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Are You Prepared for Tick Season?

ticks on a strand of grassTicks are more than annoying bloodsuckers. Some transmit serious diseases, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick paralysis. As more people spend time outdoors, Washington and Oregon pest control experts want to make sure that you stay healthy while enjoying nature. Before you head outdoors, arm yourself with the following tick-related knowledge.

Tick Pest Control Tips

Know How to Identify a Tick

Ticks are arachnids and have two body segments. They have six legs along their abdomen during the larval stage. Adults have eight legs. Adult ticks are 3 to 5 millimeters wide, but an adult female can grow up to 1 centimeter wide after feeding.

Tick Habitats

Ticks live in forests, gardens and dunes. They generally stay 3 feet or less above the ground. When a tick is ready to feed, it will climb to the top of tall grasses or the edge of branches and wait for a host to cross its path.

How to Tell if You Have a Tick

Humans generally do not feel tick bites, and ticks are good at hiding in hard-to-find places, like your hair. If a tick bites you, your skin may become a little red or swollen.

When you remove a tick from your body, place it in a in a sealed container and keep it in the freezer in the event that you develop symptoms of a tick-related disease, which include:

  • Sudden onset of a fever, rash, muscle pain and headache
  • A bulls eye-shaped rash, which can appear one day to one month after a tick bite

If you develop any of these symptoms, seek medical help.         

How to Tell if Your Pet Has a Tick

A pet with a tick will scratch, lick or groom itself excessively in the affected area.

Tick Prevention

  • Avoid bushy areas or those with tall grasses
  • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and a hat when enjoying the outdoors
  • Apply DEET to exposed skin
  • Regularly use a flea and tick pest control solution on your pet
  • After spending time outdoors, inspect your entire body for ticks. Have someone check areas that are difficult for you inspect on your own, like your head.
  • If you go out with your dog, brush its fur and inspect its body before allowing it to get in the car.

If you find a tick, promptly pull it straight out with a pair of tweezers or a tick removing tool. Then wash the site with soap and water, and apply an antiseptic. If you notice ticks nesting on your property, call Eden to schedule a free inspection. When it comes to pest control, Washington and Oregon residents can count on our green techniques to keep your family and the earth safe.

Finding the Right Company for Your Pest Control Needs

Eden Pest teamThink all Oregon and Washington pest control companies do the same thing? Think again. It is not unusual for pest control professionals to have different practices in regards to their approaches and services provided. By knowing when to enlist professional help and what to seek in a contractor, you’ll get rid of your pest problem sooner and save yourself from unnecessary stress.

DIY versus Pest Control Professionals

There are effective techniques that you can do to prevent a pest infestation at home, such as keeping landscaping tidy or being smart about trash disposal. When you encounter certain infestations, a professional can often control the pests in a faster, safer and more effective manner. Hire a Washington or Oregon pest control company when:

  • Dealing with termites, bed bugs or rodents
  • Pests are difficult to reach
  • Pests pose a danger, such as bees, wasps or poisonous spiders
  • Pests are in sensitive areas, like pantries
  • If you do not know how to use pesticides properly or are concerned about using harsh chemicals

Consider the Health of Your Family, Pets and the Environment

Some pest control professionals have a spray-and-kill approach. While this works sometimes, a good Washington or Oregon pest control company performs an inspection to identify the pest and create a targeted plan to control it. When you work with a green pest control provider, the company uses the least toxic methods possible to keep your home and surrounding environment safe.

 When shopping around for an Oregon or Washington pest management expert, learn about their approach. Oregonians found out the importance of this the hard way in 2014. According to the Statesman Journal, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) investigated 505 potential pesticide violations and issued fines to 34 “pesticide applicators.” One company misused a pesticide, causing thousands of bees to die in Eugene. Another used a chemical spray that caused dozens in an Oregon community to fall ill. The ODA found that many applied pesticides in negligent or careless manners, or allowed unlicensed technicians to perform work. 

