PUBLISHED ON April 28th, 2011
Springtime in the Portland area brings a lot of great things: bluebells, cherry blossoms and song birds, just to name a few. Unfortunately, spring can also bring some unwanted houseguests as well. No, we’re not talking about Aunt Beatrice or your mother-in-law – the unwanted houseguests in question are native Pacific Northwest pests.
Many nasty pests hibernate in the winter months and come out during spring to play. The first step toward spring pest management is to anticipate the types of home invaders you could be dealing with and take appropriate preventative measures. The following are five Northwest pests Portland pest control experts commonly see during the rainy spring months, when to expect them, and ways to prevent or control them.
Also called the zug, garage beetle or maple bug, adult box elder bugs are a common Portland pest control problem. These black and red insects can cause damage to property and house plants, often staining surfaces such as curtains and walls with their excrement and causing mild damage to indoor plants.
Box elder bugs will typically enter your home in the fall, along with ladybugs and cluster flies, and hibernate in dark, undisturbed areas. Come spring, they emerge in significant numbers. The best pest management method for box elder bugs is to keep them from entering your home in the first place. Warm air currents tend to attract these pests, so install weather stripping and seal up any crevices along the roofline, around doors and window frames and in any areas where utility wires or pipes enter the house. A Portland pest control technician can help you identify and eliminate access points.
For many Northwest homeowners, spring is the time when ant populations will begin to rear their ugly heads. Carpenter ants and odorous house ants, specifically, are common Portland pest control problems. Carpenter ants pose the biggest threat, as they can tunnel through the wood of your home and cause structural damage. While odorous house ants or “sugar ants” are more nuisance than anything else, they can divide their nests and start new colonies elsewhere around your home, which makes them notoriously difficult to get rid of.
If you are seeing ants inside your home, chances are there is at least one nest nearby. Pest control for ants requires a combination of eliminating the nest and taking preventive measures, such as removing their food and water sources. Think twice before using commercial bug sprays to kill individual ants, as this can irritate the nest and make the problem worse.
As you probably have heard, the United States has seen a huge resurgence in bed bugs over the past few years. These nasty home invaders aren’t harmful to humans, but they carry a social stigma and can be a tremendous nuisance. They are also incredibly easy to spread and equally hard to get rid of.
While bed bugs don’t hibernate per se, they do tend to lay low during the winter months; adult bed bugs can remain inactive and go without food for a year. When the temperature rises, however, so does their need to feed. Because bed bugs are such a huge Portland pest control problem, you should contact a professional pest management company at the first sign of an infestation. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get rid of them.
Nuisance birds are another common Portland pest control issue in the spring, and no bird in the area causes more problems for homeowners than the starling. Starlings breed from January to June, and they tend to feed and roost together in flocks, causing filth, noise, odors and even health concerns such as fungal respiratory disease.
Getting rid of starlings isn’t an easy task, however. When faced with a bird pest control problem such as starlings or pigeons, Portland homeowners may need the help a professional pest management company.
Portland-area rodents come out of hibernation in spring to feed and breed. Portland pest control exerts are anticipating larger rodent populations than normal this year, due to a particularly rainy spring. If you aren’t careful, squirrels, rats, raccoons, mice and many other native rodents can set up shop in your crawl space or attic and start a big family.
To prevent a rodent pest control problem this spring, keep vegetation trimmed and weeds cut low in your yard, as abundant plant growth provides natural food and harborage for rodent populations. Sealing entrance points and keeping a clean house are also common pest management tactics that will help reduce the chances of an infestation. If you find you have a rodent problem, call a professional pest control company.