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.

Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

Woman with child and recycling bin. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about eco-friendly spring cleaning tips.

Spring is finally here, and it’s time for the clouds that have been covering the Pacific Northwest to give way to blue skies. We’re as anxious for some sunlight as you are, and in anticipation of the changing of the seasons, we’ve already begun doing some spring cleaning. Here are some tips that help make spring cleaning easy on you and easy on the environment.

Donate

Chances are that spring cleaning is going to result in getting rid of stuff you never use. Don’t just throw this stuff away, donate it! There’s plenty of organizations that love free clothes and toys, or maybe you have a relative or friend that can use your old stuff. You can always have a yard sale!

Recycle

We don’t just mean newspapers, glass, magazines, and cardboard. If you’re getting rid of electronics like VCRs, old computers, or light bulbs, find a recycling program near you that will handle all of these items properly.

Go Paperless

There are many organizations out there that can help you get off of mailing lists. Their goal is to stop the waste of so much paper ending up in your mailbox just to be immediately thrown out. You can also pay bills online rather than sending checks every month.

Cleaning Products

You can buy eco-friendly cleaning supplies for your deep spring clean, or you can make your own. Hot water, vinegar, and baking soda can clean most surfaces, and you can even add a few drops of essential oils to give off a scent you enjoy. Many regular cleaning supplies can be very harmful to children or pets.

Stop Wasting Paper Towels

Instead of using paper towels for every job, you can rip off a piece of old clothing or use towels you plan on throwing away.

Conserve Water

Make use of all the rainwater we get. Collect rain in buckets or barrels and use that this spring to water your lawn or garden.

Laundry

If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, get one that’s energy efficient. Your utility bill and the environment will thank you. And now that the sun’s shining, hang your clothes to dry outside rather than using a drying machine.

Solar Energy

Solar power is another great way to save on energy. Use the natural resources of the sun to provide electricity to your home or your car (if you drive an appropriate vehicle).

It’s That Time of Year!

We hope these tips help you have a productive and green spring cleaning. As pest control professionals in the Pacific Northwest, no one knows more how trash and clutter can attract pests than the team at Interstate Pest. If you follow these tips, you’ll be less likely to have pest control problems, which is just another benefit to spring cleaning!

How to Spring Clean Your Crawl Space

Woman with cleaning supplies. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about how to spring clean your crawl space.

Around springtime each and every year, it is a common tradition to take part in spring cleaning. Out with the old, in with the new, deep cleans and decluttering galore—many folks see spring cleaning as a way to start the year anew. But there is one area of your home that often goes neglected during the spring cleaning sweep: your crawl space! But why is cleaning your crawl space so necessary, and how exactly is the task accomplished? Learn the answers to these questions and more below.

Why is it Important to Clean Your Crawl Space?

Few places in your home are less traveled than your crawl space, and taking care of this area in your home can quickly fall off of your to-do list. However, even though you don’t see your crawl space every day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be diligent about keeping it clean and secure. Keeping a clean crawl space is an important step in ensuring that you stay on top of any necessary home maintenance, rodent and pest control issues, and mold problems. What you don’t know can hurt you, so make sure you know what is in your crawl space!

How Do You Spring Clean Your Crawl Space?

At first, spring cleaning your crawl space can seem like a daunting task. However, it is possible to accomplish! The key to success is breaking down the overwhelming task into easily-accomplishable pieces. Follow our guide below for a spic-and-span crawl space in no time!

Inspect your area. Take some time to go down to your crawl space and take a gander at the situation. Pay special attention to hard-to-reach spaces like floorboards, seams, walls and other areas.

Check outdoor entrance areas. Not just your doors, but windows and even vents too! If it leads to the outside, check for gaps or drafts, and seal any holes or gaps quickly.

Look at your foundation. Do you see any cracks in the foundation walls? If so, make note of any cracks that appear to be large or growing. Each time you check your crawl space, look at the foundation to see if the cracks have changed. If they have, it might be time to call in a contractor.

Nip mold in the bud. If you’ve noticed mold anywhere in your crawl space, take care of it quickly. There are many commercial mold removers on the market, and you can even make your own with vinegar-based solutions. Check for mold regularly, and call in professional help if it starts to spread outside of your control.

