, cell phones, etc.). A good rule of thumb to follow is “when it is not in use, turn it off.” We suggest plugging various electronics such as the TV, DVD player, etc., into a power strip so when you are done with the devices or before you go to bed at night, you can quickly and easily switch it all completely off from one power source.

6. Plant Trees Strategically

Observe the surroundings of your household to find the best places to plant trees that will provide shade for your home. If you can, specifically shading your air conditioning unit can make a huge impact on your monthly bills. By strategically planting trees to shade your home, you can save up to $250 a year on your heating and cooling bills and save a large amount of energy.

7. Wash Laundry in Cold Instead of Hot Water

Making this small change can have a large impact on the amount of energy your household is using. It has been found that 85% of the energy that is used when machine washing laundry goes to just heating water. This simple edit in your daily chores can substantially improve your energy usage.

8. Travel Eco-Friendly

There are many opportunities in which your family can be more environmentally-friendly when it comes to transportation. When going on a road trip, consider renting out a hybrid vehicle to travel in if possible. For everyday life, encourage your family and friends to carpool whenever possible. Utilizing public transportation and even riding bikes to and from work can reduce emissions that your car may produce.

9. Switch Your Light Bulbs to CFL Bulbs

Make an effort to switch at least a few of your current light bulbs to Energy Star rated compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. These bulbs use 75% less energy and also last over ten times longer than incandescent bulbs having both an immediate and long-term impact.

10. Hold the Kids To It

Teach the family young! Remind the kids to always completely turn off all video games, TVs and lights behind them when exiting a room. Also, teach them skills such as remembering to turn off the water while brushing their teeth. Another great way to explain the importance of these eco-friendly efforts is to read a children’s book or watch a children’s movie that has a strong message of being environmentally aware. This opens up a great opportunity to connect with your kids and teach them more about why it’s important to “Go Green.” Not only will starting them young save you money and help the environment but hopefully this will also teach them lifelong habits that will make positive impacts in our world down the road!

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

Family looking happy and comfy in their home. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about 5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Winter.

As cooler weather sets in and the holidays approach, it’s time to start thinking about getting your home ready for the winter! Winter weather can cause all kinds of problems, and often those problems are easy ways for common winter pests to enter your home. Check out our five tips below to get your home ready for the winter weather!

1) Clean Your Gutters

When dirt and debris clog your gutters, it can be hard for water to get through, causing rot and other damage to your home. In the winter, this problem intensifies even more! Extra weight from snow and ice can cause gutters to sag and fall, and make it easy for dangerous icicles to form around your roofline. Protect your home by cleaning out gutters before the snow hits, and be sure that downspouts are at least five feet away from your home to prevent flooding the foundation!

2) Add Lighting to Paths

As the sun starts going down earlier, you may find yourself stumbling a little more than usual on your way inside, and as soon as ice hits the problem gets even worse! Make things a little easier by installing lighting along pathways in your yard. Opt for solar powered options to ensure your electricity bill doesn’t take a hit, and go ahead and stock up on salt and shovels for when the snow comes!

3) Seal Windows and Doors

Properly sealing windows and doors is another important step in winter prep! Not only does this keep the warmth in, but it also keeps unwanted rodents and pests out. Make sure your windows and doors are secured by re-caulking cracks, installing storm windows or repairing screens, and installing a door sweep. Your family and your energy bill will thank you!

4) Maintenance Furnace and Chimneys

Now that your doors and windows are sealed, it’s time to start up the fireplace! Before you light the first match, make sure the fireplace and chimney have been properly cleaned and inspected. Once it gets the all clear, install a vent screen to keep any creatures from making their way in through the chimney.

5) Get Ready for Guests

As the holidays roll around, you’re bound to have some family and friends in town. Make your house feel like home for you and your guests by decluttering and reorganizing! In your common areas, try rearranging furniture to make room for additional seating. Try multifunctional seating that can provide storage for items, while doubling as seating for guests. If you have a guest room, be sure to change the sheets, and stock the bathroom with a few essentials guests tend to forget.

Last but not least, clear clutter in every room — including attics and basements! Excess clutter – especially cardboard – is a great spot for rodents and other pests to hide, and will often camouflage issues until it turns into a full-on infestation! Make it a point to go through any unlabeled boxes and every decoration you have in storage, even if you think you won’t need it this year. There are plenty of ways to donate unused items, so take this as a chance to do some good and donate excess items. If you aren’t going to use it, but can’t stand to part with it, repack and put it neatly back into storage in plastic, air-tight containers.