What to Look for in a Pest Control Company

A good pest control company:

  • Has the appropriate credentials and state licenses; don’t be afraid to ask for proof
  • Ensures technicians have current and active licenses
  • Provides transparent communication verbally and through estimates and contracts.
  • Has a good quality rating with the National Pest Management Association and is a Quality Pro Certified company (which you can find in your area here). Also look for good reviews on consumer websites
  • Gives you no problems or grief when you ask for referrals
  • Provides quality services, such as targeted approaches, guarantee on services and follow-up inspections
  • Is environmentally responsible and can easily explain their environmental efforts and have certifications or credentials to back them up

When seeking a pest management company, shop around for the best value, not the cheapest price. In the end, you’ll find that reputable professionals—like those at Eden—provide effective services that help prevent re-infestations and keep you and your family safe. Give Eden a call to learn more.

Before You Deck the Halls, Inspect!

Check your Christmas tree and other outdoor décor for pests before bringing inside

‘Tis the season for boughs of holly, merry wreaths, cozy fires and freshly cut Christmas trees—not accidentally bringing bee hives, termites, spiders or other pests into your home. Before bringing outdoor elements into your home, Washington and Oregon pest management experts urge you to inspect them well for unwanted guests. Put the following tips on your holiday checklist to help ensure the season is memorable for the right reasons.

Integrated Pest Management Tips for a More Joyful Holiday

  • Know what insects live on Christmas trees:
    • Aphids
    • Adelgids
    • Mites
    • Scale
    • Beetles
    • Praying mantids
    • Spiders
    • Bees
    • Moths

  • Inspect a Christmas trees before purchasing or cutting it down. Oregon and Washington pest management specialists recommend looking on the undersides of branches for egg cases and removing the affected branches. Remove bird nests. Avoid trees that have small holes or sawdust-like powder along the trunk.
  • Shake the Christmas tree before purchasing it or bringing it into your home to dislodge any insects. Remove any bird nests in the tree, too.
  • Inspect natural greenery and floral arrangements for insects before bringing them into your home.
  • Do not spray the Christmas tree or other greenery with pesticides. The chemicals are flammable and may be toxic if inhaled.
  • Unpack and inspect your holiday decorations outside for signs of pests if you don’t store them in hard plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Signs include of pests include rodent droppings, gnaw marks and holes. At the end of the season, store holiday decorations in hard plastic boxes.
  • Inspect firewood for pests and only bring in pieces that you plan to use immediately. To prevent infestations, keep the woodpile elevated, dry and 20 feet away from your home.

The surprises in your home should be under the tree, not living in it. If you accidentally introduced pests into your home, use a vacuum to get rid of them. For a major infestation, remove the infested greenery from the house right away and vacuum. If the infestation is too big to handle, call the experts at Eden.

[ Photo by: EliJerma , on Flickr, via CC License ]

Integrated Pest Management in Schools: Be Safe This Halloween!

Make It and Take It by Franklin Park Library, on Flickr.comThe only bugs and rodents that kids should see during this time of year are those made of plastic. After all, the rubbery spider hanging from the ceiling is a classic. With the emergence of pests starting to overwinter, Washington and Oregon pest control experts remind schools and parents to practice integrated pest management, or IPM, to enhance the safety of their environment.

What is Integrated Pest Management?

IPM is a decision making process that focuses on using the least toxic methods available to prevent and control pests. These methods include:

  • Physical exclusion, which makes it difficult for a pest to enter a potential habitat
  • Removing harborage sites, such as nests
  • Modifying a habitat so it’s not attractive to pests
  • Consumer information

When an Oregon or Washington pest management expert needs to use a chemical application, he chooses one that’s the least toxic and target specifically for the pest in question.

Practicing IPM in Schools and at Home

Pesticide use in an environment can affect the growth, health and development of children, particularly because they spend more time on or close to the ground. In addition to posing long-term health risks, the toxins can also immediately affect a child’s concentration, ability to learn and health. For this reason, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends non-chemical and natural pest control solutions, such as eliminating sources of water, food and shelter in and around a building always be the first step in control or prevention.

