The biggest winter pests of the Portland Oregon area.

Anyone who lives in Portland knows how beautiful the weather can be. Most seasons are moderate, never reaching too harsh of extremes. Common household pests seem to be more frequently discussed as Spring and Summer time problems. The Fall and Winter, are also times to be weary of pests. Many species, such as the infamous Box Beetle, tend to hibernate when the cooler weather sets in. This drive for finding shelter in the colder months is also a cause for other pests to spike in activity. Not all creepy crawly pests lay low during the winter. Most people think about rodents as the biggest winter pest, but in the Portland area, roaches are the prime insect pest for Winter months.

 

They are always always looking for warmth, even more so in the Winter.

 

Anyone who has ever dealt with these most annoying pests, or has known anyone how has, knows how horrible they can be. They congregate in anything that gives off warmth, especially in electronic devices, and in damp spaces. Baseboards, under sinks, tubs, and just about anywhere in the home can be a gathering place for roaches. Portland pest control companies report Winter as one of the most severe times for infestations. If the problems are not addressed before cold weather sets it, it can be even more exhaustive to exterminate them entirely. This is due to the fact that at times when you begin addressing an infestation, pests will tend to flee before entirely dying off. With inhospitable conditions present, colonies tend to hunker down instead of dispersing. Another factor to why they are more difficult to deal with if not addressed before the cold sets in, is that while they may not seem as visible at times if the house is kept cooler, they are lurking unseen and multiplying through the Winter. This can result in a horrific resurgence in the Spring when the general temperatures rise once more and make it more hospitable for inside species of roaches.

 

Most Portland pest control companies suggest addressing the issue at the first sighting.

 

Even if it is a single roach at the start of Winter, it is advisable to search or have your home inspected. Most solutions offered over the counter cannot fully handle roach infestations, and sometimes can make them worse. A true professional pest control company can help pinpoint any potential problems, as well as find the source of a starting issue. Truly expelling a roach problem requires not just killing off the current population and preventing future colonies, it is about identifying how they got in and why they came in. Many Portland pest control companies will often take a multiple step approach, not only in identifying an infestation, but also in identifying ways to prevent it from happening again. From sealing up cracks along windows, walls, and doors, to suggestions on how to properly store garbage for disposal, simple things done around the home can help keep it free from future problems all year round.

Why you should avoid using the pesticides you see in the stores.

The site of any unsightly insect, be it a roach, beetle, or the most common ant, can send many people frantically to the store for some type of treatment. Instead of dousing pests in a bunch of chemicals, many of which they’ve developed immunity too, take a moment to consider your options. According to many Portland pest control companies, often times using the pesticides, that are available in stores, can pose a lot more risk than potential reward.

 

Many commercially available pesticides are not environmentally friendly.

 

Even if the pesticide comes in a pump bottle or manual spray bottle, the misuse in disposing of leftover contents can lead to serious environmental issues. Most pesticides that you purchase at the local store cannot be processed by water and waste management facilities. Pouring even a small amount down the drain can have an impact on wildlife and pollute the environment. This is even true for when you are rinsing the containers out for recycling. In most states you have to triple rinse pesticide containers, and use the rinse water as you would when applying it normally. Even flushing this diluted mixture can cause problems. Each state, and at times county, has a specific requirement for disposal, depending on the chemical and its container. So, aside from being a possible pollutant, it is also a pest to properly dispose of it.

 

Even after all the red tape regarding its disposal, it may not get the job done.

 

Many Portland pest control services will warn customers about the ineffectiveness of over the counter sprays, if they don’t already hear stories about it. The ever common story of “I emptied an entire can onto it and it was still going.” is a result of two common factors. Firstly, this often happens because the person used the wrong type of bug spray, and ended up dousing the pest in a chemical not even designed to affect them. Second, it is entirely likely that the chemical used in the spray was effective, decades ago, but thanks to over use, the insect has become immune to it. When it comes to things like roach and ant pest control, most commercial pesticides or bug sprays tend to not work.

 

Commonly available pesticides are unhealthy for your family and pets.

 

The biggest reason Portland pest control companies discourage the use of store bought pesticides, aside from being ineffective, they are potentially harmful to you and your family. Most pesticides, even if they do not kill the intended pest, can harm humans and animals. A miss fire of spray can end up putting pesticides in places accessible to small children and pets. All it takes is a lack of proper hygiene , or for a pet to track it elsewhere to result in accidental poisoning. When it comes to taking care of pests, especially infestations, the safety to yourself and your family can make using a Portland pest control company more than worth it. They can also often do the job without creating the awful residual smell that commercial pesticides tend to leave.

 

Do the old home remedies really work on ants?