Let the experts make it easy!

If you discover pests in your home while you’re getting ready for winter, call the experts at Interstate Pest! With expert advice and years of experience, we can handle any pest problem and offer complete elimination of even the most severe problems!

How to Protect Your Crawl Space

Person inspecting crawl space. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about How to Protect Your Crawl Space.

Your crawl space is likely not a place you often visit, which means it’s even more vulnerable to pests and mold infestations. If you don’t properly care for and protect your crawl space, you could be doing damage not only to your home but your home’s air quality. The experts at Interstate Pest Management put together this list of ways to protect your crawl space so that you can ensure the health and safety of your home and family!

Clean Your Crawl Space

Cleaning up leaking and standing water is a huge part of cleaning your crawl space because it gives you insight into specific problems that might need immediate attention. It may be as simple as stopping a leak, or it may be as intricate as installing a perimeter drain, but you won’t know until you get in and find out.

The same can be said for discovering pests and rodents, which need to be exterminated as quickly as possible to prevent further infestation. It’s equally as important to clean up anything that’s been left behind by these unwanted house guests, to ensure a truly fresh start.

Protect Your Crawl Space

Once you’ve got a clean crawl space, you’ll want to block it off to prevent future pest and moisture accumulation. This process includes checking and sealing all cracks and holes around each vent and entry point, while also providing enough ventilation and airflow to keep it dry.

Installing a CleanSpace vapor barrier will help strengthen and secure your crawl space by preventing deterioration brought on by standing moisture. Lining the crawl space with thick sheets of plastic may be difficult, but it’s a useful tool for maintaining the structure of your entire house.

Regulate Your Crawl Space

The last tool in your crawl space arsenal is the insulation and regulation of its temperature year-round. While the most popular type of insulation is fiberglass batts, it’s a good idea to include a spray foam insulation to further secure and seal exposed cracks and crevices. Maintaining this area’s temperature will prevent unnecessary heating and cooling expenses that arise from the inconsistent airflow of an unregulated crawl space.

So there you have it: our surefire ways to protect and maintain your crawl space and ensure it (and your entire home’s) safety. Or, better yet, find out how our crawl space experts can stop dangerous air conditions, prevent hazardous infestations, and safeguard the overall well-being of your home and your family, so you don’t have to worry about it!

How to Protect Your Home From Rodents

Two rodent tails. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about How to Protect Your Home From Rodents.

Finding evidence of rodents inside your home can be very unsettling. Whether you notice a mouse or rat, their droppings, or possibly even bites taken out of bread in your pantry, it’s likely that you’ll feel vulnerable or even afraid. As the weather gets cooler, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, rodents are looking for warm homes to spend the winter and have their babies in. If you don’t take preventative measures now, it could be incredibly difficult to rid your home of these pests once they’ve made themselves comfortable inside your walls. Here at Interstate Pest, we’ve compiled a list of facts about rodents that you should consider and some tips on how to prevent your house from falling victim to an infestation.

Inconvenient Rodent Truths

  • Mice can fit through a hole the size of a nickel
  • Rodents can carry fleas, worms, bacteria like salmonella, and disease
  • Rodents spread germs to surfaces simply by walking on them
  • Mice give birth 5-10 times a year, and each litter has 3-12 infants
  • Rodents can chew through plastic, metal, and even brick
  • Rodents can cause an electric fire when eating through your wiring

Rodent Prevention Tips From The Professionals

  1. Trim plants and trees back away from your house, because pests can use these as bridges into your home.
  2. Keep food in airtight containers, and take the garbage out regularly.
  3. Pet food and water shouldn’t be left out overnight.
  4. Firewood should be kept at least 20 feet away from the house, as pests like to live in stacks of wood.
  5. Weather-stripping on your garage door should be replaced if it’s loose.
  6. Check your foundation for holes and fill any hole, no matter how small, with copper mesh or steel wool. Remember to put a sealant like foam over it to keep it in place.
  7. Repair damaged window screens, put door sweeps on any exterior doors, and put screens over any exterior air vents (including the chimney).
  8. Leaking pipes and clogged drains need to be fixed, as these moist areas are the perfect breeding spots for rodents.
  9. Attics, basements, and crawl spaces should be well ventilated and dry.
  10. Call a professional if you have a severe infestation, or need help putting out traps.