Pest control techniques that schools and parents can easily employ to keep kids safe include:

  • Teaching kids about common pests, how to avoid them and what to do if they find one. (For example, don’t share hats to prevent head lice. Put away your food when you finish eating. Find an adult when you see a scary-looking pest, like a mouse. Don’t squish “helper bugs,” such as ladybugs and bees. )
  • Know which pests emerge during different seasons.
  • Be aware of common pests in school environments that may be harmful to children and adults, such as flies, cockroaches, mice, yellow jackets and termites.
  • Identify the pest and monitor their habits so you can take a targeted approach at controlling it.
  • Make the building and grounds less attractive to pests.
  • If necessary, use the least toxic chemicals in targeted areas to control pests. Use the pesticide when children won’t be around for several weeks and post signs that alert others about the presence of chemicals.
  • Contact an integrated pest management expert when you can’t handle an infestation on your own or doing poses a safety or health hazard (i.e., removing a rodent or wasp nest).

Eden Pest offers integrated pest management and natural pest control solutions for schools that complies with EPA, LEED and Star Certification standards. Our Washington and Oregon pest control technicians make it a priority to prevent and control infestations in ways that make it possible to protect the health of our customers and the environment.

[ Photo by: Franklin Park Library, on Flickr, via CC License ]

Seattle Rodent Control: Keeping Rats out of Your Home & Business

Rats by celesteh, on Flickr.comIf you’ve spent a significant amount of time in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, particularly in the city’s historic cellars, you may have noticed one of the its more unflattering problems—rats. While rat infestations are common in big cities, Seattle home, business and restaurant owners are seeing more than their fair share as they exhaust their traditional rodent control methods. Seattle pest control experts explain that the likely cause is the tunnel digging that’s part of the Viaduct replacement project.

Seattle Rodent Control Efforts

In addition to setting out traps as part of their rodent pest control efforts, the affected Seattle homes and businesses regularly patch cracks on the exterior walls of the property so the rats prevent the rodents from squeezing their way inside.

While the city knows that its downtown residents have spent thousands of dollars on rodent pest control, it doesn’t fully understand the scope of the cellar rat infestation because it hasn’t tracked it. In an effort to help get a handle on the situation, particularly because it will drill a secondary hole to fix broken machinery, Seattle Tunnel Partners is working with a Seattle rodent control company.

Rodent Pest Control Tips

The simplest way to control a rodent infestation is to prevent one. Whether you live in the city or have a business there, rodent prevention is a year-round effort that you should regularly practice.

  • Seal entry points: Inspect interior and exterior walls and seal any cracks that you find, even if they look small. Similarly, repair or replace broken window and door screens.
  • Landscape: While you may not have more than a patch of grass as a yard, keep the lawn short and weeded. If there are trees around your building, cut back tree branches that overhang the roof or balconies. Keep in mind that if you don’t own the building or trees, you may need to ask the property owner or the city to complete these tasks.
  • Eliminate food sources: Garbage and crumbs attract pests. Avoid leaving food and garbage in and around your building. Always replace the lid on your outside garbage, recycle and compost bins. If possible, keep the receptacles in an area away from the property. In addition, store food in glass, metal or hard plastic containers with lids. If you participate in the city’s composting program, store food scraps in the refrigerator or freezer until you deposit the in the compost bin outside.
  • Home and building maintenance: Keep your home or business clean and clutter-free. Vacuum regularly and wash the dishes shortly after every meal. Avoid leaving piles of paper around the property. Store seasonal items (e.g., clothing) in plastic storage bins with lids, not cardboard boxes.

In addition to carrying diseases, rats can ruin a business’ reputation and a customer’s comfort. If you know or suspect that you have a rat problem, contact a Seattle pest control company like Eden. Eden uses green techniques to control pests that are more effective and safer than baits and harsh chemicals.

Call Eden today to schedule a free inspection.

[ Photo by: celesteh, on Flickr, via CC License ]

Eden’s Guide to Spider Pest Management

spider web by cybershotking, on Flickr.comSpiders—whether you don’t mind them or hate them, most people agree that they don’t want them in their homes. Spider control is a task that you can take into your own hands using the following guide that Eden’s Oregon and Washington pest management experts put together.

Spider Identification

Washington and Oregon spider control begins with identification so you know about the type of arachnid with which you’re dealing. In addition to their looks, you can identify a spider by things like its web, eggs and behavior.

Check out Eden’s spider identification guide.

If you think that a spider on your property may be poisonous leave the spider control to Washington and Oregon pest management experts. If you’re not sure if a spider is dangerous, Eden will identify it free of charge.