Check for pests. The crawl space is the perfect place for pests like insects and rodents to hide away and remain undetected. If you see signs of rodents or insect infestations, call a professional pest control company–like Interstate Pest Management–right away to handle the problem safely and efficiently. With dedicated crawl space services, you can rest assured that our professionals can help you with your crawl space spring cleaning and help keep you, your home, and your loved ones safe.

Pests Common to the Pacific Northwest

Group of boxelder bugs. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about pests common to the Pacific Northwest.

Living in the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA areas put residents in the heart of one of the most uniquely stunning environments in the world. Lush, vast forests make the Pacific Northwest a one-of-a-kind place to call home—for both you and pests.

That’s why it’s important to understand how these native insects differ in their habits and infestations, so you can take preventative measures and avoid severe property damage. Take a look at our list of bugs, insects, and pests most common to the Pacific Northwest.

Ants

Both carpenter ants and house ants seem to take a different approach to home invasions in the Pacific Northwest, due to ever-present forests and lingering humidity. Since carpenter ants nest in timber of any type, this ecosystem provides endless opportunities for meals and shelter. While odorous house ants, also known as sugar ants, are privy to damp environments like fruit, meat and dairy products.

Protect your home from these unwanted guests by removing wood from around the house, keeping plants trimmed and away from the structure, and thoroughly sealing and monitoring high-moisture areas.

It’s important to note that while it’s possible to contain house ants, carpenter ants suggest a serious problem that ought to be immediately addressed by professionals.

Birds

Northwest bird watching can be a fun pastime for Portland & Vancouver area homeowners—until they begin nesting in and around your home. Bulky, invasive nests are just part of the problem when birds begin to set up camp. They often become territorial and aggressive, and can carry infectious parasites that are harmful to you and your family.

Preventative methods for birds usually require at least a physical barrier, closing off entry points and prime nesting areas in eaves and gutters. It’s also important to prevent insect infestations, as this creates an active feeding ground for birds and their offspring.

Box Elder Bug

This insect tends to invade homes during the late summer through winter months, looking for shelter from harsh Northwest weather. After remaining hidden in trees all summer, box elder bugs enter your house through exterior cracks and access points when cooler weather strikes. And while precautionary measures are necessary, the best prevention requires that homeowners get to the root of the problem.

The most effective defense against box elder invasions is to remove the tree they spend summer months in, which eliminates their source of food. And infestations usually require professional help to prevent annual migrations between their summer and winter dwellings.

Trust the Experts

The most efficient solution to handling any of these pesky pests is to call the Northwest bug experts at Interstate Pest. Our pest control professionals are focused on protecting your home and your family!

We offer the safest, most efficient solutions for dealing with any pesky pest. We provide year-round protection of your home and your investment, with guaranteed results, the highest standards of customer service, and dedication to protecting the environment.

Where to Shop on Small Business Saturday in Portland and Vancouver

Woman holding shop local sign. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about Where to Shop on Small Business Saturday in Portland and Vancouver.

Small Business Saturday—probably one of the only shopping holidays most of us actually look forward to! The chance to support our local businesses, give back to our communities, and stock up on unbeatable holiday gifts for loved ones makes it a day that’s truly well-spent. That’s why we put together this list of local hotspots in the Pacific Northwest, so we can brave the shopping season and support our neighboring businesses together!

Artistic Portland
318 SW Taylor St.
Portland, OR 97204
(503)206-4631

An artist co-op store in the heart of Portland is the perfect stop to find creative pieces and crafts for anyone on your list. Not only does it support the city’s talented array of local artists, but it also offers a huge variety of unique gifts in one convenient location, making it the definition of shopping local.

Charming The Moon
917 SW Washington St.
Portland, OR 97205
(503)227-0586

Offering unique treasures like quartz and moonstone jewelry, and jasmine and green moss scented candles, this gift shop is perfect for the truly Zen people on your list. They also have a variety of ceramics and cards from local makers and artists, making this year’s gift-giving truly one-of-a-kind.