Help is a Phone Call Away

These ten tips will make it very tough for rodents to get into your home, but sometimes even the smallest cracks can be overlooked. If you see evidence of a rodent in your house, there’s no telling how many could already be inside your walls. If you don’t want to take on the infestation yourself, give us a call and we can provide you with a free quote. Our rodent control services will keep you rodent free all year round!

How to Spot a Bed Bug Infestation

Woman looking distressed. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about How to Spot a Bed Bug Infestation.

Bed bugs have been a rapidly increasing problem in the U.S. since the late 1990’s. They cause itchy, often painful welts after feeding on the blood of humans and pets as they sleep. The sooner you identify a bed bug problem, the easier it will be to treat it successfully!

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs look different depending on where they are in their life cycle. Bed bug eggs are very tiny and translucent. Each egg would fit on the head of a pin. Once these eggs hatch, the bugs are about 1 mm. Although bed bugs are black, it’s usually the rust-colored fecal spots they leave behind that identify an infestation. Bed bugs may also appear red if they have recently fed.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Because bed bugs are incredibly small, it can be difficult to see them unless you know where to look. Some of the most popular hiding spots include the following:

  • Along the piping, seams, and tags of mattresses and box springs
  • Cracks in bed frames and headboards
  • Inside chair and couch cushions
  • Around door joints
  • In electrical outlets

You Found Bed Bugs, Now What?

Finding bed bugs in your home is frustrating, and you may not know what to do first. Here are some ways you can take action:

  • Cover mattresses and box springs. Protective encasements come in light colors that make it difficult for bed bugs to hide.
  • Clean up areas of clutter in your home. By eliminating clutter, you will give bed bugs fewer places to hide.
  • Clean floors and carpets often. Trap bed bugs hiding on the surface of your floors inside your vacuum.
  • Interception devices. These devices detect even low-level infestations.

One of the best, most effective ways to eliminate a bed bug infestation and keep them from returning is to contact a professional pest control company, like Interstate Pest Management. Our experts use steam machines to kill bed bugs at every stage of the life cycle, and chemical applications for hard-to-reach areas.


Did you know? We are one of the few companies in the country that are Certified Bed Bug-Free! This designation is awarded to companies who commit to regular certifications and proactive customer service.

Interstate Pest Management provides expert bed bug control services in the greater Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA areas. We get to work quickly, determining the level of infestation in your home and employing the appropriate solutions so your home will remain bed bug-free for the long-term. Our 7-step elimination system takes an average of four visits to tackle the problem. We even offer canine services! Dogs can be specially trained to sniff out infestations more accurately than human visual inspections.

How to Spot Pest Damage While House Hunting

Man and woman in front of sold home. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about How to Spot Pest Damage While House Hunting

With so much on people’s minds, they often overlook an important aspect that everyone should consider: pest damage and infestations. You shouldn’t have to ask yourself, “How do I spot pest damage while house hunting?” – that’s where our expert knowledge comes in!

Pest damage can be expensive to repair, and an infestation means that you’ll already be sharing your home with unwanted guests before you even move in! Here at Interstate Pest, we help keep people’s homes safe from pests and prevent infestations, and we want to help you learn how to detect pest damage and infestations when you go house hunting.

Are you house hunting in the Pacific Northwest? Learn how to spot pest damage and infestations!

Dead Bugs

If you’re in a vacant house and see a lot of dead pests, chances are some live on the property. This is especially true if you see a lot of the same kind of insects.

Pest Control Products

Check under the sink or in the garage for pest control products. If you find some, then chances are the current or previous owners had to deal with pest problems, and they might not have hired a professional pest control company to come and exterminate the infestation.

Droppings

Roaches leave black spots along the backs of countertops and around electrical outlets. Rodents leave their droppings in corners, and you should also look for their grease along the bottoms of baseboards and walls.

Bed Bugs

You don’t want to move into a house with bed bugs, and these pests are a huge problem in the Pacific Northwest. Look for rust colored stains on mattresses or bedding, and sometimes you’ll even be able to find their small, cracked shells.

Wood

The Pacific Northwest has an abundance of termites, so be sure to check around the outside of the house for signs of damage like small holes, sagging floors, and wood that sounds hollow when you tap it.