Oregon and Washington Spider Control: Prevention    

The best way to control spiders is to prevent them from coming into your home. Spiders enter homes for a few of reasons:

  1. Your home has a good source of food (i.e., insects).
  2. Your home seems hospitable (i.e., you don’t destroy spider webs when you see them).
  3. They want a cozy place to stay during the winter. 

To keep spiders out of your home, try these simple home maintenance and prevention tips.

Natural Spider Control

Washington and Oregon pest management experts warn that general pesticides may be ineffective against spiders and they may end up doing more harm to you and your family. Prevent and control spiders naturally with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen, such as salt, water, coconut oil, vinegar or essential oil.

Check out this post to find natural recipes to use in your home against spiders.

For long-term spider control and treatment, get in touch with the experts at Eden Pest. They can recommend personalized tips to make your home seem less attractive. Eden also offers ongoing and species-specific services that prevent and target spiders.

Contact Eden to learn more and to schedule a free inspection.

[ Photo by: cybershotking, on Flickr, via CC License ]

Stay Protected Against Mosquitoes this Summer!

Eden's Advanced Mosquito Control When you think of Washington and Oregon pest control services, you may associate it with getting rid of pests after they infest your home. Pest control, however, is also about prevention. Preventive measures are the best way to protect yourself and your family from vector-borne diseases, which microbes from blood-sucking insects, like mosquitoes, cause.

The Importance of Mosquito Pest Control

In the last couple of decades, mosquitoes in the U.S. have gone from being an itch-causing nuisance to an insect with the potential to transmit the West Nile virus. Recently, Asian tiger mosquitoes that carry chikungunya found their way to the Americas. Oregon and Washington pest control experts warn that it’s only a matter of time before Asian tiger mosquitoes make their way to the U.S.

With the number of West Nile virus cases increasing the Pacific Northwest and the threat of chikungunya looming, it’s up to you to be proactive about prevention, especially during the warm months of the year.

Mosquito Pest Control Tips

  • Never have standing water on your property.
  • Drain fountains and water features that don’t have a pump or aren’t in use.
  • Change the water in birdbaths every day.
  • Cover your pool and spa.
  • Use lidded containers on outdoor garbage cans.
  • When enjoying the outdoors, wear long, light-colored clothing.
  • Use ceiling fans or oscillating fans on porches and patios.
  • Use a repellent that contains picaridin, DEET, lemon eucalyptus oil or IR3535. When used correctly, repellents are safe and effective. Apply the repellent over sunscreen or body lotion; reapply it every four to six hours.
  •  Surround your home with plants that repel mosquitoes, like lemongrass, mint, rosemary, wormwood and marigold.
  • Light citronella candles during backyard barbeques.
  • Call a Washington and Oregon pest control company to help.

Eden offers Advanced Mosquito Control that targets pests that spread vector diseases, but keeps the environment safe. Summer officially ends in October, so it’s not too late to get a handle on mosquitoes. Call Eden today to learn if an integrated mosquito management program is right for your property.

Debunking Pest Control Myths: Don’t Fall for These!

Cat chasing mouse

Oregon and Washing pest control experts want to make you a smart consumer and homeowner (or renter) by exploring some of the most common myths about pests in Portland. Pest control works best when you pair it with knowledge, green pest control services and common sense.

The Truth about Pest Control from Washington and Oregon Pest Management Pros

  • Myth: Cheese is the best bait for mice.
    Truth: Mice like other food better, especially if it’s fatty and sweet. Save the cheese and try pet food, peanut butter, marshmallows or candy instead.
  • Myth: Pets keep rodents at bay.
    Fact: While dogs and cats may scare off a mouse or two, there is power in numbers. An infestation is more than an animal companion can handle.
  • Myth: Pests never live in a clean house.
    Fact: Cleanliness helps, but some pests don’t care, including bed bugs, termites, carpenter ants and those looking for a warm place for the winter.
  • Myth: Boiling water will solve your ant problem.
    Fact: Scalding water only kills the ants that it touches. Once the water cools, it won’t harm the others that are further down in the nest.
  • Myth:  Bees sting once.
    Fact: Honeybees sting once. Other types of bees and wasps can sting and bite you repeatedly.
  • Myth: A house with a concrete slab never has termites.
    Fact: As long as your home has wooden framework, you’re at risk for termites because they can squeeze through cracks in the foundation.
  • Myth: If my neighbor fumigates his home, his pests will come to my place.
    Fact: Most pests die before they realize the home is getting fumigated. If they do figure it out, they’re more likely to run inside the treated home…and then die. 
  • Myth: I can treat bed bugs on my own.
    Fact: Most of the pesticides available on the market are ineffective at killing bed bugs. In fact, they may do more harm to you instead of the bugs. Green pest control services that use eco-friendly techniques, like special heating units, are the most effective and healthy solution. 

