Common pests that can invade homes in the Portland area.

Portland Oregon is a beautiful area. It is filled with breathtaking views of waterfronts, forests and mountains. Residents of the area have an inviting mixture of terrain and environments that can come with both benefits and challenges. Each season can present a unique challenge in pest management, in particular the spring time. Well trained Portland pest control companies can help residents manage and prevent infestations from the usual suspects such as termites, spiders, roached, rodents, as well as the following common pests of the area. Of any potential pests, these are the most nuisance causing ones you don’t want to mess around with by trying to get rid of them on your own.

They sneak in during the fall and emerge in spring; the box elder bug.

Ask any Portland pest control company what is one of the biggest Spring complaints and they will tell you it is the box elder bug. While it may have other names, such as maple bug or the zug, these infamous red and black beetles make their way inside when the weather begins to turn cold. When Spring roles around they emerge in droves and can be quite the nuisance. Their sneaky nature and tendency to find the deepest, darkest, and hardest to reach nooks and crannies to settle down in for hibernation can make them a challenging pest. The key to controlling them is taking preventative measures to keep them from getting in.

Another common pest is the ant.

Aside from the emergence of pesky beetles, various species of ants tend become more of a problem during Spring. According to Portland pest control companies, the top three species that pester residents are carpenter, odorous, and pharaoh ants. Carpenters can be the most annoying because they damage wood and compromise the integrity of structures. Odorous ants, also called sugar ants, love sweets and give off a horrible stench when squashed. Pharaoh ants can be especially hard to get rid of without professional help because they don’t need to swarm to create new colonies. Their response to when people try to destroy the colony with over the counter products is to start making more colonies. If not handled correctly a small problem can grow quite large, very quickly.

One of the most annoying pests in the Portland area is the bedbug.

Bedbugs have become an increasing problem all over the country. When it comes to dealing with them, most people have learned that using a Portland pest control company works best. These nasty little things are an extreme nuisance and can survive up to an entire year without eating. This means that if they get inside furniture, even if its not used for a while, there is a chance that can re-emerge when the conditions are suitable for them. Warm weather tends to drive them to search for more food, so Spring and Summer are prime seasons to see larger infestations crop up. They spread quickly and require a lot of work to get rid of. Of any potential pests, these are ones you don’t want to mess around with by trying to get rid of them on your own.

Ways to naturally discourage Portland ant pests

When a lot of people think about Portland pest control services, the idea of using a lot of harsh chemicals comes to mind. For those who prefer a more “green” approach, there are many things that can be done without using a lot of man made toxins. The key is in discouraging pests from even becoming a problem. Another reason many people take these steps first it that over the counter pest control sprays tend to make problems worse instead of better, and can be a waste of money and time.

Keep it clean.

When it comes to pests such as ants and roaches, one of the biggest factor that can be a cause for their interest in your home is readily available food. Loosely stored food and poorly sealed containers can be like an inviting carnival for these insects. Keeping food stored away properly and keeping trash taken off or stored temporarily away from the house, such as near the curb or edge of the yard, are both important steps you can take to help discourage pests. Eliminating clutter is another step as well in making your home less inviting for many types of pests, such as insects and rodents. Stacks of papers and boxes are a veritable paradise from them to make a home in or use as a food source. Having a clean and mess free home is the simplest was to discourage pests from taking an interest in it.

Keeping moisture down and cracks sealed.

Basements in the Portland area are notoriously prone to moisture issues. Keeping the moisture down not only helps protect the wood in your home, it also help keep the air clean and makes it less appealing for certain types of insects. According to most Portland pest control services, homes that have moisture issues, especially in crawl spaces, are more likely to have insect issues. Ants, termites, and roaches are just a few of the insects that thrive in these settings. Moistened wood is easier to burrow into and can allow a colony to tunnel deeper into a home. Keeping cracks and opening properly sealed also make it harder in general for pests to get into your home.

Natural barriers and non-repellant treatments. 

There are many types of oils and plant extracts that act as natural repellants for insects. Most herbal remedies for ants tend to work for to keep them away instead of killing them. Once you have an infestation problem it can be a lot harder to impossible to just use barrier oils and herbals solutions. There are still low risk chemicals that are considered low to non toxic and safe to use for most people.

Pheromones with sticky bait traps and boric acid solutions, such as powders for lining in between walls and other such spaces, or combined with bait are other alternatives to using harsh chemicals. Boric acid is one that many people use in urban areas and when used properly and carefully can have a two fold effect of killing off harmful insects while not proving toxic in trace amounts to humans and animals.