Odor

Let your nose do some work! Be sure to pay attention to odors in any room. A musty smell in a bathroom can be evidence of a roach infestation, a rotten smell coming from a wall probably means a dead rodent, and the smell of ammonia under a sink indicates an on-going mouse problem.

Ant Hills

Look outside for evidence of large ant hills. Ants can be hard to get rid of, and you don’t want your new neighbors to be the size of, well, an ant!

Shredded Newspaper

If you find shredded newspaper or fabric under cupboards or in the attic, there is likely a rodent problem. Here in the Pacific Northwest, where we get a lot of rain, rodents are constantly looking for ways inside.

Beware of Pests!

Pests can disturb your family’s peace of mind, and the last thing you want to do is buy a house where you already have a pest problem. We hope these tips help you find the perfect home for you and your family, and one’s that’s pest-free! If you have any questions about pest control or need help with your own home, we’re here anytime you need us. From all of us here at Interstate Pest, happy house hunting!

Going on a Summer Vacation? How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling

Person opening hotel door. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about Going on a Summer Vacation? How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling

If you’re headed out on a summer adventure this season, there are probably many things on your checklist to think about–but what about bed bugs? You might be thinking… how do I avoid bed bugs while traveling?

These nasty critters aren’t just pests in hotels. They can hitch a ride on your luggage and clothes from the hotel and straight into your home! Luckily, there are many ways that you can avoid them when you travel. Read on to learn all about avoiding these icky insects so you can enjoy your summer vacations worry-free!

Check Hotel Ratings Before You Book

Before you even make your hotel reservations for your summer vacation, check out online ratings for all the hotels you can choose from. Don’t just look at a four-star rating and call it a day–take a look at online reviews from folks who have stayed in the past to see if any have complained about bed bugs. Another great resource is www.bedbugregistry.com, or you can simply Google the hotel name and + bed bugs. However, these infestations are common, so if the hotel you are considering has had them in the past, just make sure to request a room that has never had a bed bug problem.

Examine Your Bedding Before You Head In

Once you have arrived at the hotel, it is important to check the accommodations for bed bugs before you settle in for the night. When you arrive, leave your luggage at the door and adhere to the following steps to check your room for bed bugs:

  • Strip the bed and look for small black bugs, or small red stains on bedding
  • Check the mattress crevices as well to ensure that it is clean
  • Examine all soft surfaces including chairs, carpet, and decorative pillows to ensure there are no bugs present
  • One trick to find bugs in hiding is to use a hairdryer to warm the mattress. Bed bugs are attracted to body heat, and the hairdryer will bring them out!
  • Only once you are satisfied that no bugs are present should you bring your luggage inside the room

Keep Your Luggage and Personal Items Elevated

Bed bugs can hitch a ride on your luggage and ride along while you bring them home with you–but if you keep your luggage and other soft items elevated, you reduce the chances that they will hop on. Keep your luggage on a luggage rack or top of a hard surface like a desk or table instead of on a couch, the bed, or on the floor.

Use Hard-Shelled Luggage

Bed bugs need soft surfaces to hitch a ride–so why not invest in hard-shelled luggage to make it harder for them? Hard-shelled luggage can be made out of plastic, vinyl, leather, or many other materials, and are ideal for ensuring that you don’t bring these destructive pests home with you. Better yet, when you get to your hotel, keep all of your clothing inside your luggage instead of unpacking it into hotel furniture. Your luggage will protect your clothing from bed bugs for your entire trip!

Kill Off Bed Bugs When You Get Home

When you get home from a vacation, it can be tempting to plop your luggage down on the floor and ignore it for a few days while you get back to your routine. However, doing so can unleash any bed bugs that may have traveled with you into your home. Instead of waiting, wash all of your clothing and soft personal items in hot water immediately after you return. Then, dry all garments on high heat for at least half an hour. This process will kill any insects that managed to ride with you, and will help to protect your home from an infestation.

Get Professional Help if You Get an Infestation

If you follow these steps, you will likely avoid bringing bed bugs home with you. However, these insects are tenacious, and can make their way into your home even if you follow every precaution. If you are going on vacation this summer, it is always a good idea to have a trained professional on hand to quickly dispatch any outbreaks that may occur in your home. At Interstate Pest, we offer bed bug control services in Portland and Oregon that will help you get rid of bugs quickly and effectively, so you can rest easy again.