If you have a pest problem at your home that doesn’t seem to go away or the infestation is more than you can handle, contact Eden Pest. The Oregon and Washington pest control service will inspect your home and recommend a solution based on the pest and your needs. Call Eden today.

[ Photo by: Vorstius, on Flickr, via CC License ]

Eden Pest Knows Bugs: Boxelder Bugs are a Species of “True Bug”

Box Elder

If you take a look at the boxelder bug’s mouth, you’ll notice that its beak-like shape is ideal for piercing plant tissues and sucking liquids. It also has membranous forewings that are hardened near the base, as well as antennas with five segments. Oregon pest management companies share that theses aspects makes the pest a hemiptera, or “true bug.”

Portland Pest Control: The Truth about Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs are generally dark brown with red-colored veins on the wings. When the weather begins to cool in the fall, they pose a problem because they hibernate during the autumn and winter and often enter structures for this purpose.  On warm days during the winter months they may emerge inside, quickly becoming a nuisance.

The boxelder becomes a nuisance during the spring when they awake and come out to mate. After not eating for several months, bugs that overwinter in a home may target houseplants for food. Once outside, they feast on sap, tree seeds, and the leaves of maple, boxelder, soapberry and goldenrain trees.

Boxelder Bug Prevention and Control

While a few boxelder bugs won’t necessarily hurt your garden, they are problematic when they form large groups on warm days often inside the structure. One o the best ways to prevent a boxelder infestation is with exclusion. This means eliminating bug-sized entry points into your home so they can’t access shelter when the weather is cool. Use weather stripping and caulk, sealing all the cracks on the exterior walls of your home, the roofline and along window and door frames.

If you find yourself with a boxelder bug infestation on your property, contact Eden Pest. The Oregon pest management company will inspect your home for entry points and recommend control techniques that are safe for your family and the environment.

[ Photo by: LadyDragonflyCC ->;<, on Flickr, via CC License ]

Pest Control New Year’s Resolution: Here’s to a Pest-Free 2014!

Happy New Year

One resolution that always pays and is simple to keep is to be pest-free at home and at work. Washington and Oregon pest control experts share the following tips to help you stay on track:

  • Schedule an inspection. Many pest control companies offer free inspections that lend insight into the areas of your property that are vulnerable to an infestation and point out the areas where pests already made a home.
  • Keep a clean home. Pests love messes. In 2014, resolve to dust and clean your floors regularly. Promptly wash dirty dishes. Put away food after meals. Take out the trash. Keep your closets organized. Banish clutter.
  • Mind your pantry. If your pantry is clean and tidy, pests won’t flock to it. Store foods in glass, metal or hard plastic containers with lids. Get rid of expired food. Immediately clean any spilled food.
  • Maintain your yard. Pests enter a building via the landscaping. Make yours unattractive by keeping the lawn trim, getting rid of debris and weeding often. Trim plants, bushes and tree limbs that touch or overhang the roof. If you have a wood pile, keep it high, dry and away from the side of your house.            
  • Seal your house. In addition to improving the energy performance of your home or building, sealing it keeps out pests. Seal cracks on the interior and exterior walls of your house that are as small as a 1/8-inch. Fix broken window and door screens, and make sure the seals are in good condition.
  • Schedule year-round pest control services. Many Oregon and Washington pest control companies offer a maintenance service to homes and businesses that help make pest prevention simpler than ever.

For more prevention tips that are specific to your property and to schedule a free inspection, get in touch with Eden Pest.

[ Photo by: LadyDragonflyCC – >;<, on Flickr, via CC License ]