However, just as with pheromone traps, the application and upkeep for using these kinds of pest control methods is tedious. In the end, these steps may be part of the advice given by the best and most effective method of treatment, which is using the services of your local Portland pest control company. Preventative measures, such as keeping things cleaned and sealed up properly, are part of complete pest control solutions.

When is it time to call in a Portland pest control company for an ant problem?

A lot of people make the assumption that its easy to handle something like an ant problem. The scenario tends to play out something along the lines of walking the aisles at the store, comparing pricing and ingredients in different bug sprays or traps, making a selection and heading home. Let us say in this example the ants in question are tiny light brown ants with a darker tip to their bottoms. You go home and wage chemical warfare, either with man made or naturally sourced toxins. A day or two may pass where you feel like you’ve won. But then, they start coming back and before you know it, the problem is twice as bad as it was before.

Why this sort of thing of happens.

In this instance, you have encountered a species of ant known as the pharaoh ant. It is one of the most difficult to remove and can often become even more difficult when over the counter products are used. Unlike your typical ant colony, they respond to attacks on the queen, which is what most over the counter baits and poisons target, by budding into new colonies. Also unlike other types of ant, you won’t see it happen because they don’t swarm out to breed like other species. It almost always takes a professional pest control company to take care of this breed. There are a lot of things that blanket bug sprays and products don’t tell you about the insects they can kill, and with things like ants, just killing a few of them will not do much in getting rid of them in the long run.

Who to call and what to expect.

Portland pest control companies, like Antworks Pest Control, are staffed by knowledgeable personnel who know the ins and outs of the different species and how to treat for them effectively. They can render a comprehensive evaluation of the situation and layout the most likely to succeed plan of action. From targeting problematic areas around the perimeter of the house to issue inside that may be inviting the ants in, exterminators have the knowledge and skills to help.

When a specialist comes out to assess the infestation they will do a complete walk around. Aside from where you have see the ants, they will examine all potential areas that are being overlooked. Depending on what the pest is, they can then discuss options and plans for treatment. Once you choose what works best for your home and budget, they can usually start that day. They will also give instructions on what you can do around the home to help discourage the pests. Depending on the level of infestation and type of pest that is being dealt with, it may take a series of visits and treatments before the problem is entirely eliminated. Once it is under control though, it is often a good idea to consider having regular preventative treatments to help ensure they don’t come back.



Common problematic ants found in the Portland area.

There are some years where the ant populations in Portland are quire scarce, and then there are others such as this year, where they have become quite the issue. There are many different breeds in the area and their increase in numbers have not just been noticed by residents. Portland pest control companies have also been reporting on the unusually high number of unwanted insects this year. The types of ants that are normally found in and around the Portland, Oregon area are odorous house ants, pharaoh ants, concrete ants, harvester and thatching ants. There are occasional issues with a few other species, such as little black ants or citronella ants, but these are less common or problematic than the previous list. The following are the most problematic Portland pest control companies to deal with.

Odorous house ants are the most common pest in America.

All Portland pest control companies can agree, the odorous house ant makes up the majority of cases regarding ant problems. These little insects are small, ranging in size from 1/16” to 1/8” in length. They are a brownish-black in color and have a distinctly comical manner of walking with their rears up in the air. Part of why they are deemed odorous is the telltale method of identifying them. Squishing one produces a malodorous aroma that is akin to rotten coconut or soured butter. In other words, they can give stink bugs a run for their money when it comes to stickiness. Aside from their unpleasant odor, they are one of the biggest pest in the Portland area due to how hard they are to control. Sometimes called “sugar ants”, these sweet loving insects tend to ignore most baits, even when they are sugar based.

Most mounds are made by harvesting and thatching ants.

 Petite like odorous ants, they only measure 1/4” to 1/2” in length. Both species have a red to reddish brown appearance and often get mistaken for fire ants. Luckily though, fire ants do not exist in the colder climate region of Portland. However, while even these are less common in the Portland area, it is important to keep in mind they can still sting. Common advice from a Portland pest control company regarding these ants is to use good judgment. If they have built a mound that is not in the way of children or pets, than they should be left alone. They prey on other harmful insects and in doing so can be a vital part of the local ecosystem.

The Pharaoh ant is the worst pest to deal with.

Ant pest control in Portland Oregon can be a tricky business. The minute, 2mm pharaoh ants are a light golden brown in color with darkly tipped abdomens. Unlike regular colonies, pharaohs do not produce flying swarms when they expand to new colonies. They keep the process internal, with mounds growing into large multiple queen organizations. What makes this an issue is that when people try to use store bought treatments, they tend to rile he colony into what professionals call fracturing, or producing another color. Which means that a single colony of them can quickly double their numbers exponentially if attempts continue to fail. Of any ant pest in the Portland area, pharaoh ants are one that should be handled by the experts.