This post was contributed by Eden Advanced Pest Control, the leading integrated pest management company in Western Washington and Oregon and serves both residential and commercial customers.
As a green pest control company, we understand the delicate balance between respect for the environment and revulsion for disease-ridden pests. For instance, we appreciate the important ecological role of spiders, but that doesn’t mean we give them free reign inside our homes. We also realize the dangers of traditional pest control; for the health of both the environment and families, noxious pesticides are a means of last resort for any eco-friendly Portland pest control service. Below, we discuss some of the most commonly found winter pests in the Pacific Northwest, along with green pest control solutions for keeping them out of your home or business.
Winter Pests in the Pacific Northwest
Here are the most commonly found winter pests, along with the dangers they pose:
• Rodents carry disease and gnaw through everything from pipes to electrical wire.
• Spiders and snakes are just plain creepy, although very few are venomous.
• Birds and bats can cause major damage by nesting in chimneys, attics and eaves.
• Cockroaches carry diseases and ruin anyone’s appetite.
• Ants may still be active in the winter, since Pacific Northwest temperatures rarely dip below freezing. Some ants are unsanitary kitchen companions; others may actually bore through your home’s structural support, resulting in costly damage.
Fortunately, you don’t need pesticides to bar these creatures from your abode. A good understanding of their biological needs can allow you to achieve excellent pest control without the need for blanket applications of chemicals. Earth-friendly techniques for preventing pest infestations this winter include:
1. Eliminate entry points by sealing your home.
Mice can squeeze through a cranny as small as a dime in diameter. Ants are happy to exploit any winterization weaknesses. And birds and bats will set up camp under your roof if you let them. To prevent pest infestations, seal up cracks in your home’s exterior. Caulk around window frames. Install door sweeps. Examine vents, gutters and doors, and eliminate as many openings as possible. Block nesting animals by installing spikes or a bird stop. These steps make it much harder for pests to enter your home in the first place. Finally, knock down any spider webs you find; this will discourage them from setting up shop in the same place. If any of these tasks seem overwhelming, consider hiring a Portland pest control service to do it for you.
2. Remove potential pest food.
A clean house is a pest-free house. Ants, rodents, cockroaches and other pests are drawn to homes that offer them a free buffet of crumbs and other food scraps. Sweep out your cabinets; keep your floors and counters spic and span; and make sure all food stores are kept in airtight containers. Also, eliminate any standing water on your property. Pests, like all living creatures, need a dependable supply of water, and eliminating stagnant pools will also decrease mosquito populations in the springtime.
3. Favor anti-pest landscaping.
Create a plant-free zone around the outside of your home; this will cut back on the places where pests can build their nests. If possible, keep a gravel ring around your home’s perimeter, as mulch and soil are much more likely to harbor pests. Store firewood away from inhabited buildings, and avoid leaving it in contact with the ground. Termites and carpenter ants are less liable to infest firewood piles that are elevated off the earth.
If, after taking all of these steps, you’re still suffering from unwanted pests, it’s time to call a local green pest control company. In addition to examining your home for the pest attractions listed above, a pest control professional can also apply non-toxic sprays that will eliminate the pests in question while posing no harm to your family.