ReClaim It!
1 N. Killingsworth St.
Portland, OR 97217
(503)866-7855

Turning trash into treasure, this non-profit retail store is focused on salvaging materials to be reclaimed, resulting in amazing artwork, refurbished furniture, and rare antique pieces. While they don’t reclaim the pieces for you, they do handle the dirty work: saving and sorting quality pieces from local disposal stations and making your next project that much easier.

Mind and Body Natural Healing Center
2115 SE 192nd Ave., Suite 108
Camas, WA 98607
(360)833-2868

Natural health and wellness are the gifts that keep on giving. Especially when it comes in the form of this healing center’s acupuncture, herbal medicine, chiropractic care, nutrition therapy, and even Tai Chi and Qigong services. Using the power of natural medicine, this business is all about keeping our locals happy and healthy.

Beacock Music
1420 SE 163rd Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98683
(360)694-7134

Family-owned since 1976, Beacock Music is truly Vancouver’s music store. With an impressive inventory of instruments and endless lessons and classes, this small business is a music lover’s dream. It covers all tastes and styles, and has a wide variety of instruments ranging from orchestra and guitars to keyboards and percussion, so any gift is sure to be a hit!

Celestial Balance Body Products
1902 Main St.
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360)695-9260

Help your friends and loved ones take care of their skin this winter with a little TLC from Celestial Balance Body Products. With something for every skin type, this local shop is a hot spot for battling the Pacific Northwest winters. Shop their superb selection of all-natural products for skin care, including unique soaps, salts, lotions, candles, and more to show your loved ones how much you really care.

Now that you’ve got just a few of our favorites, we ask you to join us on Saturday, November 28th as we shop Small Business Saturday here in Portland and Vancouver. Because no gift keeps on giving like the one that supports our neighboring businesses and communities!

This holiday season, don’t forget about your local service-based businesses. When a pest problem comes up, your friends at Interstate Pest Management can help! Learn more about our services today.

Common Fall House Pests (and How to Prevent Them)

Small insect in the grass. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about Common Fall House Pests (and How to Prevent Them).

The beauty of fall–aside from the leaves changing and the cool, comfortable air–is that you no longer have to worry about pesky pests, right? Well, if you live in the Portland, OR area, then the answer is “No!”. That’s because along with apple cider, pumpkins, and football, fall brings its own set of creepy critters for you to control.

Stinkbugs

Stinkbugs are fans of warm weather, so as temperatures go down, their attraction to your home goes up. Although they don’t bite or sting, they emit a strong odor when scared or squashed, making extermination tricky.

Take preventative measures by checking clothing and bags at the door–making sure one hasn’t latched itself on you or your belongings. You should also secure doors, windows, and screens early in the fall as an added precaution.

Ants

Whether it’s a common house ant or a catastrophic carpenter ant, the sight of just one is one too many. Their ability to contaminate foods, or even damage the entire structure of your house should be enough to make you prioritize prevention.

Start by storing all food in airtight containers, and consistently sweeping areas prone to crumbs. Seal the cracks in around your foundation, while eliminating overgrown branches and plants from the surface of your home. And don’t forget to store firewood and building materials separate from your humble abode.

Rodents

Mice and rats are fans of warm dwellings and are more resourceful than the average pest. They’re capable of building nests out of insulation, and fitting through small holes that offer any sanction from the cold winter months. And since they bring disease, ticks, mites, lice, and fleas along with them, they’re definitely not ideal houseguests.

Keep mice and rats out of the house by sealing food in airtight containers, and sealing and monitoring cracks in your foundation and siding. But keep their high reproduction rate in mind, and hire a rodent control professional the second you spot one of these unwanted pests.

Bed bugs

Summer travels might have you bringing home more souvenirs than you’d bargained for – since bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers. Thanks to outdoor sporting events, beach trips, and back to school season, your sheets and clothing might have picked up these nasty pests.

Bed bug infestations leave evidence in the form of red, itchy welts on their victims, and can feel almost impossible to get rid of. Always check hotel rooms and sheets, and shake out any luggage before bringing it back in the home. But keep in mind how difficult it is to control these pests once they’re in, and call a professional the minute you suspect an infestation.