From ground up chalk to coffee grinds, many Portland pest control companies have heard of many different home remedies that client tried before calling them. Some people swear by old home remedies as the best way to deal with ants, but one big question that is asked is; “How well do they really work?”. The following will examine some of the most common home remedies that people have tried or have heard of to try to deal with pesky ants.

 

Line your doors and windows with used coffee grinds, salt, or chalk.

 

At times, when service technicians with the Portland pest control companies go out for routine assessments, they tend to find traces of either coffee grinds, chalk, or salt around entrances. These home remedies are some that a lot of people try with little to no success. The science behind using coffee grinds or salt is the same behind using diatomaceous earth outside. Ground coffee and salt are so course that it can scrape and irritate the ants if they try to walk over it. The other aspect of coffee in particular, that acts as a repellent, is when coffee has brewed first, it gives off a pungent aroma that often deters ants.

 

The problem of course with using any of these three items, is that even if it deters the pests, it does not kill them or the colony. If they’ve already established a base inside the house somewhere, or right inside, then the grinds will do little than perhaps help keep them out of the pet feeders. Chalk, which is thought to merely mess with the chemical trails and feel weird to the ant, can only at best temporarily disrupt the ant’s line of traffic. As most ant pest control services in the Portland area can attest too, these home remedies cannot prevent most infestations.

 

Other types of home made deterrents that Portland pest control companies hear about:

 

Aside from common dry products, many people try to set up vinegar based traps or put off the pests with its odorous nature. The theory is, that much like coffee, the naturally pungent aroma can make ants turn about and walk away. The vinegar is either set in open containers or soaked into cotton balls and set at possible entry points. According to most ant pest control companies in the Portland Oregon area, the issue again with these sort of traps is that they won’t get rid of them once they are in the door. If a colony has taken root inside walls or foundations with cracks, then it will take more than common deterrents such as coffee or vinegar to get rid of them.

 

No home remedy offers quick results, when they have them.

 

Almost any Portland pest control company can tell you that few things classified as home remedies work well, or quickly if they work at all. Of the easy to do home remedies, borax mixtures yield the most results, but can take a couple weeks to do so. They also cannot handle all types of infestations, and pose potential hazard to pets and small children.

 

Spiders can be helpful sometimes, and a nuisance at others.

There are millions of spiders in the world, and thousands of species, each with a unique appearance and habits. Often times, spiders can be extremely helpful in keeping other pests populations under control. They eat insects such as flies, roaches, and just about any other pest that wanders into its web or path. They can even prevent other types of spiders from moving into an area. However, there are times when they themselves begin to over populate. One service provided by most Portland pest control companies is spider management. Unlike most other pest insects, these arachnid invaders often require a multistage approach in order to get them back under control. Most pests, such as ants or even roaches, tend to build nests and have communities. Spiders do not have a complex society structure and each one operates independently of others.

 

Where spiders tend to be found by Portland pest control services.

 

There are several varieties of spiders that can be found in and around homes in Oregon. The two main types are either hunter or web-makers. Hunting spiders roam and tend to stay outdoors, unless they are prowling in search of a mate, which the most frequent reason to find these types inside homes. Web making spiders, also tend to prefer outdoor settings such as shrubs and trees. Inside the home, if there are web making spiders, then they tend to congregate in the nooks and crannies, such as attics and cellars. Most Portland pest control companies can help inspect and clear out common troublesome areas in and round the home, as well as help establish a prevention plan to keep them out.

 

The hobo spider, often confused with other spiders.
The hobo spider is the most common spider pest that can lead home owners and landlords to employing a Portland pest control company. It tends to make a funnel like web in the ground, often near the base of the home and behind plant growth. Its mass of webbing is spread over the ground and, not unlike a typical trapdoor spider, it will hide in a tunnel and only attack when prey crosses the silken trap. Humans are not typically bitten by spiders unless they encroach unknowingly on their nest and make the spider feel threatened. Female hobo spiders are more likely to bite due to being protective of an egg sac. The bite of a hobo spider can cause necrotic lesions in some people, which is why they rank among the most pesky of spiders.

 

The Black Widow and the Brown Widow are the next two biggest pest in the Portland, OR area.

 

Black widow spiders are found all over the United States, and can sometimes be a problem that requires a Portland pest control service. They tend to invade dark and musty places, which makes any sort of storage, be it in an attic, cellar, or shed, the ideal environment for these rather painful and potentially lethal spiders. A close cousin to the Black Widow is the Brown Widow, which has become more of a nuisance in the Portland, Oregon area since early 2014. The Brown Widow has the body shape of the Black Widow, but the dark and light brown coloring of many other common spiders. While not as deadly as the Black Widow, Brown Widows can still be an unpleasant nuisance to deal with.