If you’re already battling these unwanted house guests, or simply looking for a stronger, more effective preventative solution, look no further than Interstate Pest Management. Our priority is making sure you’re comfortable in your own home, each and every month of the year.

Boxelder Bugs (The party animals of the Beetle world)

Close up of boxelder bug. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about Boxelder Bugs (The party animals of the Beetle world).

The anticipated season is almost upon us for the leaves to change, children are back in school, and the Boxelder bugs (beetles) to hold a party on your home once again!

Boxelder bugs are very social little critters and tend to hang out in the masses at times all over one area on your house, sun bathing themselves like a large group of college students at a Las Vegas pool on spring break! They too, for the most part, are a nuisance because they enter homes and other buildings one at a time or in large numbers. And the damage that often happens when in large numbers, much like their spring break counter parts, can be a huge nuisance as well. Such as falling from upper areas around doorways, landing on un-suspecting people’s heads, staining walls, and going potty on curtains and other surfaces. Nice!!

Attraction

Some homes are more attractive to Boxelders than others, while neighbors may have fewer numbers. This usually depends on the amount of sun exposure your home receives.  Boxelders like warm areas and find buildings with a large southern or western exposure most appealing. Colors of buildings don’t seem to be a factor as they can be found on all color homes. As the weather cools, Boxelders squeeze into cracks and crevices around your home. They often end up inside. They are often found along window sills. While you may see them for longer periods, individually they only survive for a few days to up to a week. Other boxelder bugs end up in sheltered walls, attics and similar areas where they can hangout until it warms up to their liking.

Identification

Although shaped much like their cockroach cousins (long, oval shape) they are snazzier dressers. They are black or dark brown in color with red or orange markings and three stripes on their prothorax (the area right behind there head). Their wings lay flat over their bodies, over lapping each other in an “x” fashion. They have 3 legs on each side and med.-long antennas.

Feeding habits & “hook-ups”

Box elder bugs emerge from over wintering sites during spring as the weather starts to warm up. Adults feed on low vegetation and ground seeds during the spring and early summer and a couple weeks later, they look for a romantic prospect, and the rest is well, not for a family article. In mid July, they move to female seed-bearing box elder trees (thus the name) where they lay eggs on trunks, branches and leaves. Box elders bugs may also feed on maple or ash trees. Box elders love a good kegger. They have piercing-sucking mouth parts and feed mainly by sucking juices from the box elder tree.  In late summer months, box elder bugs leave the trees from where they were feeding to find a nice place to snuggle in for the winter.

Management

Prevention is the key to success. And if that doesn’t work, bust out the shop vac until your exterminator gets there. Smashing the bugs is not recommended as they are quite odorous. There are steps you can take to keep them from entering your home from the start.

  • Repair or replace damaged window, door, soffit vents and roof screens.
  • Repair or replace bathroom and kitchen fans.
  • Install door sweeps for all exterior entry doors.
  • Seal areas where cable TV wires, phone lines and other utility wires, pipes, dryer vents and similar objects enter buildings with caulk.

You may want to have your home treated by a professional exterminator around the exterior of your home and around window sills and doorways on the interior if you have a history of invasions and /or large numbers are present. Interstate Pest Management would be happy to help “shut down the boxelder party” or at least give you immediate relief of a home invasion.

Spring Allergies or Pest Infestations?

Little girl sneezing into tissue. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about whether you have spring allergies or pest infestations.

Its that time of year again, spring allergies are back! Spring allergies are very common among many people. Here in the northwest tree pollen and grass allergies tend to the most common. Have you ever wondered what could really be causing your allergies? Don’t be fooled this year by your allergies. Take a closer look at what is actually causing your itchy eyes and running nose. Your spring allergies could be caused by an actual bug infestation. Different pests and bugs could be the reason you are suffering from spring allergies this year. Certain pests can also cause asthma. Your local pest control services can partner with you in determining if you have a pest infestation causing your allergy symptoms.

Allergen Causing Pests:

• Rodents

• Cockroaches

• Dust Mites

• Stinging insects

Here are the most common pests to cause allergy symptoms:

Rodents

Pests like mice and rats carry disease and bacteria. Rodents are not pests you want living in your house for long periods of time. Pest control services are experts on rodent control. The local pest control services can help you answer all your rodent questions. Rodents could be a huge factor to the reason you are having allergies this season. They also carry numerous allergens. If you have mice in the home you will find droppings and gnawed on food containers and electrical wiring. Also, if you find crumbs in areas where you keep food can be a sign of mice or rats.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic pests that can cause a large impact on your home. You can typically find them living in linens such as your curtains, or bed sheets. They also can live in your carpets. They will feed off dead skin cells. Dust mite and their feces are connected to cases of allergies in the home. Their feces can trigger asthma and other allergy symptoms. You can determine if you have dust mites when a member of your home develops asthma symptoms in a certain room of the house. It can also happen in their bed. Pest control services will help aid you in getting rid of them.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are notorious for carrying allergens. They carry the allergens through their salvia and feces. Children are most commonly affected by cockroach infestations. If you are finding cockroach exoskeletons or feces, then you want to contact your pest control services. Cockroaches are a pesky problems and it is best to consult professionals if you believe you have an infestation.

Stinging Insects

Stinging insects such as hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps could potentially cause allergic reactions. As the nicer weather approaches these stinging insects are starting to come out and create their nests. Don’t let your home become a place for them to dwell. If you or anyone of your house members has an allergy to a stinging insect it could be fatally dangerous. Have your pest control services treat your house for stinging insects and avoid the disaster.

Prevention Tips for Rodents and Cockroaches:

• Keep foods sealed and contained.

• Clean your sheets and linens regularly.

• Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink and keep the kitchen clean.

• Vacuum and dust often.

• Take out trash regularly, and keep trash bin and the area around it clean.

• Ensure proper ventilation.

• Seal interior and exterior cracks in walls.

• Mend tears or breaks in window and vent screens.

With allergy season well on the way you are probably stalking up on your favorite drugstore allergy medicine. The reality is, a simple call to your local pest control services could rid your symptoms for the season. This allergy season, take another look at your home and make sure you are free of any unwanted pests. They could be the ones causing asthma symptoms in your children, or other allergy symptoms. Prevention is easy, Partner with your local pest control services to perform routine check up on your house throughout the year.

Raccoon Infestation?

Three  outdoors. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about raccoon infestations and how to prevent them.

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures and you’ll usually find them snooping around your trash cans at night. They are confrontational creatures and when approached they will stand their ground. Animal control is your best option to call if you are having raccoon infestations.

Behavior

Raccoons are nocturnal mammals. They have become infamous for their pesky, mischievous nature. You will find these pests heavily populated in wooded areas however, they are known to venture into more populated areas to find food. They don’t typically will live in your home but they can be found in the crawl spaces. Animal control can help you determine whether or not you have a raccoon problem. They are most known for scattering garbage and debris while digging through your trash cans. They diets change with the season but will dig up sod in search for earthworms and ruin your lawn, or damage your garden looking for bugs or sweet corn. They also tend to eat smaller animals such as frogs and mice, or fish.

Signs of Raccoons

  • Overturned trash cans
  • Debris scattered about
  • Partially eaten garden items
  • Structural damage potentially in the attic
  • Also, simply sighting the raccoon’s
  • Tracks

Prevention

Raccoons are typically known for raiding your trash. It is helpful to get trash cans that are made out of hard materials like plastic or metal with tight fitting lids and clamps to hold them shut. Putting your trash cans in a rack or a tying them down also makes it harder for the to get into them. If necessary you can also look into put a screen on your chimney to keep the from entering the home. There are ways to trap the but it is best if you seek advice from professional animal control before fixing the problem yourself. The most proactive way to deter is to ensure there is no access to food, shelter or water. Before taking on the issue seek confirmation from animal control that you do in fact have are the reason for the damage done to your property.

Here are some do it yourself tips on preventing :

  • Sealing parts of the house they may allow entry
  • Make sure vents are animal proof
  • Cut trees back
  • Install caps on the chimney
  • Keep trash clean and free of debris
  • If possible, keep trash containers in the garage
  • Do not leave pet food, or remains of pet food outside
  • Cover compost
  • Remove any bird feeders
  • Put fencing around your garden
  • Limit available water
  • If you have a swimming pool, try to keep it covered

Raccoons are unwanted pests to have lingering around the home. They will disturb your pets such as cats and or small dogs, causing tension and potential danger. Not only do they make an uncomfortable environment for your animals, but they are also capable of ruining your garden or lawn. The biggest issue they create is the debris they will scatter around you garbage cans. If you do not want to have to pick up trash every morning it is suggested you find ways to properly seal or store your trash cans. If you have tried all prevention methods and still have a problem with then the next step is to call animal control. They are your best option for getting rid of the in a humane and safe way. Be sure to call your local animal control Portland Or for more advice and information on taking care of raccoon infestations.

For more helpful tips on how to keep wildlife at bay, check out other blogs on Interstate Pest Management.

How To Keep Bats Outdoors

Bats in a tree. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about how to keep bats outdoors.

They cause damage and can eventually find their way into your home. There are no products to use that will repel bats and killing them is not only illegal, but also inhuman. Organic pest control is the best way to deal with a bat infestation, but there is a step you can take to prevent the infestation from happening. A simple way to prevent bats from residing in your attic is to put bat houses up around your home, yard, and anywhere else they may appear. Bats aren’t a huge issue around every corner of the northwest. However, the more rural areas do experience a larger bat population. Putting up bat houses is a good solution for organic pest control.

What is a Bat House?

A bat house is a simple structure that you can buy or build yourself. It looks like an ordinary box but the bottom is kept open so the bats can fly in and out. This is a great method to practice organic pest control to keep the bats away from your home or attic. Inside the box are little poles for the bats to hang off when they are resting or sleeping. Bats in the northwest are very small, so the bat house is typically smaller in size. It mounts perfectly on a tree in the back yard or even on a stake. Some people even mount the bat house on the side of their house. The house encourages the bats to reside here instead of inside your home. Bats are looking for a dark covered area that they can hang in.

Advantages of Bat Houses

  • Keeps bats out of your home and attic
  • Bats will eat the insects around your house
  • Will help preserve the bat population
  • Gives bats a secure habitat

Bats are extremely beneficial to have around the house. Preventing the infestation of bats without using harmful chemicals is an organic pest control method used to rid them from the home. They will help keep your garden up and running by eating all the bad bugs. They particularly like to feed on mosquitos, which is very helpful for those who like to spend their summers outside.
Some other common bugs that the bats will eat are:

Bugs Bats Eat

  • Mosquitos
  • Moths
  • Flies
  • Beatles
  • Various other Flying Insects

There are several different types of bats that fly around the northwest. They are nocturnal mammals and hibernate during the winter. Many of the bats in the northwest are smaller bats that feed on bugs and nectar from flowers and occasionally a ripe piece of fruit. Several bat species are under preservation laws that companies practicing organic pest control methods take seriously. These are the bats you will most commonly find flying around your home:

Most Common Northwest Bats

  • California Myotis
  • Western Small-footed Myotis
  • Western Long-eared Myotis
  • Little Brown Bat
  • Fringed Myotis
  • Long-legged Myotis
  • Yuma Myotis
  • Hoary Bat

Put Those Bats to Rest

You might find an infestation of bats in your attic during the cooler seasons. Bats hibernate during the winter and therefore are looking for a place to stay during the cold seasons. Fall is a great time to put up bat housing if you haven’t already. If you don’t want your home to become their home for the winter then consider putting out a bat house. This way they get the warm home they need for the winter, and you don’t have to share with them. Bat pest problems should be handled with extreme care due to the loss in bat population. When dealing with a bat infestation be sure to call Interstate Pest Control, as we practice organic pest control and will take care of you and the bats!

Fun Bat Facts

•    Only mammals with the ability to fly

•    Use echolocation to find food in the dark (Echolocation is making noise and waiting for the sound waves to bounce back in order to locate an object)

•    Can live for over 20 years

•    There are 3 species of vampire bats who do in fact feed on blood